All-Star reliever, MLB union rep Andrew Miller retires at 36

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Miller, a two-time All-Star and dominant postseason reliever who helped negotiate the recent labor deal that ended Major League Baseball’s 99-day lockout, has retired at 36.

Miller had a 4.75 ERA in 40 games last season, his third year with St. Louis. The left-hander with a devastating slider played 16 seasons with seven teams and was the MVP of the 2016 AL Championship Series for Cleveland.

Long involved with the players’ association, Miller spent recent months on the union’s executive subcommittee as it bargained with owners toward a settlement.

“Andrew’s selfless, tireless and relentless advocacy on behalf of his fellow and future players during challenging times will be as much a part of his baseball legacy as his extraordinary accomplishments on the field,” the union said in a statement Thursday.

“His thoughtful, reasoned and pragmatic leadership earned the respect of his fellow players in all 30 clubhouses,” it said.

With his sharp-darting slider, Miller became one of the most coveted relievers in the majors. His impact was heightened by the way he was used, especially by Cleveland manager Terry Francona during the 2016 postseason.

Miller pitched a total of 10 times in the AL Division Series, ALCS and World Series, working in a variety of roles. Though he wasn’t the closer — Cody Allen held that role — Miller was summoned whenever the situations were the biggest. He struck out 30 in 19 1-3 innings, and fanned a remarkable 14 of the 25 Toronto batters he faced in the ALCS.

Cleveland wound up losing to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series.

Miller pitched in 11 different postseason matchups for Baltimore, the New York Yankees, Cleveland and St. Louis, with an 0.93 ERA. He was 2-1 with one save and struck out 54 in 38 2-3 innings.

Miller was 55-55 with 63 saves with a 4.03 ERA in 612 games overall during a career that also included time with Detroit, Boston and the Florida Marlins before they switched to being called the Miami Marlins. He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003 when the team still carried that name, but didn’t sign.

He made his big league debut with Detroit in 2006 and was traded after the 2007 season to the Marlins in the deal that moved Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers.

Miller made his 66th and last start in the majors in 2011 with the Red Sox, then quickly found his spot as a full-time reliever. He was dealt in 2016 just before the July 31 trade deadline from the Yankees to Cleveland and blossomed into a postseason sensation for how he was used, and how successful he became.

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