Brian Miller, last seen proposing to his girlfriend (see below) in the moments following the Commodores' College World Series victory and first National Title in a men's sport, has reportedly signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, though this, of course, is an unsubstantiated rumor at this time, and I'm going on "an unnamed source within the Rays organization claims..." style reporting here. Still, it's going to happen, if it hasn't already, so we might as well get used to it. The Rays selected the lateral movement specialist as part of their, "Three years playing for Vanderbilt is all the resume you need" strategy employed by the Rays and Detroit Tigers.
Readers of this blog, alumni, and fans alike are all ardent supporters of this strategy, and it's something the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays could learn from. Let them go to college, scout their performances against college baseball's best competition, and then take them once they've proven their abilities - as an added bonus, you won't have to pay for those three years of development, either - and they turn into David Price or Sonny Gray guaranteed.
*Offer not guaranteed.
The 15th round pick presumably signed for slot value, but the exact number isn't known, if it even happened at all. Terms for the contract have not been released, as Baseball America has yet to report the signing, and has listed only "pool" as his potential signing bonus. No word yet if it's a "Florida Special" above-ground pool, or one of those sweet Scrooge McDuck ones filled with gold doubloons.
Anyway... congratulations are due to Brian Miller, if not now, then soon, as your death by two-seamer and slider side-winding arm, fearless confidence, and team-first attitude will be sorely missed. You broke the team saves record last year, but when asked to cede your role to Carson Fulmer at the beginning of the season, and Adam Ravenelle at the end, you didn't flinch. You just said, "Give me the ball when you need me" (possibly), and were one of the most reliable arms on the staff. Miller will take his 1.93 ERA, 7.93 K/9 rate, 1.71 BB/9 rate, wipeout slider and newly minted fiancee to the bus-rides and strange towns of the Rays minor league system.
Or he won't. But he probably will if he hasn't done so already.
In other words, there are going to be a lot of slow news days until the beginning of football practice this August. And I like to speculate.
We wish you nothing but the best. Also, please tell me you didn't spend your entire signing bonus, if you've even received it yet, on that ring...