Kentucky pitchers Chris Machamer and Andrew Miller have agreed to professional contracts according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. With the signings of Machamer and Miller, all 13 UK draft picks have inked professional contracts.
UK had to feel confident about Machamer returning in 2019. The former UK closer was drafted in the 16th round after leading the Cats in saves as a draft-eligible sophomore. Machamer had reported to the Cape Cod League and pitched in two games before signing with the Boston Red Sox this week. By pitching in the Cape, it appeared that Machamer had made the decision not to sign with Boston. But nearly a month after the draft, Machamer put pen to paper and signed with the Red Sox for $213,000.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 6, 2018
There was no bigger surprise than Andrew Miller signing with the Miami Marlins. Miller sat out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules and Tommy John surgery, but the Marlins must have seen something they liked in Miller in his time at Maryland. Miami selected Miller in the 40th round and gave him a $150,000 signing bonus.
40th-rder Andrew Miller signs w/@Marlins for $150k ($25k counts vs bonus pool). Kentucky LHP, sat out 2018 after having Tommy John surgery & transferring from Maryland, had shown low-90s fastball from low slot that creates problems for lefty hitters. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 4, 2018
Next season might be tough on the starting rotation. Miller and Machamer were expected to compete for starting spots in a rotation that does not return a pitcher who threw 50 or more innings last season. Nick Mingione and Jimmy Belanger will have their work cut out for them as they look to replace six pitchers from last year’s team.