5 free agents the Cleveland Guardians should consider for Shane Bieber's vacant rotation spot

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2. Alec Mills

It was not too long ago that Alec Mills seemed like he could be a somewhat serviceable starter for the Chicago Cubs. Mills had a 3.87 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings in his first 27 appearances for the Cubs. Unfortunately for Mills, this did not last.

Mills saw his ERA and WHIP skyrocket over his next 39 appearances to 5.66 and 1.478, respectively. Strikeouts per nine innings also dropped during this time by over two to just 6.5. The decline in performance, combined with his injuries that year eventually led to Mills being removed from Chicago's major league roster, with the then 31-year-old electing to become a free agent.

It was the Cincinnati Reds taking a chance on Mills in 2023, signing him to a minor league deal in May, but this union did not last long. Mills only made a single bullpen appearance for the Reds, and it did not go well. Allowing two earned runs (five total) on four hits (one of which was a two-run home run off the bat of Manny Machado), one walk, and one hit batter, Mill's time with the Reds' organization lasted on single major league inning.

Even though none of this sounds all that promising, taking a low-cost flier on Milles to see if Cleveland's pitching factory can fix him would not be the worst idea. They've worked wonders before and could very well do so again.