Miller hits free-agent market

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Wade Miller became a free agent
Monday when the Houston Astros declined to offer him a new

Miller was 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts before going on the
disabled list June 29 with a season-ending rotator cuff injury.

In his first two full seasons for the Astros, Miller was 31-12 in
2001 and 2002. He then pitched through right forearm pain in 2003,
but still was 14-13 with a 4.13 ERA in 33 starts.

When the Astros signed Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens last
offseason, the 28-year-old Miller was dropped to the No. 4 spot in
the rotation behind those two and Roy Oswalt.

The Astros offered contracts to Oswalt (20-10, 3.49 ERA in 36
games), outfielder Lance Berkman, infielder Mike Lamb and
right-handed pitchers Brandon Duckworth, Pete Munro, and
Tim Redding.

Berkman has hit .303 for the Astros with 156 home runs and 535
RBI the past six seasons. Lamb, acquired from the New York Yankees
in March, hit .288 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI in 2004.

Duckworth was 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA for the Astros in 2004. Munro
was 4-7 with a 5.15 ERA in 21 games in 2004, and Redding 5-7 with a
5.72 ERA.