Andrew Miller was the sixth overall draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, garnering a $3.5 million signing bonus. But he did not work out and was sent to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera deal after the 2007 season.

The Marlins eventually dumped Miller in a minor trade with Boston (for another left-hander, Dustin Richardson).

Miller looked like a project when he arrived in 2011 – 5.54 ERA in 17 games (12 starts). He began 2012 on the disabled list, but settled in as a reliever for the final five months – 3.35 ERA and 1.19 walks/hits per inning (WHIP).

Miller looked even better in 2013, but he broke his foot and missed the last four months, including the postseason. He was superb in 2014: 2.02 ERA/0.802 WHIP.

Miller, 29, has turned that one excellent season into a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees.

Is New York gambling? The four-year deal is a risk, of course. But as the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals demonstrated this season, a shutdown bullpen can take you far. Plus the Yankees can afford Miller because their other top reliever – Dellin Betances – is an inexpensive, second-year pro.

DUSTIN RICHARDSON, by the way, is looking for a team. Richardson, 30, who was once with the Sea Dogs (2009), was released by both the Marlins and Atlanta Braves in 2011, then pitched some independent ball. He had been with the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A team the past 1½ seasons (7.06 ERA). He is currently a minor league free agent.

TRIVIA TIME: When Miller was traded from Detroit to the Marlins, what future Red Sox pitcher was included in the deal?

ANSWER: Reliever Burke Badenhop. He pitched for the Marlins, Rays and Brewers before Boston signed him last year. Badenhop is now a free agent.

JON LESTER may have said he would take less to sign with Boston, but the money being talked about now (over $150 million for six years) may be so much more than Boston intended to pay that Lester is likely to pass on a hometown discount.

The Dodgers’ emergence as a team interested in Lester means the bidding will go high. Boston may finish third in the bidding – behind Los Angeles and the Chicago Cubs.

THE YANKEES did not try to re-sign shortstop Stephen Drew but found a cheaper, younger option. The Yankees obtained left-handed hitting shortstop Didi Gregorius, 24, from the Diamondbacks. Gregorius is a solid fielder but has a career .243 batting average in only 191 games.

New York General Manager Brian Cashman said Gregorius may initially platoon with right-handed hitting Brendan Ryan.

To get Gregorius, New York traded starter Shane Greene (5-4, 3.78), who pitched the second half of 2014. Greene was considered a No. 5 starter but his absence does diminish the Yankees’ pitching depth, which was already questionable.

RYAN LAVARNWAY and Tim Federowicz are together again in the same organization. The two were once teammates in Portland (2011) and are now both Dodgers.

Lavarnway, 27, was picked up by the Dodgers last week after Boston designated Lavarnway for assignment to make room for Pablo Sandoval on the 40-man roster.

In 2008, Lavarnway was Boston’s sixth-round draft pick, one round ahead of Federowicz. Their 2011 season in Portland did not last long. Lavarnway was promoted to Pawtucket in June and Federowicz was traded to the Dodgers in July.

When Federowicz and Lavarnway were drafted, Boston selected another catcher in the ninth round. Christian Vazquez is now seen as the present and future catcher for Boston (eventually in tandem with Blake Swihart?).

HEIKER MENESES had just turned 20 when he was first promoted to Portland in 2011. He was a promising infielder who might have moved quickly through the organization. But Meneses’ bat never heated up enough. He bounced up and down between Salem, Portland and Pawtucket. A minor league free agent, Meneses recently signed with Minnesota.

CARLOS RIVERA, one of the two Sea Dogs to reach Boston last year (with Mookie Betts), has been taken off the Mariners’ 40-man roster and is now a free agent. Seattle had claimed Rivera, a third baseman, after the Red Sox removed him from their 40-man roster.

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