Rumors: Yankees Definitely Interested in Millwood if Pettitte Retires

Via Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:

According to a baseball source, Boras has pitched 36-year-old right-hander Kevin Millwood as a possible rotation stopgap in the event Andy Pettitte doesn’t come back — and the Yankees have at least listened.

The topic, I am told, even came up again at the Wednesday afternoon meeting in which Boras and Yankees GM Brian Cashman were hammering out the Jones deal. “They’re definitely interested in Millwood, but they’re obviously going to wait to see what Pettitte does,” the source said. “They certainly are not dismissing the idea by any means. They need innings and Millwood can at least give them innings. Really, they don’t have much choice.”

We’re just about a month away until pitchers and catchers have to report to spring training and Pettitte has to make a decision soon. Even if he is not going to comeback, he has to let the Yankees know what he’s going to do. He has told them to go on making their moves and not to let his decision effect them, but there is no way to really do that.

At this point, considering the other options available, the Yankees seem comfortable with letting Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre battle over the fifth spot. They would obviously prefer not to just hand them each a spot in the rotation though. That’s where Millwood and Pettitte come in. If Pettitte doesn’t come back it seems possible that they’ll turn to Millwood as their no. 2 option. Either way, they need one of those two players.

Millwood, 36, is not an exceptionally good pitcher anymore. He has put up ERA’s over 5.00 in three of the last four years, but at least he’s capable of putting up close to 200 innings unlike the rest of the pitchers still available.

The biggest problem I have with Millwood is that if the Yankees give him close to $10 million, they will feel pressure to use him in the rotation no matter how bad he is. If they sign somebody like Freddy Garcia it would be for significantly less dollars. Meaning that if he sucks they won’t feel compelled to keep going to him and could call up a rookie from the minor leagues. Other than that, he’s probably the best pitcher still available.

What do you think? Should the Yankees sign Millwood? Or are the other options more attractive at this point?

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13 Responses to Rumors: Yankees Definitely Interested in Millwood if Pettitte Retires

  1. Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

    Before I'd pay Millwood $10 million I'd rather the Yankees roll guys out of triple A and see who can handle it.

  2. Franco Kotos says:

    no way you pay Millwood $10 mil…

  3. Bronx Knight says:

    Oh please please Andy come back please please please.

  4. Bronx Knight says:

    And so with Kevin Millwood joining Andruw Jones, the Yankees have become the 1998 Atlanta Braves.

    I can see a deal here if it's massively laden with incentives. I don't mind paying him $10M if he pitches like he did with Texas in 2009 (3.67 ERA over 198 IP — how did he pitch so well that year, anyway?). Otherwise, no thanks.

  5. Mike S. says:

    Millwood worries me, one reason the one I gave previously, and which you touched upon. Three out of the last four years 5.00 ERA or higher.

    I know beggars can't be choosy, but ….

    The last three years, Millwood earned $10.4, $12.9 and $12 million.

    He went 26-36, 4.58. Average year, 9-12, 4.58. If he averaged almost $12MM over the last three years, no way should he get that, or even $10MM, now. He is coming off a 5.10 ERA year and a year where he led the AL in losses with 16.

    $10 MM? No way. If Andy doesn't return, wait out Millwood. $6MM, lots of incentives, max. Hold the line. Make him drop his price.

    Going even further back, over the last five years, 52-62, 4.67. ERA+ 96. Average year 10-12. Slightly below average.

    Drum THAT into Boris and let him know you will pay slightly BELOW average for a slightly BELOW average pitcher.

    Hold the line.

  6. Franco Kotos says:

    Millwood could have a good season but he's not worth shelling out the $$$ for…there are too many other possibilities at considerably lower costs…screw Boras!

  7. Franco Kotos says:

    I'm also wondering if it's more known that Pettite is retiring which could possibly make the Yankees appear more desperate if he did announce his retirement…

  8. Joe says:

    Can someone please tell me where the 10 million price tag was read ??? I would not pay him that much but I think 7-8 for 1 year isn’t a bad deal for the Yankee’s right now. The guy is a work horse and the Yankee’s need some innings eaten bad.

    No way he will come cheaper then 7-8 million, that’s just what decent starters are going for these days.

    I’m no to confident going into 2011 with Nova and Mitre and #4-#5, at least we can throw more to the wall with Millwood aboard.

    • $10 million was just speculation on my part. He definitely won't make that much, but with Scott Boras as his agent you never know. He'll certainly be asking for a lot.

  9. Dave says:

    I can see a 7-10 range for him, but hoepfully on the lower end of that. Millwood has great potential– I just worry about him as a guy who tends to give up the long-ball pitching in Yankee Stadium– he proved that pitching in Camden Yards. He would be a great stop-gpa to get to July with and give Nova the chance to be the #5 instead of the 4 too.

    • highlander64 says:

      i agree, if you're looking at last year, you stay far away but Millwood on a good team could step up his game…he's not a great choice but this isn't a buyers market…