Yankees Close To Signing Kevin Millwood

Kevin MillwoodVia Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated:

Yankees are close to signing Kevin Millwood to an incentive-laden minor-league deal

The Yankees have been eying Millwood ever since Andy Pettitte announced his retirement and it looks like they may have finally landed him. Millwood hasn’t drawn much interest this offseason, but he rejected a minor league offer from the Yankees back in February. The Yankees however remained interested and even went to watch him pitch just over a week ago. Their patience paid off as Millwood, who was holding out for a guaranteed deal worth at least $4 million appears to have caved and is taking what the Yankees are offering.

At this point Millwood has missed most of spring training and will likely have to start the season in Triple-A Scranton where he’ll have to work himself into game shape. Meanwhile the Yankees will still likely start the season with Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon in the rotation with the loser probably getting the longman spot in the bullpen. That likely scenario would probably mean the end of Sergio Mitre‘s days in pinstripes.

It’s hard to love this deal, but it’s hard to hate it as well. Millwood certainly hasn’t pitched well over the past few years, but he has proven to be an able innings eater. Considering that gambling on the health of Colon and Garcia isn’t too smart that’s probably a good thing. The Yankees also didn’t appear to think most of their young prospects are ready for the big leagues at this point as no one with rookie eligibility got much of a look this spring except for Nova.

So signing Millwood seems to be insurance in case somebody goes down with an injury early in the spring or Nova isn’t quite ready for the big leagues. This will also give their minor leaguers more time to develop as they will be much less likely to be rushed to the Bronx in an emergency situation with Millwood on board.

Millwood isn’t a good pitcher, but overall it’s hard to hate this move. It doesn’t cost them anything and it just provides them with an extra level of security. It’s certainly nothing to get excited over though.

What do you think? Tell us about it.

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9 Responses to Yankees Close To Signing Kevin Millwood

  1. Johnny V. says:

    "Millwood certainly hasn’t pitched well over the past few years…"

    He was 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA in 2009. That qualifies as "past few" by any definition.

    • Oh please. He has an ERA of 4.72 over the past four seasons and hasn't thrown even 200 innings since 2006. I don't see how you can sugarcoat that.

    • Mike S. says:

      In three of the past four seasons, Millwood's ERA was 5.00 or higher, 2009 being the exception. He was clocked at 85 or lower when the Yanks saw him. I'm not sold on the move, but on a minor-league incentive-laden deal (and either extended spring training or time at SWB until he is ready) it's not costing them much for a look.

      It may be that the position is "tag teamed" (for lack of a better term) throughout the season. Go with the hot hand, then turn it over when that person burns out. It's a bit risky, and you may have to rely on your hunches, but maybe they go with Colon or Garcia in the beginning until they feel he burns out (conditioning/weather/age/injury/performance/fill in the blank), then on June 1st, someone else (the hot hand) steps in for someone struggling, be it Colon, Garcia, Nova, etc., then that scenario plays out until late July when Cashman scours the market at the trade deadline. Of course, one could pitch well enough to hold the spot all year, but I wonder about that. It could be a bit of a tag-team until the deadline.

  2. Mindkind says:

    Let's just hope he still has those 09' numbers in his arm. Like you said it's not a bad move because it's a minor league deal. Maybe with the added motivation of playing for the Yankees Millwood will at least be an effective 5th starter.

    • Bronx Knight says:

      I'm still trying to understand how he pitched that well in '09, in Arlington, of all places. It's like 5.25 ERA, 5.25 ERA, 3.67, 5.25 ERA. Is there any reason to think he could have a sub-4 ERA again? or even an ERA in the low 4's?

  3. Franco Kotos says:

    The key was signing him to the minor league contract. He originally would not sign anything but a major league deal as most of us know. He might be serviceable but a lot has to go right for him to be effective.

  4. Mike S. says:

    Just in. Yanks traded Mitre to Brewers for lefty-hitting OF Chris Dickerson. Looks like Yanks will keep Nova, Garcia AND Colon.

  5. john says:

    Whats EL Duque up to these days?