Mariners to sign Kevin Millwood
Thanks to a report from the Gaston Gazette, it appears that the Mariners are going to sign RHP Kevin Millwood. Terms of the deal weren’t given, but the report notes that Millwood recently turned down a one-year contract offer from the Colorado Rockies worth $1 million with up to $2 million in incentives. So take that for what it’s worth; the Mariners are likely paying him more! Though it’s possible they’re paying less! There’s no way to know right now!
On to Millwood the pitcher: he’s going to be 37 next year, and is coming off of a season where he posted a 3.55 xFIP in nine starts for the Rockies. He also pitched in the minor leagues for both the Red Sox and Yankees. He only threw 9 innings of 6.64 FIP ball for the Yankees organization, but posted 73.2 innings of a 3.70 FIP for Pawtucket.
Millwood’s profile remains largely the same as it has throughout his career. His average fastball was 89.2 MPH in 2011, down from his career average of 90.7, which is not too bad of a drop considering his age. Millwood is also still a moderate ground ball pitcher–42.4% of his balls in play were on the ground. That’s good. Watching Brendan Ryan field ground balls is good.
On what is likely a cheap, one-year deal, this move really has no downside. Millwood has shown in the past couple of years that he is still a solid back-end option for a rotation. If he remains in the rotation all season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up 1.5-2 WAR. More likely, though, he’ll just be holding Paxton or Hultzen’s place, so the Mariners can keep those two in the minors and not start their service clocks yet. A good low-risk, medium-reward move for Jack Zduriencik and the Mariners.
EDIT, 3:02 pm: It’s a Minor-league deal! Or so says Jon Heyman Absolutely no downside to this.