The Rangers signed Kevin Millwood today to a four year deal with an option for the fifth year, the Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. MSNBC is reporting that the deal is worth $60MM over five years and the fifth year vests based on innings pitched. The signing is vaguely reminiscent of the five-year pact given to Chan Ho Park after his stellar age 28 season. Upon joining Texas, Park saw his walk, home run, and hit rates shoot up dramatically. He pitched only 380 innings for the Rangers.
The revamped Rangers rotation will include Millwood, Adam Eaton, Vicente Padilla, and a couple of holdovers. The Rangers don’t seem to be considering right-hander Joaquin Benoit for a rotation spot, and he might make a very good pickup for a team in need of a cheap starter with upside.
According to component ERA, Millwood’s career best 2.86 ERA should’ve actually been more like 3.40. That ranks just above Jon Garland. Component ERA takes a pitcher’s walks, hits, and homers allowed to compute an ERA without factoring in luck or defense.
Millwood has averaged 185 innings over the last three seasons. Health will be a major concern for Texas’s pitching staff in 2006, as Adam Eaton has averaged 170 and Vicente Padilla is at 157. One positive note is that Millwood is above average in home run prevention.