Cubs Release Kevin Millar

The Cubs released first baseman Kevin Millar, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  The Cubs will go with Chad Tracy for a corner infield bench role instead.  Tracy made more sense, given his ability to back up Aramis Ramirez at third base.

Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year, playing 386.6 innings at first base.  In an article Sunday, ESPN's Jim Reeves said Millar is on the Rangers' watch list.  However, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes today that the Rangers are not interested.


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54 Comments on "Cubs Release Kevin Millar"


Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

valpohistory
5 years 4 months ago

Seconded. He’s a funny guy and good teammate, but he is not good at baseball anymore.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

To that I would also add, PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zumi10
5 years 4 months ago

gasp! Did Suzysman and crunchy just agree on something?!?!?

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

overall, there is very little we dont agree on. Do you not know the difference between conversation and arguments?

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

LOL…actually I think we agree on far more things than we disagree on. But when we disagree, it’s usually a doozy. We’re both not the type to give in easily!

Zumi10
5 years 4 months ago

Alright, alright. It’s just in the last 2 Cubs articles… Sheesh!

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Wonderful, looks like now MLBnetwork will have another “analyst” to play around with Harold Reynolds. You know…. playing with stacks of paper and a plethora of pens all around.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

why he was doing better than Chad Tracy

CrisE
5 years 4 months ago

Chad expressed a willingness to loiter at third base carrying a glove.

ELPinchy
5 years 4 months ago

Millar is terrible enough at 1B, I spent most of 04 screaming at him through the TV for how much he sucked.

I’d honestly pay to watch him at 3B…as long as it wasnt a team I liked. It would be so horrifically bad that it would have to be hilarious (except for that teams fans).

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

I did not think Millar would stick.

Glad to see Hoffpauir was sent down and Tracy stuck around.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

You seem to have more faith in the judgment of those in charge then I.

Logic of course says Millar would not make the club. But after comments (from Lou) like this
“We like chemistry, we like for this team to be loosey-goosey and have fun. [Millar] fits in all of those categories … We’ll see how this thing works out. He’s actually performed well in camp, and we enjoy having him.”
Well, logic was clearly in a heated race with pure insanity

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Hello Suzysman!

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

“You seem to have more faith in the judgment of those in charge then I.

I have nothing but faith in management and in their abilities to make the right call. There is no reason why any fan should question Cub leadership. Ha! My nose grew!

Seriously, I thought Millar was there to keep spring training loose, but would not make the club. Hendry and Pinella can not afford to make such an obvious mistake like keeping Millar’s roster spot. Now if it was even a year ago, I can’t say that decision would be the same without the new sheriff in town. Though questionable on the roster in the first place, in the end, it worked out for a few spots. Millar, Parisi, Blanco, Hoffpauir ended up being the right moves sent out. There are other moves that will have to work their way out in the first half.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

This is one of the better offensive benches we’ve had in my memory. Although none would be great as full-time players: Nady, Tracy, Baker, and Colvin are pretty decent bats for spot starts. We’re far more equipped to deal with injury than we were last year.

madduxfan
5 years 4 months ago

too bad our defense sucks especially on the bench. Nady should start the season on the DL and Fuld should stay. For now Nady is NL DH and he is not hitting either

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

True…other than Colvin subbing for Soriano and maybe Hill subbing for Soto, there aren’t any guys on the bench who can upgrade the defense when they come in.

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

I hope Colvin can hit a little. I know spring training is not the real story, but if he can get some ABs and make contact, that would really help the left side. If’s and more if’s.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

Spring likely is the real deal for Colvin though – that is, absolutely no patience or discipline with a complete dependency on BAbip.

I mean, he is just the 5th OF and merely keeping Fuld away so its not like he really needs to hit much at all. But I dont expect him to hit a lick in 2010 and really expect he and Fuld will swap spots in a month or so with a caption of “Colvin sent down for development reasons”.

Speaking of Iowa, I really hope they came up with a new, strict training guide for the hitters down there which will ideally help at least some of our high-DPs with their inability to take a pitch. And really, its kind of ironic when you think about it. We have a system full of hitters that cant take a walk while is there a single pitcher in the high minors who can throw a strike on command? Dont the two groups communicate at all? Wouldnt the hitters be able to learn from the mistakes of the pitchers? Or is that why all our pitchers throw so many balls – they expect the other clubs hitters to swing like ours would?

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

I wrote something similar about Colvin on my puny little blog the other day. Until he develops patience and/or 30 homer power, his upside is as a 4th outfielder right now. I didn’t see the same kind of behavior at the plate this spring as I did with Starlin Castro. Whereas Castro takes a lot of bad pitches and often makes contact with the first good pitch he sees, Colvin swings at a lot of pitches until he makes contact. I saw more than his share of bouncing groundball singles between 1st and 2nd on the hard Arizona ground. There’s no doubt the 25 lbs he put on has made him stronger and he has learned to turn on pitches…but good MLB pitchers will exploit his aggressiveness and neutralize that to some degree. I think the CHONE projections on Colvin are more realistic as to what we should expect from him this year.

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

There is no doubt your assesment on Colvin is correct. As I posted above, I hope he can become a good bench player. The problem is, he is at an age where his habits are there…good or bad. It is not often guys all of a sudden change their game. At this point, they usually fine tune what they have and make the most of it. Bad plate discipline is something that ‘is what it is’ type of thing. I see the same thing with Vitters. In his case, he needs to quite relying on the fact he can hit a bad ball and learn to take a pitch here and there. Again, I don’t see that changing much, either.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

I think he can be a good bench player, even this year. He runs and fields better than I expected. I’m hoping I’m wrong about Colvin in that he won’t be a star…or even a good starter in the bigs. He was pretty raw when he was drafted and he’s made most of his progess this past year and a half. He could be a late bloomer…it’s just that lack of plate discipline that keeps me from being overly optimistic. It will always put a limit on upside, even with that sweet swing and solid tools across the board. I think he can surpass those CHONE projections, based on the adjustments and physical improvements he made over the offseason..it will also help if Lou plays him with favorable matchups…but I don’t think he’ll surpass it by a whole lot. Hopefully, I’m wrong!

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I have no unrealistic thoughts for Colvin. I see the same holes. My hope is he can become a nice bench player. Any time I see a bench player with his bad plate coverage, it usually does not bode well though. As far as the minor system and pitchers throwing strikes and hitters taking a pitch, please start ASAP. Ricketts is taking a year to evaluate the front office. I get that and understand it. I am itching to see what changes happen. We all know the recent approach is not so much.

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

Yes, it should be a offensive upgrade on the bench…at least on paper. The weak defense at SS will play out. You know they can’t wait to get a certain someone up there after a couple months in AAA for service time/experience reasons. Then the decision on the Fonteno/Baker platoon will need to be made once Theriot slides over.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

“Hendry and Pinella can not afford to make such an obvious mistake like keeping Millar’s roster spot.”

Yeah, unless its the 10MM rubber-armed blimp we have slated for the 4th spot in the rotation, right

:(

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

My fear there is coming true. I suspected if he pitched juuuuuuust good enough, they would keep him around. It will be that way all year unless he is outright bad over a long stretch. If he pitches good…decent every once in a while, he will stick. Ehh!

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I doubt this will turn out well. I am on the fence about him really winning the job in spring though – with his gigantic salary, I kind of feel like they had planned on giving him a spot almost no matter what.

Still upset about that trade though! Really dont understand why they didnt pull the trigger on Burrell, passed on Nady and instead spent that money on a pitching upgrade. Especially now that somehow Nady has found a way to become even less valuable in the field then Pat the Bat! Funny how the seemingly impossible is almost what we should expect with our club :(

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

I think part of the reason we didn’t make that Tampa trade is that we would have had to pay out a lot of money – up to 15M according to some reports. It would have depleted our budget and prevented us from making any other moves. The Cubs received money in the Silva trade. I don’t think it was a coincidence that moments after picking up thre 6M, the Cubs went out and signed Marlon Byrd. We could have gotten Burrell, but it would likely have been our only addition outside of the minor league signings.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

There was only a 11 MM difference (the 2011 cost of Bradley) in the salary of the two to begin with – they both made 9 MM in 2010. At worst we would have been picking up 11 MM for 2011, and if TB was willing to pick up absolutely any of that cost themselves then it was going to be getting close to the 6MM we will be paying Silva next season now.

Or put it this way. The Rays were rumored to at least be willing to pay 3 MM of the 2011 cost (maybe more, but we will use that number for argument sake). That leaves us with this

Cubs cost:
2010 – 9 MM for Burrell
2011 – 8 MM sunk

instead we ended up with this:
2010 – 8 MM for Silva
2011 – 6 MM for Silva

Its only a 3 MM salary difference overall in a 1MM/2MM split. And really, we could have instantly saved more then that by non-tendering Fontenot if we were that hard pressed for the cash… But remember, that is assuming TB was willing to pay as little as 3 MM in 2011 and for all we know they would have paid Bradley up to 5MM next season, creating a zero difference for 2011 and only 1 MM difference overall.

It wasnt money that tied up that deal – management told us they didnt really want Burrell because he is pretty much a DH. Instead they likely spent about the same amount of cash to bring in a pitcher no one wants and then went out and overpaid on a … wait for it … DH!

Oh, and the reason we instantly signed Byrd was because there was finally a set opening in the OF. Prior to trading Bradley the team had to leave open the possibility of receiving an OF in return (or -gasp- keeping Bradley) that possibly changed their targets. Specifically I am thinking of Rowand and Byrnes – two players rumored to be possible fits in a deal, one of which was since released so was clearly easily available. If Rowand was the return then its a guarantee we would have never signed Byrd. If Byrnes was the return then I imagine we likely would have gone with one of the riskier CF we were looking at (Ankiel or -gasp- Pods)

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

The Cubs got 3.5M in 2010 for Silva. So even in that scenario you laid out, it was still an extra 2.5M for this years budget. That’s not chump change when you’re trying to scrap together enough money to add players with a freeze on spending. Everything I’ve read about Tampa ranged from the Cubs paying the entire 2011 salary for Bradley to the Cubs pitching in up to 15m, in which case they would have had to pay Burrell 9m + 15m, a total of 24M or a 3M additional hit on their budget over the next two years. It’s hard to say because we don’t know for certain what figures were discussed, but I can see an argument for the Burrell deal if Tampa was willing to deal under the scenario you laid out.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

“The Cubs got 3.5M in 2010 for Silva. So even in that scenario you laid out, it was still an extra 2.5M for this years budget”

Not sure where you get that man. We are paying Silva 11.5 million in 2010, 3.5 Million of which Seattle is sending us. That is a cost of 8 MM out of our pocket. Meaning we saved just 1 MM by removing the 9 MM of Bradley and replacing him with the 8 MM cost of Silva.

“Everything I’ve read about Tampa ranged from the Cubs paying the entire 2011 salary for Bradley to the Cubs pitching in up to 15m”

Link? Because no where is there such a foolish proposal that I can find other then some people talking about possible incentives Bradley could reach which would stand the remote chance of pushing Bradleys contract up to the 15MM range. Otherwise, since day one it was reported that only 2011 money was discussed and that TB was willing to pay some, but only a small portion of the 2011 commitment to Bradley – as I said, rumored to be 3 MM of the 2011 Bradley cost. Their stance since day one was one of “we want to be able to release him at any time with minimal financial hit”. Which is why we had constant reports like this:
“Is it $3 million they’re willing to pay? Is it $6 million? Whatever it is, you can assume it is sufficiently low enough that the Cubs are desperately trying to find another suitor. So Rays officials sit and wait.” (reported on Dec 10, 9 days before the trade)

No where is there any statement saying the Rays wanted the Burrell contract gone plus 15 MM on top of it. Thats a joke, it makes absolutely no sense as not a single team would pay an additional 3 MM to get rid of someone they could just as easily release for the set amount. If TB has said “give us 3 MM and pay the full salary” we would have hung up the phone on day one; not be in constant negotiations with them.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

I remember the 15M figure being thrown out somewhere. Don’t feel like looking though…I’m in the middle of reading “The Master and Margarita” outside on my porch and I don’t feel like pulling myself away right now…great book, by the way.

I doubt that Hendry refused to take similar money and a better player. It seems a little cynical to me. Hendry said this was the most money he could get out of any deal. I have no reason to believe he would be dishonest about that. I also prefer Nady to Burrell as a 4th outfielder, anyway…at least he still can move a bit and eventually throw. Soriano and Burrell at the corners against lefties?…they may as well put the Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse statues out there :)

Zumi10
5 years 4 months ago

Ya see, this is what I was talking about with you guys. Suzysman always says something will destroy the team and crunchy tries to be an optimist (kind of).

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

Burrell is basically a DH. I still don’t like the sound of that one. But Nady might well turn out to be a DH. Wonderful!

studio179
5 years 4 months ago

I did not mind Nady at all. However, even though we knew his surgery would limit him, I did not think it was this bad. Sure, it was an overpay. I expected that. Now I am wondering where that money could have been better spent. I don’t like the feeling I am getting about his playing time or lack thereof it. But that’s ok, we have Hoffpauir waiting in the wings if Nady can’t play much this year. Yikes!

Threat_Level_RedSox
5 years 4 months ago

he should just sign a one day contract with the sox, he’s most remembered for “cowboy Up” and being one of the ‘Idiots’. He sould get his own show he’s got one hell of a personality and that the only reason he’s had a job the last 3 years.

ELPinchy
5 years 4 months ago

No,He sucks and I hope he never gets another second of airtime.

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

Wooooohooo! So much for my theory that the Cubs were engaging in an elaborate sociology experiment. The Cubs are going with the better fit rather than a designated personality. Good baseball decision. For today at least, there is joy in Wrigleyville.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

I honestly think the only thing that saved us from the insanity choice is the injury Ramirez sustained last season. Lou wanted him bad! And that makes me cringe when coupled with the whole “we shower together” statement of Millar the other day! :S

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

At first I thought this was a harmless spring training signing. Then I started getting worried because I never expected it to get this far. I was still leaning toward Tracy until that day that Lou said that Tracy needs to start smacking the ball around…and it dawned on me that Millar actually has a good shot at cracking the roster. Then, as of this morning I became resigned to the idea that it was going to be Millar…in fact, even Millar thought it was going to be Millar.

I think you’re right in that Lou really wanted Millar. There were some teammates who felt the same way. Thankfully, somehow logic prevailed. We’re still a little thin at SS at the big league level, but we have solid backups now at LF and 3b, the positions manned by our most injury-prone players. All in all, I’m happy with this bench.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

Nah, you know that as soon as his signing was announced I feared this. Sure you all tried to talk me into believing he was like 7th or 8th on the PH/corner-IF chart, but look what happened – he was neck and neck for 2nd!

Anyway, I believe Lou kind of had it in his mind that it was Millars job to lose while others were probably trying to tell him that the Ramirez injury possibility was too big of a risk. Like you said, they were kind of hard on Tracy with the expectations and appearance of him having to strive to earn a spot. Meanwhile Millar was seemingly getting a complete free pass to skate on through with his big mouth and complete lack of ability.

I think we narrowly dodged a huge bullet today

crunchy1
5 years 4 months ago

The weird thing is, from what I’ve read, it seems that it was Hendry’s decision to keep Tracy over Millar. I like Lou, but you should really not rely on your manager too much when it comes to making your team. Managers tend to like guys that make the managing people/personalities part of their job easier…and I think that’s part of the reason you get strange pickups like the spunky Aaron Miles and the near addition of Kevin Millar.

Another strange Hendry development was that he decided that James Russell (he was on my early list of bullpen arms I liked!) has made the team and that he’s better suited for the reliever role than anyone he can acquire in a trade.

What’s going on here? Hendry pulls the plug on Millar AND the need to acquire an expensive mediocre reliever coming off a career year? Did you drive down to Arizona and have a chat with Mr.Hendry? :)

ReverendBlack
5 years 4 months ago

Oh no! … what about the CLUBHOUSE!?!?

nictonjr
5 years 4 months ago

Did Jim Hendry just make a good baseball decision??? Will wonders never cease. He’ll probably re-sign to a $10 mil deal tomorrow…

mrcoach00
5 years 4 months ago

Edit: $10 mil, multi-year, back-loaded contract with no trade clause

5 years 4 months ago

Why did this clown continue to get free passes his whole career when he SCABBED in 94?

dansaint
5 years 4 months ago

He won over the players with his attitude. Was a great clubhouse guy and everyone loved him. Don’t let the whole “scab” thing cloud your judgment. Almost every player has always said great things about Kevin.

dansaint
5 years 4 months ago

MLB Network…give this man a call. He’d be a wonderful addition to the MLB Tonight cast with Wild Thing and Joe Magrane

Jman1213
5 years 4 months ago

Will this be the end for America’s Favorite Scab?

I’m guessing if he can’t land an MLB job, he’ll get a gig with ESPN, TBS, or MLB Network.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

No the Rangers wouldn’t be a good fit. They need more middle infielders.

valpohistory
5 years 4 months ago

I hope he makes a squad, I’m just jubilant it wasn’t the Cubs.

5 years 4 months ago

if the white sox want a corner infielder why dont they go after joe crede. he is good defensively, can hit and is probably going to be cheap seeing how his options are running low. millar is old!!!

foxtown
5 years 4 months ago

The White Sox roster is set. They are not in the market for a backup corner infielder.