Kevin Millwood is looking for a $4-5MM payday, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). That's significantly more than some teams are willing to consider, though Millwood does have a number of potential suitors. Here's a quick recap of clubs with potential interest:
- Even after signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, the Yankees remain in contact with Millwood. Now that Andy Pettitte is set to retire, the Yankees could pursue him.
- The Indians, who could use rotation depth, inquired about Millwood. The Tribe is working to sign Jeremy Bonderman and might not have room in the budget for both players. Cleveland had interest in Millwood as recently as this past weekend, so it's too early to rule out a reunion.
- Millwood is open to re-signing with the Orioles, who just added Justin Duchscherer and won't have much room in their rotation if their new acquisition is healthy.
- The Royals are a possibility for Millwood. They have added Jeff Francis and re-signed Bruce Chen since trading Zack Greinke, but could still use rotation depth.
- The Rockies had interest in Millwood earlier in November. Even then, he was one of the team's secondary targets.
- Though the Mariners have Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Luke French, Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them add an innings eater for the right price.
There should be interest in Millwood, who has averaged 31 starts per season since joining the Braves' rotation in 1998. As he works to secure his client a Major League deal worth a few million dollars, agent Scott Boras will likely remind teams of Millwood's durability and point out that the right-hander spent last season in the tough AL East.
On the surface, Millwood's 2010 looked a lot like Rodrigo Lopez's and Atlanta recently signed Lopez to a minor league deal. Lopez, 35, is just a year younger than Millwood and the pitchers posted similar numbers last year. Millwood's ERA was slightly higher than Lopez's (5.10 vs. 5.00) and Lopez walked fewer batters (3.1 BB/9 vs. 2.5 BB/9). Millwood posted a career-low ground ball rate and a career-high fly ball rate in hitter-friendly Camden Yards and allowed 30 homers, while Lopez surrendered a league-leading 37 homers.
Boras has found a number of surprising contracts for his clients this offseason, so there's no reason to assume he can't find $4-5MM for Millwood. I'm guessing Boras' pitch will revolve around dependability, since that stands out more than Millwood's other stats.