Yankees Close To Signing Kevin Millwood

The Yankees are close to signing Kevin Millwood to an "incentive-laden" minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).  Millwood is represented by Scott Boras.

The free agent right-hander has been linked to the Yankees at several points this winter, and turned down a minor league offer from the club last month.  We heard last week that the Yankees offered another minor league deal in the low seven-figure range after watching Millwood in a throwing session, but the veteran was still hoping for a Major League contract in the neighborhood of $4MM.

Though New York has been looking for pitching all winter, the timing of this signing is a bit ironic since it seemed as if the questions about the back of the Yankees' rotation had largely been answered during Spring Training.  Ivan Nova has reportedly locked up the No. 4 spot behind C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett, while either Freddy Garcia or a resurgent Bartolo Colon would be the fifth starter.  Of course, neither Nova, Garcia or Colon are sure things, so it helps the Yankees to have a proven innings-eater like Millwood on the roster.  As Heyman notes in a follow-up tweet, Garcia or Colon will begin the season as the No. 5 starter while Millwood gets into pitching form.

The Yankess will be Millwood's sixth franchise in his 15-year Major League career.  The 36-year-old has thrown at least 168 2/3 innings and made at least 29 starts in all but three of those seasons.  Millwood is coming off a rough year with Baltimore in 2010, when he posted a career-high fly ball rate, a career-low ground ball rate and a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts with the O's.

66 Responses to Yankees Close To Signing Kevin Millwood Leave a Reply

  1. Minor league depth never hurts, but I suppose this means there’s at least two out of the Garcia/Nova/Colon/Mitre bunch that they’re not sure of.

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

      I think it’s just a matter of signing as many low risk options and hoping at least one of them works out.

      • Well if they’re afraid Colon/Garcia will break down in the rotation, I understand that Millwood would at least be able to eat innings while they get someone else, but how long would he actually be willing to stay around on a minor league deal?

        • captainjeter 4 years ago

          Thisis why you don’t believe Cashman when he says that he not looking for pitching or that he has no options.
          At least it is a minor league deal. I don’t like the idea of either Garcia or Colon as the 5th starter or Millwood, but also at least Millwood is an innings eater. But, if the Yankees decide to use him, they better hope he has a better year than he did with the Orioles last year. What did he win for them ? Like 2 games and lost how many ? That makes AJ’s year look like a Cy Young year.

  2. bonestock94 4 years ago

    Oh boy. At least it’s a minor league deal.

  3. Jon 4 years ago


  4. andrewyf 4 years ago

    Does this mean he’ll start in the minors?

  5. TartanElk 4 years ago

    Can this Millwood fellow pitch?

    -B. Cashman

    Yeah, he’s not bad

    -Nameless Yankees Scout

    Hey Cash, I can pitch too!!!!!!

    -Ollie Perez

    Oh Ollie, you just…keep on…doing your thing. If my son needs t-ball practice. I’ll come get you.

    -B. Cashman

    • MetsFanXXIII 4 years ago

      Lame, and Perez has already signed.

      • wickedkevin 4 years ago

        Double fail.

      • TartanElk 4 years ago

        Since when does someone’s current contract status prevent anyone here from doing jokes?


        • wickedkevin 4 years ago

          It doesn’t prevent JOKES. (I’m just a jerk)

          • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

            obvious, we all are on this site

        • MetsFanXXIII 4 years ago

          Censorship was not my intent. I’ll refer you again to the former half of my previous reply.

          • TartanElk 4 years ago

            Eh. As much as we try, not everything can be a gem. Just like an Ollie Perez start AMIRITE?

  6. jamincito 4 years ago

    damn all these spring traning for nothing

  7. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Can he pitch?
    -B. Cashman

  8. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Buck Showalter approves of this message.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Showalter already said he was taken out of context… Of course everyone who regrets what they’ve said say they’ve been taken out of context.

      Funny… I’ve only just seen the Orioles as the pathetically run organization of the AL East. Now with Showalter I actually have a reason to dislike them. I hope he enjoys 5th place.

      • dawgpaddlez 4 years ago

        the article i read said showalter said he wished he wouldve toned down his comments..but he at no point backed off of them or denied saying them in any way..what article did you read that he said he was taken out of context?

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          boston dot com. Not the greatest news source… or most reliable. But still, Showalter is less than intelligent (see, I’m pretending to be nice).

          • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

            he is a motivator not a philosopher after all he worked for espn

  9. Braydon Gervais 4 years ago

    This is quite amusing. I’m truly scared…ahaaaa this is going to be a good year Go Red Sox.

  10. phoenix2042 4 years ago

    I think the yanks would be best served to release mitre and then use colon out of the bullpen. he has shown good stuff in ST, but i don’t think he can go to 100 pitches or throw too many innings this year. he can be a long reliever and a spot starter, and maybe maintain his increased velocity and K rate if he maxes out at 50 pitches instead of 100. and that will decrease concerns over his conditions and durability because he won’t be called upon to shoulder (as it were) a starter’s workload.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I think people look for too much meaning in spring training. It’s more about seeing what place the kids should be in the minors and for teams with rosters mostly set, who should win the 25th man spot. Other than that, predictable players will react predictably.

      • phoenix2042 4 years ago

        for a player like millwood or garcia, i completely agree that they will react predictably. they are both 3 runs in 6 innings every start type of guys, and there is value in that. i think the unpredictability comes from relative unknowns such as colon who has not pitched in the majors in a couple years and is working hard to get back, or nova who is a rookie looking to break in. that’s the importance of spring training in my opinion.

        • wickedkevin 4 years ago

          Colon also has a tendency to just sort of disappear.

          • LifeLongYankeeFan 4 years ago

            Colon and disappear in the same sentence there’s a first lol.

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Yeah, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find him.

          • ellisburks 4 years ago

            Look, he’s hiding behind that elephant!

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          Except I doubt yanks fans will still be happy about Colon in June and Nova was pretty much already guaranteed a rotation spot.

  11. bamf9 4 years ago

    Red sox haven’t made the playoffs in two years. And the yanks are better off this ye than last

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      0 out of 2

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      “Red sox haven’t made the playoffs in two years.”

      Ummm, what? I’d retake preschool math if I were you.

      • MetsFanXXIII 4 years ago

        Preschoolers do math? Man, I got gypped.

        • Probably 1+1=2 and stuff, but really all you need to know is how to count to figure out how many times the Red Sox made the playoffs the past two seasons.

      • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

        yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee shezel

  12. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Why didn’t Millwood sign earlier? At least that way, he could have displayed what he had to offer in spring training in hopes of making the team.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      trying to squeeze out the best deal?

      • andrewyf 4 years ago

        Instead the only deal he squeezed out belongs in a toilet.

  13. dickylarue 4 years ago

    It’s a great depth move. In a month teams will be digging in the dirt for a guy like Millwood to come in and throw innings for them. The Yankees are smart to load up in case Nova/Garcia/Colon struggle or if AJ Burnett is not better than he was last year. They’re not asking Millwood to win 18 games or replace Pettitte. They are, however, giving the team as many options as possible so they don’t rush the young arms who all have inning limitations this season. I like how the Yankees are covering their bases and they haven’t made a panic move yet.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I agree. There are no front of rotation guys to be had and there’s no reason to rush any of the kids. Sign as many of these guys to minorlge deals and let the season sort things out.

  14. iheartyourfart 4 years ago

    I have to admit, the back half of the yanks’ rotation doesn’t look THAT bad. I always liked Nova, and a combo of Millwood/Colon/Garcia in the 5th and swingman spots is better than what a lot of playoff teams have got. FIP and xFIP had Millwood and Garcia posting Joe Blanton-esque seasons in 2010. Heck, they’ve all been performing on par with what the Red Sox have gotten out of the 5 spot anyway.
    The whole idea of a #5 starter is kind of a misnomer as the majority of teams will end up using at least a few guys in that spot over the course of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if all 3 guys made starts in 2011 at some point while the yanks decide who is going to be the best fit until playoff time, when they will all inevitably be left off the roster.

    The first three spots are what wins in the playoffs. the 2011 versions of CC/Burnett/Hughes seem likely to outperform 2009’s CC/Burnett/Pettite. The yankees are always built for the playoffs… the question is just whether the pitching can give them what they need during the regular season.

  15. MB923 4 years ago

    Ehh, just for backup in case Colon or Garcia do bad and breakdown. This wouldn’t be as bad as an Ollie minor league signing.

  16. Tirameenlasbolas 4 years ago

    Cheap, no risk, minor league. Approved!

  17. The most sensible thing to do would be release Mitre, but I see Colon as a kind of time bomb that won’t last the season.

  18. bonestock94 4 years ago

    It’s gotta be depth only, I don’t think this necessarily has major league implications immediately. If Colon, Garcia, or Nova bomb out then maybe we’ll see him.

  19. They don’t trust Colon’s conditioning or his lack thereof.

  20. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Not sure what your basing this on. I’m pretty sure that Garcia and Colon were both signed to minor league deals for less than $1.5mil if they made the majors. Both are easily disposable if they no longer served a purpose.

    Milwood was signed to a minor lge deal as well and will probably need minor lge time to get ready since he hasn’t been in camp w/ anyone.

    If anyone should be shown the door it’s Mitre. If Garcia is willing to be the long-man,which what has been said, then I can see Colon starting off as the #5, Garcia as the longman and Milwood in AAA until he’s needed.

  21. NickinIthaca 4 years ago

    Or Nova’s ability to last through the season?

  22. The way I see it, they’ve got four battling for three: Two starters and a long reliever. Mitre is all but gone, so that leaves three in three spots, obviously they don’t have enough faith in one of them to offer Millwood seven figures.

  23. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Unofficialy Nova has won the 4th spot.

  24. Hey YFS78, haven’t talked to you in a while. Always a pleasure.

    That means they’ve got Colon, Garcia, Mitre, and now Millwood for one starter spot and one long-relief. I have to assume Mitre is gone, and Millwood starts the season in the minors, so I can only assume Colon will start in the rotation and they see how he lasts getting farther into games, then.

  25. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Hey dude, how are you? Yeah, that’s my guess. COlon as a starter and Garcia in the pen with Milwood in AAA. Mitre should be released all together though. Not sure where Prior will fit in though if Garcia is the long man. The pen will be at 7 if they have Garcia there and he’s had a decent spring. He might opt out if he has that in his deal.

  26. johnsilver 4 years ago

    With you there YFS78.. Get the few good starts out of Colon that you can before he breaks down, which will allow more time to gauge the market for available starters and also get “meatball express” Millwood into as good of a MLB shape as he is going to get and maybe a few starts before they can swing a deal for something far better.

    Signing this guy on a minor league deal is certainly no worse than trading for Slowey, who is the exact same thing, especially with the Twins rumored to be wanting Chamberlain for him which is an atrocious price.

    Here’s to hoping Chamberlain makes a comeback in the BP next year from a Sox fan even…

  27. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    so youre saying the yankees didnt cave to millwoods 4 million dollar demand , well played cashman

  28. Scooby 4 years ago

    His pitching ability in the big leagues is still a question mark obviously. Nova did last year pitch about 180 innings between the Yankees and the minors so I don’t think they’re that much concerned about his durability.

  29. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Mattingly!! I thought I told you to shave those sideburns!!!

  30. dickylarue 4 years ago

    I actually agree with blackcourt here. I don’t see anything to lead me to believe that CC/AJ/Hughes will outperform CC/AJ/Pettitte from 2009. Since 2009, AJ was one of the worst starting pitchers in the game last year and Hughes faded after the all star break and is still trying to learn secondary pitches.

    Andy was a great starter in 2009 and AJ was a far better pitchers than he was last season.

    I think the original poster is being a little optimistic thinking that trio are going to be better than 09. That said, the Yankees have made the back end of the rotation stronger than it was last season. They will not accept or live with the seasons AJ and Javy put out last year and they have a multitude of options. If the back end of the rotation beats the one from last year, the team will and should improve.

    They’ve also given themselves enough depth to cover AJ if he decides to pitch poorly again. They will not put up with another season from him like last years. He’ll be shoved into the pen if in his first 10 starts he repeats what he did the previous year.

  31. Prior is pretty used to being in the minors, so I figure he’d stay. Mitre is a horrible spot sparter and barely serviceable longman, which they dond’t need. So the way I see it:

    Colon: #5 Starter
    Garcia: Longman
    Millwood: Backup for the inevitable Colon fallout.
    Prior: Hoping to catch lightning in a bottle even though it struck like eight years ago.

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