Mariners Sign Kevin Millwood

The Mariners have signed Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the team announced. Richard Walker of Millwood's hometown newspaper, the Gaston Gazette, first reported the news and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirmed it (Twitter links).

“Kevin brings a great deal of experience as a veteran pitcher and will compete for a spot in our starting rotation,” GM Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. “His leadership and experience will be a benefit for our young pitchers and we look forward to seeing him in Spring Training.”

Millwood, who turned 37 recently, pitched 54 1/3 innings of 3.98 ERA ball for the Rockies in 2011, with a 6.0 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 with a 42.2% groundball rate. He reportedly declined a $1MM contract offer from the Rockies prior to the Winter Meetings in hopes of securing a $3MM guarantee.

Millwood signed a five-year, $60MM contract with the Rangers prior to the 2006 season, and has spent exactly 1,000 innings since that date calling a hitter-friendly ballpark his home (he also pitched at Camden Yards for the Orioles and Coors Field last season). A pitchers' haven like Safeco Field in Seattle will likely benefit the veteran right-hander in 2012.

Millwood, who is represented by Scott Boras, will provide depth in a Mariners rotation that lost Michael Pineda in the Jesus Montero trade. Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, and Hisashi Iwakuma figure to be locks for the rotation, while Millwood, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan, and Charlie Furbush are also candidates. Heyman feels that Millwood has a "good chance" to make the team, and notes that he played for manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis during his Cleveland days.


62 Responses to Mariners Sign Kevin Millwood Leave a Reply

  1. So this evens out to not signing Prince. Watch out, Texas and Anaheim!

  2. michael hughes 3 years ago

    Depth is fine and all but I’ve got to ask is there any Mariners fan who would rather watch Millwood pitch than give a shot to one of the younger pitchers? If they can stash him in the minors as an emergency back up plan that’s great but I wouldn’t want him getting a rotation spot out of spring training even if he out preforms Beavan and Furbush.

    • As a Mariners fan, I assume he will just be holding a spot until June/July or whenever they decide to bring up Hultzen. I really don’t mind the move. I assume Furbush/Beavan will have the chance to beat him out for the rotation spot

      • michael hughes 3 years ago

        I know this sounds weird but I’m a Braves fan first and a M’s fan second. This season looks like it’s going to be a long one, but a promising one for the future as we get to watch Montero, Ackley, Smoak, and Carp develop and hopefully see a little of Nick Franklin as well. But this team isn’t contending and one of the best parts of being a rebuilding team is giving young players with potential a shot to succeed, which is why I’d rather give Furbush and Beavan a shot. Millwood is definitely not part of the team’s future plans but at least Furbush could be. 

        Then again, if Hultzen gets a mid-season call-up I’ll pretty much be happy no matter what.

        • 1. it’s awesome to see someone outside of seattle actually a Mariners fan, one up for you haha
          2. I definitely agree. I think he just gives us some depth just in case Furbush doesn’t figure out how to not give up a home run every start. I’m stoked to see a full healthy year out of Smoak, and see what Carp, Ackley, and Montero can do. It should be a fun year even though we’ll probably still suck

          • vertigoman 3 years ago

            Plenty of M’s fans outside Seattle
            NYC is pretty well represented.

          • urbanamarinerfan 3 years ago

             I disagree I think the Mariners are going to surprise a lot of people this year and at least finish ahead of Oakland.

          • PennMariner 3 years ago

            I think it’s pretty obvious that they’ll finish ahead of Oakland this year…

  3. bigpat 3 years ago

    He pitched well last year and is moving to a pitcher’s park, I like his chances to do an average job of eating innings in Seattle.

  4. Albert enjoys this signing.

  5. Madman2TX 3 years ago

    Rangers to Mariners: “we surrender!”

  6. themightygin 3 years ago

    this is a solid, no risk signing.  He will take the ball and keep you competitive.  Very surprised no one else wanted to give him a guaranteed contract.  

  7. Rainierdad 3 years ago

    I agree…..this is a pretty decent signing. Didn’t overpay, and if he pitches well in spring training, why not? Furbush didn’t do squat last year, so if the bottom two are  Millwood and Beaven, I would be happy with that rotation.

    • $18224393 3 years ago

      Last year, Charlie Furbush:

      -Had a higher strikeout rate than Edwin Jackson
      -Had a lower walk rate than David Price
      -Had a lower contact rate than CJ Wilson
      -Had a league average strike rate
      -Had a lower xFIP than Chad Billingsley

      Which looks totally, awesome, until you realize that he gave up 12 home runs in 12 starts. Furbush did good things last year, and if he can get the homers under control he’ll be a good SP. 

      •  Could of least quoted something you plagerized from another site.

        • $18224393 3 years ago

          ^plagiarized

          Or I could have reasoned that this is the comments section on MLBTR and not a research paper and not thought it fit to cite something that I found on Lookout Landing. 

  8. j.evans91 3 years ago

    Millwood is certainly nothing to get excited about, but he provides insurance in the event that Hultzen, Paxton or Erasmo Ramirez aren’t ready for the majors yet.  He is probably just a placeholder.  

  9. Karkat 3 years ago

    Well that accounts for Pineda? xD

  10. Alex Nelson 3 years ago

    Mariners are a freaking disgrace to professional baseball. They have ownership that doesn’t care and have a front office that makes bone head moves year after year after year after year.. Then they tell the fans of Seattle they are rebuilding… They still haven’t addressed the biggest need. A PROVEN bat. Monetero may be an up and coming bat but I’m talking about someone who is a freaking stud hitter now..

    • goodbyebaseball 3 years ago

      Uh, yeah, ’cause those “freaking stud hitters” are beating down the doors to Safeco field to join the team…

      • That’s unfortunately the way it goes. In Seattle you have to home grow your own “stud” hitters. Here in Texas, we have to home-grow our own pitchers.
        It’s hard to get players to go to a place that doesn’t cater to their abilities.

      • Alex Nelson 3 years ago

        If you throw enough money on the table… Money talks

    • michael hughes 3 years ago

      Really? A disgrace to professional baseball? They finished 85-77 in 2009, just two seasons ago! They’ve only been trying to rebuild for the last year and a half, and if you haven’t realized that takes a long time. They’re more than one big bat away from contending, and besides Prince, the only big bats they could get are through trades. If you haven’t noticed teams don’t exactly like trading a away proven MLB hitters, and the Mariners will not mortgage their farm system and their future for a short term boost in wins that won’t put them over the top.

      • Disgustedfan 3 years ago

        Mariners are a disgrace to baseball. They have gone to the playoffs a grand total of 4 times in their 35 year history and in that time period have spent many of those years in the basement of their division. But not all hope is lost the rangers were the laughing stock of baseball until a few years ago but now their beast same holds true with the rays.

    • Have you payed any attention since Bavasi left?

      It isn’t like they have had much to work with. You do what you can and if it isn’t going to save your team by overpaying for one player then you build from within as they have been. It isn’t like they haven’t been trying for bats either.

  11. john12121212 3 years ago

    Wow Seattle rotation looks awful.

    • Deep&Gone 3 years ago

      Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Erasmo Ramirez will change that. Tai Walker will also say his piece in a couple years. 

      • Jon Melton 3 years ago

        Prospects are nothing more than prospects until they prove themselves in the Majors.

        • sonofsnake 3 years ago

          All Major League all-stars were prospects before they were all-stars.

  12. JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

    I don’t see what the hate is about. He is a career 200 Inning pitcher and a veteran to go along with Felix and a bunch of young starters.

    • Jon Melton 3 years ago

      I know he could be ok and its a minor league deal.

  13. Alex Nelson 3 years ago

    Lol you guys are giving the Mariners way more credit than any of the front office deserves. This is a team who can only draw a crowd by garlic fries and Felix and Ichiro bobble heads.

    • I get this feeling that Alex Nelson is not a Mariners fan.  Just a hunch…

      • harmony55 3 years ago

        Alex Nelson has offered nothing that suggests he is a knowledgeable baseball fan.

  14. lalalalalalalla

  15. westcoastwhitesox 3 years ago

    This is a funny set of comments.  (not sarcasm)

  16. harmony55 3 years ago

    If Kevin Millwood (or Oliver Perez) makes the Seattle rotation, the Mariners would hope that Safeco Field would enhance the starter’s statistics in preparation for the deadline trade for prospects (ala Doug Fister and Erik Bedard last year).

    If Millwood doesn’t make the rotation, little is lost with the minor league contract.

    • AngryFatMan 3 years ago

      No Field can stop Ollie from walking the ballpark.

      And if CitiField couldn’t mask flaws, how is SafeCo going to help.

  17. harmony55 3 years ago

    If Kevin Millwood (or Oliver Perez) makes the Seattle rotation, the Mariners would hope that Safeco Field would enhance the starter’s statistics in preparation for the deadline trade for prospects (ala Doug Fister and Erik Bedard last year).

    If Millwood doesn’t make the rotation, little is lost with the minor league contract.

  18. Wes Whitenack 3 years ago

    Nice vet that gives us some depth and lets the young guys say in the minors and develop. Good Deal.

  19. vertigoman 3 years ago

    Zero risk move. Sure it’d be better to see Hultzen or Paxton even Furbush Beavan.
    But if those guys can’t manage to beat out Millwood, then more time at AAA is probably a good thing

  20. Alex Nelson 3 years ago

    Sooner or later all of us M’s fans get sick of watching good pitchers losing games 2-1 when the entire lineup has gotten 2 hits the entire night.. Ya I know what I’m talking about.

    • jamison_m 3 years ago

      Who brought the Bad News Bear? Somebody give her some effing honey.

  21. JaysNesan 3 years ago

    I am not a Mariners’ fan but I don’t see any valid reason for trading Pineda and subsequently signing Millwood. Montero is not a superstar. You can see atleast 25 other prospects in the same period shown better average, homeruns, and defensive skills than him. Monetro has been boosted as a super star because he played under Yangees’ organization. The media and the scouts are also to be blamed for their bias assessement. The pitching is always a rare commodity. It is very hard to find a good pitcher with high ninty fast ball and with mound presence like Pineda. You can’t get many Pinedo in the world but you can get plenty of hitters like Montero.

  22. When will this guy quit? He was bad in Baltimore and just bounces from team to team. I guess he is battling Edwin Jackson for the award of playing with every team in Major League Baseball.

  23. Josh Gelb 3 years ago

    Kevin Millwood is 3-8 at the Safe with a 5.17 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and a .309 BAA.

    While I agree this is a no risk deal and that it will be good for the kids to learn a thing or two from Millwood..the numbers do not lie.

  24. michael hughes 3 years ago

    As a Braves fan sick of hearing Prado for Delmon Young rumors all offseason I gotta say I love your user name.

  25. Lyndsey Stuart 3 years ago

    Because organizational depth is good?  If one of the 3 youngsters needs to work things out in Tacoma, you have a veteran arm to put in the rotation?  Because Millwood pitched pretty well last year in Colorado of all place?

  26. There’s no possible way we fall below the A’s this year.

  27. michael hughes 3 years ago

    With Montero, Ackley, and hopefully Smoak all having full seasons and getting more MLB experience the M’s offensive core looks a lot stronger than last year’s. They won’t content but I think they’ll actually be surprisingly good.

  28. Disgustedfan 3 years ago

    Uh yea there is. The mariners scored a grand total of 556 runs last year good for last in all of baseball. Even if the addition of montero works out they will probably score around 600 runs which will still make them the worst offense in the AL. Besides King felix there rotation isnt very good. Its going to be a dog fight between the mariners and A’s to who finishes last.

  29. Karkat 3 years ago

    Please go research the word “sarcasm” before commenting, thanks.

  30. Oops, my bad, man. Sarcasm is hard to detect over the Internet, and the sad thing is, there are plenty of commenters who say this and are serious. My apologies.

  31. Not even needing to work things out. But no mariner fan sees the team winning anytime soon. So no need to rush Paxton, Hultzen. May as well bring in low risk Vets and delay the clock on the kids.

  32. alan104 3 years ago

    Is that sarcasm?

  33. Haha, no, it is not.

  34. michael hughes 3 years ago

    Which A’s prospects ranked in Baseball America’s top 15 prospects the last two years? 

    Because Montero was number 4 in 2010 and number 3 in 2011. Ackley was number 11 in 2010 and number 14 in 2011. Finally, Smoak was number 13 in 2010.

  35. themightygin 3 years ago

    So what?  Stay competitive and keep the youngsters service time down so you  have longer control when you are competitive.

  36. I promise you it won’t be close.

  37. vtadave 3 years ago

    Disagree.

    Sincerely,

    Bryce Harper

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