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.


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62 Comments on "Mariners Sign Kevin Millwood"


3 years 7 months ago

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

michael hughes
3 years 7 months 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.

3 years 7 months ago

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 7 months 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.

3 years 7 months ago

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 7 months ago

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

urbanamarinerfan
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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

bigpat
3 years 7 months 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.

3 years 7 months ago

Albert enjoys this signing.

Madman2TX
3 years 7 months ago

Rangers to Mariners: “we surrender!”

themightygin
3 years 7 months 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.  

Rainierdad
3 years 7 months 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 7 months 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. 

3 years 7 months ago

 Could of least quoted something you plagerized from another site.

$18224393
3 years 7 months 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. 

j.evans91
3 years 7 months 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.  

Karkat
3 years 7 months ago

Well that accounts for Pineda? xD

Alex Nelson
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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

3 years 7 months ago

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.

goodbyebaseball
3 years 7 months ago

Exactly

Alex Nelson
3 years 7 months ago

If you throw enough money on the table… Money talks

michael hughes
3 years 7 months 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 7 months 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.

3 years 7 months ago

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.

john12121212
3 years 7 months ago

Wow Seattle rotation looks awful.

Deep&Gone
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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

sonofsnake
3 years 7 months ago

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

JacobyWanKenobi
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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

Alex Nelson
3 years 7 months 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.

3 years 7 months ago

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

harmony55
3 years 7 months ago

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

Astromariner
3 years 7 months ago

I know, those garlic fries are good!

3 years 7 months ago

lalalalalalalla

westcoastwhitesox
3 years 7 months ago

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

harmony55
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

No Field can stop Ollie from walking the ballpark.

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

harmony55
3 years 7 months 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.

Wes Whitenack
3 years 7 months ago

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

vertigoman
3 years 7 months 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

Alex Nelson
3 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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