Kevin Millwood just wrapped up his 16th season as a big leaguer, but at this point he is unsure if he wants to continue playing next year. The 37-year-old right-hander told MLB.com's Greg Johns that he'll go home for the winter and decide on his future after spending some time with his family.
"I'm going to go home and just relax and play with my kids and see what happens, see how I feel and see what pops into my head," said Millwood. "I don't have any definite plans right now on next year, but I'm sure at some point in the offseason it'll hit me on what I want to do … I started playing 10 days after I graduated from high school and this is what I've done for nearly 20 years. So all the sudden to not do it anymore would be a pretty big shock to the system."
Millwood admitted that he was more certain about his desire to continue playing at this time last year. He signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in January, then made the club out of Spring Training and pitched to a 4.25 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and a 44.7% ground ball rate in 28 starts and 161 innings. Millwood missed time with a groin strain in June while a sore shoulder ended his season about two weeks ago. Seattle still got a bargain considering his $1MM salary.
If he does decide to return next year, Millwood will likely have to settle for another low base salary minor league contract and again earn a rotation spot in Spring Training. He has played for four teams (Rangers, Orioles, Rockies, Mariners) in the last four years after lengthy stints with the Braves and in Texas earlier in his career.