Kevin Millar Rumors

Odds & Ends: Millar, Yankees, Royals, Darvish

Links on a memorable Thursday afternoon for Brooks Conrad and the Braves…

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Gonzalez, Torre, Millar

Ken Rosenthal's latest Full Count video is up at FOX Sports. Let's check out the highlights of this week's clip….

  • Given the Padres' success so far and the slow starts by some clubs who may be interested in Adrian Gonzalez (Mariners, White Sox, Braves), it looks for now as if the slugger could be traded in the offseason rather than in July.
  • If the White Sox made a play for Gonzalez, they wouldn't want to extend him for $20MM+ annually past 2011.
  • Friends of Joe Torre indicate to Rosenthal that the Dodgers' skipper may not want to return next year if the organization is still handcuffed financially by Frank McCourt's divorce. Rosenthal suggests that the Mets, Cubs, or Braves might end up being options for Torre.
  • Rosenthal questions the Cubs' decision to part ways with Kevin Millar, noting that the club could have used the 38-year-old's energy and clubhouse presence. The St. Paul Saints will be the beneficiaries of that clubhouse presence now.

Kevin Millar Signs With St. Paul Saints

Kevin Millar has signed with the St. Paul Saints, according to a press release from the team.  Millar began his career with the Saints in '93 before the Marlins purchased his contract.  He'll presumably still work for the MLB Network as an analyst this year.

Millar was signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal in February, but released in March.  He posted a solid .274/.358/.452 line in 12 big league seasons for the Marlins, Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays.  Millar banked about $20MM along the way, according to Baseball Reference.

Odds & Ends: Martinez, Rangers, Strasburg, Zambrano

Links for Wednesday…

Stark On Bell, Nathan, Oswalt, Dunn

Let's check in on the Rumblings and Grumblings of ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • One exec Stark spoke to implied the Padres may not be motivated to trade closer Heath Bell because he's under team control through 2011 and signed at $4MM for 2010.  Bell's salary could double in '11, though, and I'm not convinced the Padres will want to pay it.
  • Stark talked to a GM who thinks Bell makes sense for the Twins as a backup plan in case Joe Nathan needs a 16-month Tommy John recovery period to get back to normal.  Stark learned that a significant part of Nathan's salary this year is insured, so that frees up some money this year.  But again, will the Twins want to pay nearly $20MM to two relievers in 2011?
  • Should Houston's troubles continue, Stark wonders if Roy Oswalt would consider waiving his no-trade clause.  He says a friend of Oswalt believes the pitcher's preferred destinations are Atlanta, St. Louis, and Texas.  It's hard to see those clubs making a play for Oswalt, especially with his large salaries for '10 and '11.
  • Stark guesses the Nationals are more likely to trade Adam Dunn before the deadline than sign him to an extension.  Last we heard, ESPN's Buster Olney said there were no ongoing extension talks.
  • Twins catching prospect Wilson Ramos has been labeled as one of the game's best trade chips, but assistant GM Rob Antony says that "right now, we'd lean toward keeping him."
  • If he can't find a big league job, Kevin Millar could sign with the St. Paul Saints, where his pro career began.  Millar was released by the Cubs on March 30th. 

Odds & Ends: Offenses, Ben Snyder, Kelly Johnson

Action-packed links for Wednesday…

Cubs Release Kevin Millar

The Cubs released first baseman Kevin Millar, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  The Cubs will go with Chad Tracy for a corner infield bench role instead.  Tracy made more sense, given his ability to back up Aramis Ramirez at third base.

Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year, playing 386.6 innings at first base.  In an article Sunday, ESPN's Jim Reeves said Millar is on the Rangers' watch list.  However,'s T.R. Sullivan writes today that the Rangers are not interested.

Rangers Searching For Backup Corner Infielder

The Rangers are looking to acquire a backup corner infielder before Opening Day, writes Jim Reeves of  Manager Ron Washington had hoped that one of the club's young players – such as Matt Brown or Max Ramirez – would step up to fill the role, but that has not happened.

One Rangers source said that the team keeps coming back to Boston's Mike Lowell.  The same source indicated that Texas believes that they can basically get Lowell for the same player they agreed to deal over the winter, Max Ramirez.

Kevin Millar is also on the Rangers' watch list, though he may earn himself a bench spot with the Cubs.  Wes Helms of the Marlins and Fernando Tatis of the Mets could also fit the bill as corner infielders off of the bench.  Meanwhile, "super-utility" players like Houston's Geoff Blum and Kansas City's Willie Bloomquist are likely too rich for Texas' blood.

Cafardo’s Latest: Beckett, Red Sox, Twins, Lowry

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has plenty of rumors from around the league for us this morning, so let's round them all up…

  • The Red Sox are likely to use Roy Halladay's three-year, $60MM deal "minus $6 million-$8 million" as a guideline for a potential Josh Beckett extension rather than John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM deal. The reason being that they have some concern about the long-term health of his shoulder.
  • If another team comes offering Beckett big money after the season, the Sox will move on just as they did with Jason Bay. They could then look into free agents like Cliff Lee, who they pursued at the trade deadline, or even Ben Sheets and Brandon Webb if they bounce back from injury problems of their own.
  • With all of their additions this offseason, the Twins' payroll will jump from $65M to about $96M as they move into Target Field this year. GM Bill Smith said it will be up to manager Ron Gardenhire to determine how they use Jim Thome, and that they did their homework on Orlando Hudson's left wrist, which has given him trouble the last few seasons.
  • Minnesota's payroll will be larger than the Dodgers' this year.
  • The Red Sox watched Noah Lowry's recent workout, but "don't appear interested in signing him."
  • Dodgers' third base coach Larry Bowa said he knows that Manny Ramirez still wants to play another three or four years.
  • Two big league executives feel that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will settle on a contract before an arbitration hearing.
  • One reason the Cubs signed Kevin Millar was to loosen up the clubhouse after the Milton Bradley fiasco last season.
  • Drayton McLane is reportedly seeking $700MM to part with the Astros, but it's tough to see someone coming up with that when the Rangers sold for approximately $575MM.

Cubs Sign Kevin Millar

The Cubs officially signed first baseman Kevin Millar to a minor league deal today.  ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement on Monday.  The Cubs signed Chad Tracy last week, so Millar will compete with him for a backup job.

Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year.