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Kevin Millwood Rumors
The Rockies offered Kevin Millwood a guaranteed $1MM prior to acquiring Kevin Slowey at the Winter Meetings, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The Millwood offer included approximately $1MM more in incentives, but the 37-year-old righty sought $3MM guaranteed. With Slowey having agreed to a $2.75MM salary, Renck says the Rockies have little room in the budget for Millwood.
The Rockies have not ruled out Millwood, but their budget for veteran starting pitching depth doesn't seem to have much flexibility. It'd be surprising to see Millwood score $3MM guaranteed on the strength of nine big league starts, but he does have baseball's toughest agent in Scott Boras.
The Rockies are not currently pursuing a reunion with free agent lefty Jeff Francis, writes Renck. As of right now, all projected members of the Rockies' 2012 rotation are under 30.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post shared a number of Rockies tidbits with his Twitter followers this afternoon. Here are a few of the hot stove-related highlights…
- There hasn't been much movement in the Martin Prado trade negotiations between the Rockies and Braves but talks aren't "dead" since Atlanta likes outfielder Seth Smith. It would take a package of both Smith and center field prospect Tim Wheeler to acquire Prado but Renck says the Rockies "aren't doing" that particular deal.
- Colorado still has an interest in Jair Jurrjens, but the Braves' asking price could be "prohibitive" in the wake of what the Padres received from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal. The Rockies like Jurrjens "but aren't trading four guys for him."
- If Smith is dealt, Ryan Spilborghs' return to Colorado is "not necessarily" a given. Spilborghs was non-tendered by the Rockies earlier this month but we heard from Renck earlier this month that the club was interested in bringing the outfielder back at a lower salary than what he would've earned through arbitration.
- There is "very little" going on between the Rockies and Cody Ross, as the team is concentrating on finding pitching. Yesterday, a team source denied a Buster Olney report that the Rockies were in contract negotiations with Ross, though Olney specified that Colorado was only interested in Ross in the event that Smith is traded.
- Renck is "not sure" if the Rockies still have any interest in Paul Maholm. The Rockies and Cubs are the only two clubs known to be connected to Maholm this winter. The Cubs can possibly be counted out of the running due to their recent acquisition of Travis Wood, but more spots could open in the Chicago rotation should Matt Garza and/or Randy Wells be dealt.
- The Mariners' interest in Kevin Millwood won't affect the Rockies' pursuit of the veteran right-hander, as the Rockies only "see Millwood at [a] certain price." Of a group of pitchers that also includes Maholm, Jurrjens and Jeff Francis, Renck feels Millwood is the likeliest to join the Rockies.
- Colorado has been one of baseball's busiest teams this offseason, which Renck says is a reflection of the club's "great disappointment with last season" rather than any sense of 2012 being a "final chance" for GM Dan O'Dowd.
The Mariners have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Millwood, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Seattle is looking at veteran pitchers who could join Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Jason Vargas in the projected 2012 rotation.
Millwood posted a 3.98 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 1.3 BB/9 and a 42.2% ground ball rate in 54 1/3 innings for the Rockies over the course of the final two months of the 2011 season. The 37-year-old Scott Boras client spent most of the year pitching for the top minor league affiliates of the Yankees and Red Sox, posting a 4.32 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 89 2/3 minor league innings. The Rockies are the only other team that's been linked to Millwood so far this offseason.
- The Rockies are out of the running for Roy Oswalt, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. They remain aggressive in their pursuit of a starting pitcher though, and have interest in Kevin Millwood and former Rockie Jeff Francis. The Twins are in on Francis as well.
- Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka will remain in Japan, reports Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports (on Twitter). The Rockies had expressed initial interest in the free agent according to Morosi.
- The Braves want good prospects along with Seth Smith in return for Martin Prado, reports SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter), so the two clubs have some work to do if they're going to make a trade.
The Rockies have been busy this evening. They traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreed to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. Here are the rest of the day’s notes on the Rockies:
- The Rockies remain hopeful of obtaining Martin Prado from the Braves, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes.
- There’s a decent chance Kevin Millwood re-signs with the Rockies this offseason, according to Renck (on Twitter).
- The Rockies have offered Seth Smith to the Braves, but they don’t have interest in packaging him with Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon.
- The Rockies and Padres haven’t made any progress on a possible deal for Orlando Hudson.
- Rival teams say the Rockies would like a Double-A or Triple-A pitcher for Ian Stewart.
Millwood, 37 in December, finished the season with Colorado, making nine starts with a 3.98 ERA. The Scott Boras client seeks a Major League deal, which Renck says makes this a "slow-developing situation." Renck notes that the Rockies were among the finalists to sign Harden last year, though they viewed him as a reliever.
As for their second base opening, the Rockies have had internal conversations about free agent Aaron Hill, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Hill is also of interest to the Tigers, writes Lynn Henning of the Detroit News. The Rockies also have interest in Jamey Carroll, Mark Ellis, and others, reported Renck previously.
For more on the Rockies' needs and finances, check out my offseason outlook.
Notes from the NL West as the D'Backs could clinch an improbable division title tonight….
- Major League Baseball has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to order that the Dodgers be sold, reports Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. The filing even threatened that the Dodgers could be suspended from the league in order to keep Frank McCourt from being able to keep the team via a new television contract.
- The Giants will use Buster Posey as a catcher next season, though manager Bruce Bochy said a position change might come "down the road," reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Kevin Millwood will be looking for a Major League contract this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Millwood and the Rockies have a mutual interest in each other, but as noted earlier this month, the Rockies would prefer to bring the veteran starter back on a minor league deal.
- From that same item, Renck says J.C. Romero's first choice would be to re-sign with the Rockies, and Colorado players are expecting some changes to the coaching staff.
- You can't blame the Diamondbacks for the Dan Haren trade in 2010, argues Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, since nobody saw the club turning things around as quickly as they did this season.
- Bobby Borchering, the Diamondbacks' first-round pick in the 2009 draft, is being transitioned to left field, tweets Piecoro. Borchering has played first and third base in his first three pro seasons.
The Tigers extended their winning streak to 12 games with a comeback victory against the White Sox today. Here are this evening's links…
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that scouting director Tim Wilken is scheduled to meet with Cubs ownership about an extension similar to the four-year deal farm director Oneri Fleita recently signed. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry recently met with commissioner Bud Selig and could resurface in a high-profile job before long, according to Wittenmyer.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes provided the latest Cubs updates this morning and we heard later in the day that the Reds intend to keep Walt Jocketty in Cincinnati.
- Kevin Millwood told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he hopes to pitch in the Major Leagues again next year. Rockies manager Jim Tracy says he can imagine Millwood returning to the organization in 2012.
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears that the Marlins released Mike Cameron after he got into a "verbal altercation" with a flight attendant that prompted the charter company to complain.
The Red Sox have dropped five in a row, and GM Theo Epstein joined WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show today to offer his take. A few highlights:
- Epstein hasn't ruled out outside acquisitions, but internal solutions are much preferred.
- "There's never been a lack of interest" in keeping closer Jonathan Papelbon in Boston. Added Epstein, "I have to think there’s a lot of mutual interest in continuing the relationship." Papelbon is eligible for free agency after the season, having earned $27.6MM over his three arbitration years.
- The Red Sox are "obviously" interested in having designated hitter David Ortiz back, but Epstein says now is not the time to talk about that stuff.
- The GM's thoughts on having Kevin Millwood in the organization: "At the time, we had guys ahead of him. His stuff, in our judgment and the judgment of our Triple-A staff, it wasn’t going to play at the major league level here for the Red Sox above the other options that we had." The 36-year-old veteran has since posted a 3.79 ERA in six starts for the Rockies.
Links for Saturday afternoon..
- The Rockies would like to have Kevin Millwood back next season but Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) thinks that the club would prefer to bring him back on a minor league deal.
- In a piece for ESPN.com (Insider req'd), Dave Cameron of Fangraphs explains why he sees C.J. Wilson as a good free agent buy. Because he began his career as a reliever, the Rangers' lefty has thrown just 670.2 innings thus far in his major-league career.
- The Cubs have extended the contract of player personnel director Oneri Fleita, one of the key additions of former GM Jim Hendry, writes Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune. The 44-year-old's deal is for four years, according to Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Earlier today, Reds closer Francisco Cordero reiterated his desire to stay in Cincinnati, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. However, the veteran said that his agent and the club have not had discussions on whether the Reds will exercise his $12MM option.