The Athletics have reached an agreement with left-hander Brad Mills on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest Minor League Transactions roundup. MLBTR’s Zach Links hears that Mills drew interest from a number of clubs, but chose the A’s because he felt it presented him with a strong opportunity to make the big league club again (Twitter links).
Mills, 30 in March, split the season between the Brewers, A’s and Blue Jays organizations, seeing Major League time with the latter two. Much was made of the trade that sent Mills from Milwaukee to Oakland for all of $1, but the procedural move proved to have little impact. Mills was knocked around for nine runs (eight earned) in 16 1/3 innings for Oakland, surrendering 19 hits with a 14-to-7 K/BB ratio. Oakland designated the southpaw for assignment, and he was claimed by the Blue Jays.
With Toronto, Mills yielded 13 runs in 4 1/3 innings and found himself designated for assignment once again, this time clearing outright waivers. He elected free agency following the season.
Mills was outstanding at Triple-A this season — a large reason for the bewilderment of Brewers fans following the initial trade. In 107 1/3 minor league innings, Mills pitched to a pristine 2.01 ERA with 8.6 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9. He will provide the A’s with some rotation depth which is much needed, as Jon Lester and Jason Hammel are free agents, while A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker are both recovering from Tommy John surgery.