Report: Millwood rejects Yanks’ MiLB deal


The Yankees recently offered Kevin Millwood a non-guaranteed minor league deal, but the 36-year-old right-hander has rejected that offer, Joel Sherman of The Post reported this morning. Millwood, coming off a season in which he went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA and a FIP nearly to match, wants a guaranteed Major League deal while the Yanks are “adamant” that Millwood not receive one. Rather, the team wants to structure his potential deal as they did with Freddy Garcia who will make $1.5 million if he makes the club and can earn $3.6 million more in performance bonuses.

Millwood’s refusal to take a minor league deal strikes me as a clear sign of a player who doesn’t know his own value after a five-season run of below-average pitching. The Yanks are quite content to let Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova battle it out for rotation spots while Millwood remains unemployed.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • Beamish

    Best news out of Spring Training so far…

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Really? It’s not like Mitre, Garcia and Colon are significantly better in the 5 spot.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Garcia is significantly better than Millwood. The other two probably don’t but at least have potential. Millwood has been a legitimately bad pitcher for four of the last five seasons.

        • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

          Colon has as much potential as my colon after a night of Tequilla.

        • NJYankeeFan

          How do you figure Garcia is “significantly” better than Millwood? Millwood’s WAR over the last 4 years has been 2.7, 3.3, 2.4, 1.3 compared to 0,2. 0, 1.6, 1.3 for Garcia though he was hurt the first 2 years.
          When healthy, I think the difference between the 2 is really insignificant and i’d give the edge to Millwood since he’s MUCH more durable.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Perhaps I’m overstating the difference between the two. I still don’t think the Yanks should give Millwood guaranteed dollars or a spot in the rotation without earning it.

            • NJYankeeFan

              Yeah that a whole different point and I agree with you on that one. Millwood is in no position to command a major league contract. All things considered though, if he signed a minor league deal, I think he’d probably have the best chance out of the Mitre/Colon/Garcia group pitching 180-190 innings and producing a win or two above replacement level as 5th starter.

            • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

              Exactly. No one should be guaranteed the 4/5 spots in the rotation. The Yankees signed all of them to MiL deals for a reason, to have an open competition, a ML deal to Millwood is the exact opposite of that.

        • Beamish

          Millwood has been a legitimately bad pitcher for four of the last five seasons.

          That. He is known bad commodity – any pitch he would throw in a spring training game is one less pitch someone else might throw to prove themselves.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          Garcia too has been pretty bad save for one year. I’m not saying that I want Milwood on a MLB contract but it’s not exactly great news that we avoided someone when we have equally bad options.

        • MattG

          How do you define legitimately bad? If 2 WAR is legitimately bad, you’re right.

          But Mitre, Garcia and Colon have a great chance to combine for a 0 WAR this year. Damned if I wouldn’t rather have the two wins than the $4 million.

  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

    “Millwood’s refusal to take a minor league deal strikes me as a clear sign of a player who doesn’t know his own value after a five-season run of below-average pitching.”

    You’re conflating the player with the agent (Boras). As Cafardo notes this morning:

    Kevin Millwood, RHP, free agent — A pretty good name still out there in free agency. Scott Boras may be playing this one right. Rather than sign with just any team for small money, why not wait until there’s a need and then be in position to ask for more? Millwood is a veteran who won’t need a lot of time to get ready. He could be that nice mentor type on a younger staff or an end-of-the-rotation starter for a contender. He will pitch somewhere. It may be for the Yankees.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s February 20. As Ross said, “If a team wanted him on a MLB deal he’d have it already.” I don’t think Millwood’s going to get a significant Major League commitment, least not from the Yanks. He just isn’t better than any of the players already in camp.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Maybe, or Boras is telling him to hang tight, that a team will need him before Spring has started, like Cafardo suggests.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Jarrod Washburn thinks that’s bad advice

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            Or Millwood’s not willing to pitch for anything less than a guaranteed deal. If true, then Boras is giving him the right advice.

  • bonestock94

    No sleep lost over that.

  • felixbanuelos

    What a butthole. That’s when money goes to your head

    • MannyGee

      nothing to do with money. he knows hes done, he has been injured more than not over the pas decade, he just wants the last hoorah. Ben Sheets ust pulled this last season and nailed Oakland to a cross for it…

  • NJYankeeFan

    You would think Millwood would want to get into a camp even if on a minor league deal just to get his arm ready and show his stuff to other teams in the event he didn’t make the Yanks roster. You know someone is going to be hard up for a starter come opening day so if he’s healthy, he’s gonna have a job somewhere.

  • Gonzo

    I thought the Nats would have been all over this.

  • MikeD

    Not sure what Millwood is thinking here. Pitchers and catchers have already reported, ST games start in about a week (that sounds nice), he hasn’t gotten a MLB deal since he became a free agent in October, yet he still thinks he’s in demand.

    Outside of his 2009 season, he’s been pretty bad over the last five seasons. If he wants to rehabilitate his career, he should target NL teams, and hope the Padres and Petco come calling.

  • A.D.

    Could just be that Millwood doesn’t think it’s worth his time to go through camp and compete for a spot unless he has some guaranteed money in his pocket.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      I don’t blame him for that, just as long as he’s content with retiring if he doesn’t get a ML deal.

  • Ac

    If Cleveland offers him a major league deal let him take it. He was 4-16 last year. I applaude Cash for not giving him a ML deal. I think Garcia has more of a right to ask for guaranteed deal than Milwood has. Boras has alot to do with Millwood turning it down

    • hogsmog

      When your team has a .407 winning %, I think it’s safe to say that a pitcher’s record is even more irrelevant than usual.

      Regardless, screw Millwood. He might be better than our #5 starter, but I can’t see him doing all that much better than whoever we throw in there, except maybe durability.

      Predictions (a combination of realism and whimsy):
      Colon and Garcia stagger along almost until AS break, replaced by Pettite (!) and Phelps. They pick up someone at the deadline, relieve Phelps before he has too many innings, and go into the postseason with last years rotation minus Javy.

  • MattG

    “Millwood’s refusal to take a minor league deal strikes me as a clear sign of a player who doesn’t know his own value after a five-season run of below-average pitching.”

    This strikes me as a writer that doesn’t know Millwood’s value. I’ve looked over the Fangraphs data each time a thought like this pops up, and I agree with Millwood. He’s worth a guaranteed $4 million, and he’s a very likely rebound candidate. The only thing wrong with his 2010 performance was an ugly home run rate in Camden Yards. Once he escapes that place, he’s in line for a 2+ WAR season, which would make him the 4th most valuable pitcher on the Yankees’ staff.

    Get him on a MiLB contract if you can, Cashman, but get him. He’ll earn the $4 million.

    • MikeD

      Not sure a righty pitcher like Millwood would enjoy much of an improved HR rate coming to Yankee Stadium. Now I did take notice of the “five-season run of below-average pitching,” which doesn’t quite match up with Millwood’s 2009, when he had a 127 OPS+, or even his 2006 when his OPS+ of 102 was above average. He’s probably focusing on FIP stats, although even by that, his 2008 and 2006 campaigns were solid.

      Yet he’s 36 now and coming off a very bad season. In fact, three of the last four his OPS+ suggests he’s as bad, or even worse, than AJ was last year. Do we really need that?

      Give the kids a shot.

      • MattG

        Look at the splits. Only one stands out in his very bad 2010–home runs allowed at Camden. It doesn’t need to be the dimensions, either. It could be the mound, or just mental. He had better home run rates in Arlington the two years prior.

        If it were truly a very bad season, you will see regression across the board. You don’t. His road stats are solid: 72/28 K/BB ratio, 72 Ks in 95 innings, 10 home runs. That’s a 3.94 FIP.

        The difference at home is twice the home runs in the same innings. That’s 20 home runs (!) in 95 innings. Convert that to his career average of 10 per 95 innings, and you end up with a 4.15 FIP.

        This is not to say Millwood is a good pitcher. This is to say anyway you slice it, a 2.0 WAR is a very realistic, possibly even pessimistic, prediction for him. He deserves a major league contract for at least $4 million. As the Yankees have the money, and have no realistic options for otherwise obtaining those 2 wins, I don’t understand this decision.