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The Yankees are checking out Kevin Millwood

Jan 18, 2011, 8:53 AM EDT

Kevin Millwood

Andruw Jones and Kevin Millwood, huh? Apparently “key players from the team you beat in the World Series 12 years ago” is the new inefficiency!

The Yankees among the teams looking at Kevin Millwood as a back-end starter and have also looked at Freddy Garcia.

We talked about Garcia yesterday. Millwood got lit up like a Christmas tree last year. Over the course of his career he gives up slightly fewer homers than Garcia has and is a bit more likely to strike a guy out once in a while. That said, there isn’t a world of difference between Millwood and Garcia at this point. The biggest difference is that Millwood has consistently taken the ball every fifth day for close to a decade while Garcia has only had one season in the last four — last season — in which he pitched as many as 150 innings.

Either of these guys are likely to be able to eat innings for the Yankees in 2011, but Millwood maybe a bit more so. To the extent that one can expect any quality upside to either of them, it’s probably worth noting that Millwood is one year removed from a really nice season down in Texas. That seems to be a bit flukey, though, inasmuch as his 2010 looks a heck of a lot like his 2007 and 2008.

I’d probably go with Millwood over Garcia if I had to choose, but it’s not like either of them — or the differences between them — will make or break the Yankees 2011 season.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Where are we coming up with this of creeps? I’m gonna run out of derogatory nicknames at this rate. Hold some thought til the trade deadline, Brian.

    • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      WOW! that may be the first ever post from Len that didnt have the words “FAT TOAD” in it.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        Just showing some restraint while anticipating atrocities to come…..

  2. BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Oh my lord…. they’d be better with Mitre at their #5 instead of this buffoon. What was he, 5-19 last year?

    • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      yes….yes he was.

    • BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Oh shoot. I forgot. Wins don’t matter. Never mind. ;-)

      • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        hey if his ERA was sub 3 he would have been a Cy young candidate.

  3. pisano - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    I can’t believe with the players they have and the players in the minors that they can’t make a trade for a middle of the road starter. I will guarantee that the Sox would have come up with something by now. Millwood is older than dirt and about as useful. I agree with BC that Mitre would be a far better fifth starter than Millwood, or Garcia for that matter. I’m starting to think Cashman isn’t really looking outside of the Yankee organization for another starter and is willing to see how Nova and Mitre do before he makes a move.

  4. pisano - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I can’t believe with the players they have and the players in the minors that they can’t make a trade for a middle of the road starter. I will guarantee that the Sox would have come up with something by now. Millwood is older than dirt and about as useful. I agree with BC that Mitre would be a far better fifth starter than Millwood, or Garcia for that matter. I’m starting to think Cashman isn’t really looking outside of the Yankee organization for another starter and is willing to see how Nova and Mitre do before he makes a move. Good luck on waiting, time is of the essence.

    • BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Nova wasn’t too bad last year. Forgot about him. Maybe they want to get to camp, and see what they have in him. That and throw about 100,000,000,0000,000000 dollars at Pettitte to return.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      pisano my friend I have to disagree with you in this case about Mitre. Nova fine but Mitre has not shown me anything that would lead me at this stage to believe he’s even a #5. He’s only pitched a hand full of games where he has gone 4 or 5 innings. Virtually his entire career has been in relief. I would say he should be the Yankees “last” resort” even at the #5 slot. That’s just my opinion.

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Fans do we not see a double standard here. The Mets sign Chris Young who had shoulder problem last year and pitched all of 20 innings (4 games) and he’s worth the risk. The Yankees are “interested in” Millwood and the comment is “huh? Apparently “key players from the team you beat in the World Series 12 years ago” is the new inefficiency!”. First if the Yankees wound up signing every pitcher this and the “other” sites said they were interest in they would have signed about a dozen starting pitchers in the last 4 weeks.
    As for Millwoods record last year it was actually 4-16 not 5-19 a minor correction but a correction non the less. I know there will be at least a half dozen posters here shortly to tell me how wins are irrelevant when evaluating a pitcher and that’s fine. But I’m going to mention this any anyway. Last year Millwood had 5 loses where he gave up 3 ER’s or less, with the Yankee offense one can easily assume 4 of those loses would be “W’s” if he was pitching for the Yankees. Also, of his no decisions 7 were when he gave up 3 ER’s or less. One could then extrapolate then that Millwood pitching the same or with a minimum of improvement over last year could be a 13 game winner with the Yankees. Like I said I’m sure their will be at least a half dozen posters preaching the virtues of WPA, etc…and that’s fine as I said. But give me the old fashioned wins/loses…and the potential for a 13 game winner at the back of a rotation is worth “the risk”. I don’t care how or what a pitcher did to get those wins. A win is a win is a win. Period. Especially when you are only looking at a back end rotation guy and only on a short term basis which is what Millwood would be.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      C’mon ufy, we’re buddies and are on the same side. But let’s not accept these mediocrities as “only fifth starters” or “4th outfielders” or “occasional DHers”. We can afford better players, Brian has to kick in his patience. And why was he patient about signing Soriano? That should have been a jump on it kind of moment.
      I don’t want Kevin Millstone as an 8th starter.

      • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        he was not “patient” about Soriano.. he got overrruled.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        yankeesfanlen – I agree with you about Soriano. Most of us (Yankee fans) think that was a no brainer. We agree the Yankees can afford better, but sometimes better isn’t always available. It takes two to dance and maybe, just maybe the Yankees haven’t been able to find a dance partner to trade for the “quality” #2 or #3 starter just yet. They will I’m sure by the trade deadline when sellers are desperate to unload salary that’s why I view these players of “interest” to the Yankees as band aids. Something to hold them over until something better comes along. Hay, would I love for the Yankees starting rotation to be CC, Hughes (then at some point trade for any one of the following, Carpenter, Oswalt, or even Carmona or any of the other “quality pitchers under contract to another team…of course. But right now that doesn’t appear to be in the cards. I hate to continue to use cliches all the time but you play your hand your dealt until until you can get a new deck. Believe me I understand your frustration, I’m frustrated as well. I just don’t happen to believe that some of these options are as bad as some would believe at least temporarily.

    • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      “Fans do we not see a double standard here. The Mets sign Chris Young who had shoulder problem last year and pitched all of 20 innings (4 games) and he’s worth the risk.”

      really? you comparing the “We conceded the 2011 season before it started” Mets to the Yanks? the Muts have NOTHING to lose by getting Chris young. i mean their GM has literally thrown in the towel for the upcoming season. they could pick up 5 more Ollies and it would be worth the risk due to the fact that they are starting in last place.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I’m not conceding anything, but I’m also not running around like Chicken Little proclaiming the Sky Is Falling. My reference to a double standard was how one team in this case it’s the Mets (but they are not the only example) can sign a reclamation project and it be viewed as “worth it”. Yet let the Yankees do the same thing or even express an “interest in” a player who is not top notch it’s “how could they, why, they must not know what they are doing” if that’s not a double standard I don’t know what is.

      • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        UYF you misread my post. simply put you are comparing the Muts to the Yanks when ANYTHING that the Muts do is worth risk as they have nothing left to lose. i said it a few weeks ago and i will say it again. in 2009 the Sox (may the burn in hell) said “Smoltz and Penny” what do we have to lose? the AL east it turned out…

        all these “low risk high reward” ventures will come back to bite us if we dont stop it.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        phukyouk – There are 2 big differences between what Boston did in 2009 and what the Yankees have done so far this.
        First, if I’m not mistaken the Sox signed players like Penny to ML Contracts. Neither Prior nor any of the other reclamation projects as I like to refer to them as have signed ML contracts they have all been signed to minor league deals with invitations to training camp that’s a big difference.
        Secondly, with the exception of Martin who I think most Yankee fans would agree is an upgrade over Posada the Yankees have not signed one player all these sites are saying the Yankees have “interest in” and that especially applies to pitchers and major league contracts.
        I apologize if I misunderstood you earlier post. But I think you misunderstood mine. I’m not comparing the Mets to the Yankees, I would never do that because there is NO comparison. I was comparing the attitude of people running these sites as a “double standard”.

      • phukyouk - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        I am pretty sure that Penny was signed to a ML contract but either way he and Smoltz were brought up and it bit them in the ass… bad. im just saying that the Garcia’s and the Millwoods and THOSE folks are not always worth the risk no matter what the possible reward is. im not pissed at cashman for not getting a starter cause he went out there and tried for the best… well best available anyway, and it didn’t work out. what i am pissed about it what seems like panic. i cannot stand Mitre and frankly im pissed that he was picked by the yankees over Mosley.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        phukyouk – We are on the same page about Moseley. I agree.

    • pisano - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      uyf1950… I think I’m just getting frustrated with the arms the Yankees are giving thought to. It seems to me Cashman is playing a waiting game to make the other teams think he’s going in house and they’re not going to be held up in trades. As far as Mitre, they see something in him, if he fails at starting he’ll probably end up in long relief or mop up duty. I would never contest your post as you’re one of the most level headed and statically correct poster out here. I’m just hoping we can do a little better than a Millwood or Garcia, I feel the Yankee fans deserve better. I hope they are thinking about packaging Joba with someone for a starter as he would do better somewhere else.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        I feel the same way about the Yankees my friend. And we are never going to agree 100% of the time on things and that’s a good thing. I believe I posted that the signing of Soriano by the Yankees now allowed Cashman the flexibility to trade for a “quality” starter using if necessary Joba (or Mitre), a catching prospect or Cerville and another player. I still believe that is the plan. Will it happen prior to spring training who knows but I have absolutely no doubt it will happen by the trade deadline. Keep the faith my friend. Sometimes it’s necessary to put a band aid on a sore to help it heal. That’s what I think the Yankees are doing at this point.

    • Panda Claus - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      As an O’s fan I’m familiar with Millwood’s 2010 season. His biggest downfall, really there were two, was his propensity to give up the big inning and the already-noted lack of run support. His first and third inning ERA was 11 and 6 respectively, while in other innings he basically held his own. He did allow 30 HRs which probably greatly factored into those big innings allowed.

      Not saying he’ll rebound next year, but I think as long as he’s healthy he can provide value. Besides playing in front of a stronger offense (Yankees), he also would likely be the #5 guy. Being a #1 (as he was with the O’s last year) gives you a much tougher draw with opponents too, perhaps partially explaining why the O’s couldn’t score runs for him last year.

      The Yankees could certainly do worse than Millwood. I wouldn’t mind having him back myself, but not as a #1.

      • spudchukar - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Lets face it. The Yanks are in dire straits, and Mark Knopfler can’t pitch. While Millwood is hardly the second coming, he’s an improvement over what they have. His numbers, particularly in the first half of last year aren’t that bad. Weren’t the Orioles like 2-20 or something? He sure beats Garcia in my book. If his price is reasonable, I’d jump on it. That still leaves a lot of work for the front office go forward, but at least they have a fairly reliable option at #3, #4, or #5?

    • Adam - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      The biggest difference between Chris Young and Kevin Millwood is that Young has proven in recent years that he can still be good. Millwood, at this point, looks like he will only win if he’s spotted 5 or 6 runs.

  6. baseballstars - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    I heard Mark Fidrych wants to pitch again. Maybe the Yankees could talk to him as well.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      That must have been during a seance. Since Mark “The Bird” Fidrych died in 2009.

  7. purnellmeagrejr - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I look to having him pitch every fifth day for April and May …by the time the weather warms up he’ll be at the beach.

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