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Kevin Millwood rejects contract offer from Yankees

Feb 20, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

Rejecting contract offers this late in the offseason is a little crazy. Rejecting contract offers this late in the offseason from the Yankees is even crazier.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Millwood

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Millwood has turned down a minor league contract offer from the Yankees because he is seeking something with more of a guarantee.

The Indians have also expressed interest and may eventually buck up with a big league offer and guaranteed roster spot, but the Yankees were reportedly willing to sign him to a contract with a structure similar to Freddy Garcia’s deal, which could potentiality pay out over $5 million this season when you factor in all of the performance-based incentives.

Millwood, 36, went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 132 strikeouts across 31 starts last year for the Orioles. The Yanks are continuing to talk with him.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    That’s pretty remarkable. You have a totally crapout year like that, the Borg offers you a shot on a bona fide contender, and you turn it down? For Cleveland???? Howard the Duck wouldn’t have made that mistake – and he loves Cleveland.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Thank God! Aren’t we stretching it a bit. UFY, before you even comment, don’t promote more reclaimation projects than we already have.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      My friend, first it’s UYF not ufy. I’m afraid I’m going to do exactly that. Personally I don’t care how many of these “reclamation” projects the Yankees sign to “MINOR” league deals. I won’t use the old cliche that’s it’s “low risk, high reward” even though that’s what it is. But I kind of like this analogy better at least for the time being. I liken it to the chance of finding the “gift/toy” in a cracker jacks box. If there is only one small toy in the box the chance of getting it when you first reach in a very slim. But put in 4 or 5 toys in that same box and the chances of getting a toy on your first try have increased dramatically. It’s the same with reclamation projects. Have only one reclamation project in camp and the chances of that person being the one are very, very slim. Have 4 or 5 in camp and the chances of one succeeding have increased dramatically. I promise I won’t use this analogy again.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Sorry for the faux pas, UYF, my typing gets away from me before 3 cups of coffee. I owe you one “Leave ARod Alone:”.
        On to the topic- I’m not that big on throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s a limit that the evaluators- coaches, managers, and front office can effectively analyze during the training period. I’d hate to see Millwood misjudged and put into the suspect rotation and not even our offense be able to score him out of deficits.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        yankeesfanlen – I would hate for that very thing to happen as well. But considering the Yankees need for a 5th starter (I pretty much think Nova is a lock for one of the spots) pitching coach, manager and even the concession people will have their eyes focused on the task at hand. That’s finding the best available candidate for that slot in the rotation out of the players in camp. Also keep in mind that once the preseason games start they won’t all be pitching on the same day. I have confidence in the new pitching coach and Girardi (an ex catcher) finding the right one (if one exist) out of the group. Besides whoever is the 5th starter I firmly believe it’s only temporary until the Yankees can sign or trade for someone more to their liking.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM

        I’m sorry to prolong this old saw of mine- but we’re grasping at straws now and should wait for a good trade, and if we’re even thinkibng about Millwood, we should have thought much harder about Pavano and, especially, Schererererer (you know who I mean).

      • uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        You will never get me to agree about the Yankees chasing after Pavano, period. I’ve expressed my feelings about him on these and other boards several times. I think he should be in jail for take all the money he took for from the Yankees for those 4 years and lying about his injuries and how he got them. My opinion of him in a Yankee uniform will never change.
        As for Justin Duchscherer I couldn’t agree with you more. I would have loved to see him in pinstripes competing for a shot in the starting rotation. But it wasn’t to be for whatever reason.
        All the Yankees can do now is play the hand they were dealt, and when an opportunity comes for them to make a trade they make it…and my friend it will come. Besides generally speaking usually for the first month or two a team can get by with a 4 man rotation. I think AJ Burnett is more important to the success of the Yankees at least early on then anyone who might fill the 5th spot in the rotation. But of course that’s just my opinion.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        C’mon, uyf, your opinion is always valid and timely, even if we split hairs sometimes, and you’re correct about needing only a 4 man rotation so we have a while. And we keep forgetting what the offense will do, it’s really time to see who’s gonna hit and who comes in on a golf cart that goes beep-beep.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        Agreed, my friend. Time to move on from Millwood. If you will allow me to digress for a minute and talk about the Yankees offense for 2011. I realize several posters (not necessarily Yankee fans) are expecting the Yankees offense to regress this year. I just don’t see it happening. First most of the Yankee regulars have had early/pre-preseason meetings with the Yankee hitting coach. Second, I fully expect Tex and ARod to improve on their batting averages in 2011 with no reduction in the HR’s or RBI’s. Jeter while I do NOT expect him to do a complete turn around over his 2010 performance I do expect some moderate improvement. Continuing, I expect Gardner to continue to improve offensively and cause trouble for opposing pitchers on the base paths. Granderson, should continue to show the improvement fans started to see the last 6 weeks of the season. Cano and Swisher are all any fan could ask for covering the right side of the field and lastly Posada at DH should have a very good year without having all the wear and tear on his body from having to catch. In a nutshell I expect the Yankees to be even better offensively in 2011 then they were in 2010 and cover up some of the short comings in the rotation. But that’s just my opinion.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Since the Craigmaster is off today we can talk about the offensive power that HAS to drive the Universe this year. Yesterday I did not get into that mathematical debate on the underdog post because the 49-53 seasons always had the Yanks as that and we know what happened, so it might be preferable to view ourselves that way.
        Really, no one but Gardner matured last year, Grandy was very hot at the end as he should have been, everyone else not so much.
        Nutshell: I can live with ERAs at or slightly above 4.50 if we get 950 runs this season, which is eminently possible if the previously unnamed suspects perform to their capabilities.
        The part on the money debate gets a resounding “Who Cares”.

  3. henryd3rd - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Let me get this straight Kevin Millwood is 36 year old and he is coming off a 4-16 season with The Orioles and he rejects the Yankee offer which could have amounted to $5,000,000 a year in hopes of getting a better offer down the road. Sounds like a guy who looking towards retirement? Maybe the Indians will guarantee him a professional contract; but no way is the money going to exceed the Yank’s offer. He’s been over paid for the past five years and now he wants guarantees? The inmates are surely runnung the asylum.

  4. paperlions - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Millwood just doesn’t want to play for a team that everyone expects to lose.

    • henryd3rd - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Spoken like a true Mets’ fan

      • paperlions - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        Spoken like a person making fun of Yankee players that think they are “underdogs”.

  5. jwbiii - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    More likely he’s following the Jermaine Dye career path: I’ve got enough money so I get what I want (spending the summer in Scranton is not something I want) and I get it now or I go home and work on my golf game.

  6. pisano - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Yankee fans just be thankful for small favors. Millwood is proof that “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” Thanks Kevin, that 5.10 era would probably be higher this year. The Indians have a rotation spot for you.

  7. Panda Claus - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Somehow, though I’m not really sure why, my respect for Millwood has gone up a little bit after this. As an O’s fan I realize this is more about him trying to finding his best chance to stick on a major-league roster than it is a one-year former O’s player sticking his nose up at dreaded rival, yet I choose to look at it exactly those terms.

    A regrettable decision on his part? Possibly, but remembering he’s being driven on the Boras bus and that some established starters will likely go down (with injury) and he’s still probably going to get a couple viable offers down the road.

  8. pisano - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    uyf1950… I couldn’t agree with you more about Pavano, but I’ll go even farther and say he should have been prosecuted for embezzlement. I honestly feel that the Yankees not signing Duchscherer may come back to haunt them unless they are afraid of his health issues. I feel that Nova will shine this year and between Garcia and Mitre they should be okay until that trade for a solid # three or four comes along. As always your post are factual and make more sense than most.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      I like the way you think my friend. Just about 6 weeks until opening day, let the good times roll.

      • pisano - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        Amen, I can’t wait!

  9. baseballstars - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Thank God. I didn’t want to see him in pinstripes. He probably would have won a roster spot based on reputation. Besides, the Yankees need someone who can pitch through the duration of the season, not in spurts. I’ll take Garcia any day over Millwood.

  10. davebrownspiral - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    As a Yankees fan I want Millwood nowhere near the Yankee Stadium mound. However, if you’re Millwood, the only leverage you have is waiting for spring training to play itself out, see who gets injured, what rotation spots open up, and what teams are desperate enough to offer you a major league contract. I guess that is his thinking.

  11. uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I guess I spoke a little to soon earlier about me moving on from Millwood. Hopefully this is my last comment on him, but I’m not making any promises.
    I just don’t understand his thinking. I read on another site where the Yankees offered him a deal similar to Garcia. Minor league with incentives if he made the trip north where he could make up to about $5MM if he made all the incentives. Apparently Millwood doesn’t have enough confidence in his abilities to sign a deal like that. If that’s the case then I wish him luck signing with say the Indians. If he doesn’t believe in himself why should/would anyone else.

  12. jh0088 - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    I’m not crying in my soup over Milwood. I look at it this way: If my team (the Yanks) doesn’t sign a player who, if he signed with a rival would scare the piss out of me, then I couldn’t care less if he were on the Yankees.

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      Very good way of stating it. Who wants someone who is over the mill.

  13. sanzarq - Feb 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Millwood stunk up the joint in Charm City last year (and didn’t seem to be too enthused about being an Oriole when he first appeared @ FanFest in Feb, 2010). This bum does not deserve a Major League contract. I really hope nobody signs him – he’s a loser!

  14. hank10 - Feb 20, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Amazed that this waste of a ‘pitcher’ is still in the Bigs. My lasting memory of him was his last season with the Phils in ’04 and in a game in FL there he was sitting on a stool in the on-deck circle huffing, puffing and looking like he was about to pass out. Why anyone would offer him a contract is beyond belief.

  15. BC - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    He’s totally useless. Why the Yankees would offer him anything is beyond me.

  16. pisano - Feb 21, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    After a considerable amount of thought and a lot of shock that the Yankees even thought about signing Millwood I could only come up with two words to describe how I feel about Millwood turning down the offer: THANK GOD !!!

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