(Seattle Times photo)
UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com is reporting that it’s a minor-league deal.
There’s a report today in the Gaston Gazette of Gaston County, North Carolina that veteran pitcher Kevin MIllwood — a native of Bessemer City, N.C. — has agreed to sign with the Mariners.
The source of the story is a weekend Facebook posting by Kevin’s sister, Erika. Sure enough, I tracked down her Facebook page and found this posting: “Also we got some news at Jacobs party————–We are now Seattle Mariners fans! Kevin signed with Seattle tonight——– whoohoo Go Seattle!”
Millwood, 37, has a career 163-140 record, but the last couple of years have been rocky. He was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA with the Orioles in 2010. In 2011, he signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on March 25, but opted out of the contract after three minor-league starts. He signed with the Red Sox on May 19 and was released on Aug. 7 with a 5-1 record and 4.28 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A Pawtucket (exercising an opt-out clause in his contract). The next day, he signed with the Rockies and was 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts with Colorado.
This winter, Millwood reportedly turned down a one-year, $1 million offer from the Rockies with $2 million in incentives.
No official acknowledgement yet from the Mariners, but I’d say the source is pretty reliable. And no word on whether this would be a minor-league or major-league contract. Millwood would figure to contend for a rotation spot behind Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and Hasashi Iwakuma. Millwood could help bridge the gap to the phenoms on their way to Seattle, including Danny Hultzen and James Paxton.
Millwood pitched for Mariners manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis with Cleveland in 2005. He was 9-11 with a 2.86 ERA in 30 starts.