It sounds like the Mariners have signed another major league veteran starting pitcher to a minor league contract, with the intention of bring him to spring training and checking him out.
Last week it was left-hander Oliver Perez. And today, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, it’s right-hander Kevin Millwood.
Millwood is a former star. The 37-year-old led the American League in ERA in 2005, and twice he won 18 games in a season for Atlanta early in his career. He has a lifetime record of 163-140, with a career 4.10 ERA.
Last year, Millwood made nine starts for Colorado and went 4-3, 3.98. He also logged Triple-A time in the Yankees and Red Sox organizations.
Will the cagey vet be on the Rainiers in 2012? It’s possible.
The Mariners starting rotation, as it stands now, has “locks” in Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, and Hisashi Iwakuma.
Battling for the remaining two rotation spots will be Blake Beavan, Charlie Furbush, Hector Noesi, Millwood, Perez, Danny Hultzen, Tom Wilhelmsen, and the other pitchers recently signed to Triple-A deals such as Matt Fox and Jeff Marquez.
All of these veteran additions increase the chances that young up-and-comers like Hultzen, Erasmo Ramirez, and James Paxton will open the season in the minor leagues – and perhaps with the Rainiers.
We’ll dive deeper into the Rainiers starting pitching situation next month, but as you can see there is going to be a lot of guesswork involved.
- Late last week, Larry Stone at the Seattle Times had a blog post about reclamation projects – and he did find some successes. This is pertinent to the signings of Oliver Perez and to a lesser extent, Kevin Millwood.
- Dave Cameron at USS Mariner likes the Millwood signing.
- The newest Mariners hitter – we think; still waiting for the official announcement – took the #1 spot on MLB.com’s list of top catching prospects.
- Former Rainiers infielder Mike Morse is getting paid. Hey, buddy, can I get a loan?
- For all of you ballplayers getting ready to go to minor league spring training, here’s Triple-A pitcher Dirk Hayhurst’s “Tips For Spring Training.”
- There are rumors that the Oakland A’s might sign Manny Ramirez. Since Man-Ram has to begin the season serving a 50-day suspension, you know what that means: rehab assignment with the Sacramento Rivercats.
- Baseball America has reached the AL West with their Top-10 Prospects series – and they started with the Texas Rangers (subscription needed for link). I think this means they will release their Mariners list later this week.
- I’m a 49ers fan, so I was not happy with yesterday’s playoff game. I did not know that Kyle Williams – the second-year player who was pressed into punt return duty because of the injury to Ted Ginn Jr. – is the son of Chicago White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams.
Later this week – Thursday – the Mariners host their annual pre-spring training media event. I’ll be up there and will have a report focusing on the minor league aspects of the discussion.