Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kevin Millwood is Certifiably Crazy

Wow, and I thought Vlad Guerrero was out of touch with reality.  Buster Olney has the goods on Kevin Millwood's contract demands.
Heard this: Millwood is looking for $4-$5 millon (sic) for 2011, which is significantly more than some teams willing to consider.
Significantly more money than some teams are willing to consider?  Try all 30 of them.  

Kevin Millwood's 2010 season could be best described as a disaster.  The funny thing is that it started out innocently enough.  Through his first ten starts, he produced a very respectable 3.87 ERA and a 56/16 K/BB ratio in 68 innings.  Over his next 21 starts, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  He suffered from atrocious luck on balls in play; a decline in velocity across the board; an usually fly ball heavy GB/FB ratio; and abysmal run support.  When all was said and done, Millwood limped to the finish line with a 4-16 record, 4.86FIP/5.10 ERA, and a 132/65 K/BB ratio in 190.2 innings. 

So where does this leave Millwood going forward?  While his luck on batted balls will likely reverse itself next season, his drastic drop in velocity will not.  When a pitcher loses velocity (particularly with his fastball), he becomes more susceptible to allowing higher rates of contact, line drives, and home runs.  At 36, it's very unlikely he'll be able to reverse this trend.  This makes signing him to a $4-5M contract a risky proposition, in general.  Once you factor in the current date (2/3), and the fact that most teams are signing players to minor league contracts (with Spring Training invites), that makes Millwood's demands down right crazy. 

If Millwood expects to get a contract this season, he's going to have to lower his demands to something more reasonable.  (Perhaps 1.0-1.5M?)  Otherwise, he could end up becoming this year's Jermaine Dye.

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