Kicking the tires on Kevin Millwood seems to be an annual activity for the New York Mets. Though, in previous seasons, he was considered as a pitcher who might be a “final piece” to help the Mets gain a postseason appearance.
This time, the situation is different for the Mets, and Millwood has changed as well since the days he was seen as a puzzle completer. Yet the two remain a match.
May I remind you of a passage that Joe wrote regarding Millwood during this past winter, in a review of free agent starting pitchers:
It seems like he’s a free agent every winter. No longer a middle-of-the-rotation guy, Millwood is now a 36-year-old innings eater for the back end. He doesn’t have much left in terms of velocity, but he continues to take the ball 30+ times a year and grinds out 190 innings — and that’s nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it’s something the Mets desperately need in 2011: someone who can be counted on to take the ball every fifth day and get through 6-7 innings most of the time. Millwood’s numbers have been gradually deteriorating, but a return to the NL after 6 years in the junior circuit could help his performance.
Interesting: Joe wrote this post BEFORE the team signed the chronically injured Chris Young and Boof Bonser. One could argue that signing Millwood made sense for the same reasons noted above, even after all those “low-risk, high-reward” signings.
Millwood was eventually signed to a minor-league deal with a May 1 “out clause” by the Yankees. After getting rocked in his final AAA start before that clause took effect, the Yanks cut him loose. He’s now sitting around waiting for offers.
Is Kevin Millwood going to turn the Mets into a playoff contender? Of course not. Will he have just as many godawful outings as effective ones? Probably. Can he be counted on to take the ball every fifth day and eat up innings, so that prospects like Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, and Mark Cohoon can continue developing at a proper pace in the minors? Most likely.
We’ve endured worse when times were better. After seeing the likes of Brian Lawrence, Jose Lima (RIP), and Alay Soler make starts for the Mets in seasons of hope, I can’t get too upset about the idea of Millwood slipping on a Mets uniform.
What do you think? Would it make sense for the Mets to sign Millwood? Perhaps if he’d accept a minor league deal? Maybe as a long reliever / spot starter?