Report: Orioles offer up young arms for Millwood

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MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Orioles offered Brandon Erbe and David Hernandez to the Rangers for Kevin Millwood, but that talks have now “cooled off.”
Judging by the fact that the Orioles were prepared to surrender two intriguing right-handers, they must have been expecting Texas to pick up a significant portion of the $12 million that Millwood is owed next season. Even if the Rangers were willing to go that route, it’d sure make a lot more sense for the Orioles to keep their arms and go out and sign a Jon Garland or Doug Davis for their rotation.
Millwood is likely a better pitcher of those two, but it’s well worth remembering that he did post ERAs of 5.16 and 5.07 in back-to-back years before rebounding to 3.67 last season. Even his 2009 was marred by a mediocre second half. April and June were the only months of the season in which he posted a sub-4.00 ERA.
Plus, Millwood would likely be nothing more than a one-year option for a team likely to finish in fourth or fifth place. He might not even bring any draft picks as a free agent, considering that his generous salary would make offering him arbitration a risk. Taking Millwood and his salary while giving up nothing in return would be an acceptable move for the Orioles. There’s just no good reason to give up young talent for him, though.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.