Now that the signing is official Marc Craig of the Newark Star Ledger has the details of Kevin Millwood’s minor-league contract with the Yankees.
Millwood can opt out of the deal if he’s not in the majors by May 1. If he does get added to the roster his base salary will be $1.5 million and then he can earn an additional $3.5 million in incentives, with $500,000 each for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 starts and $1 million for 30 starts.
He has about as much chance of making 30 starts for the Yankees this season as I do, but there’s a decent chance he’ll join the rotation at some point in the next month and would probably be given at least a handful of starts to prove himself, which would add up to $2 million total.
At this point it looks like both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon will crack the Opening Day pitching staff, whereas Millwood likely wouldn’t be an option until mid-April because he waited so long to sign while holding out for a guaranteed deal that never came. He went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA for the Orioles last year, including 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA against the Yankees.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.