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 Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.