Kevin Millwood signs with Rockies, could pitch this week

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Kevin Millwood opted out of his minor-league contract with the Red Sox over the weekend and it didn’t take him long to find a new gig.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the veteran right-hander has signed with the Rockies and “there’s a chance he could start Wednesday.”

Millwood last started a big-league game on September 29 of last season, throwing seven shutout innings to finish the year 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA. Since then he’s spent Triple-A stints with the Yankees and Red Sox, logging 90 total innings with a 4.32 ERA and 76/31 K/BB ratio.

Given his performance last season, drop in velocity, and mediocre numbers at Triple-A it’s tough to envision the 36-year-old Millwood having a whole lot of success in the majors at this point, particularly calling Coors Field home. Colorado probably just wants a live body with some experience to eat innings with the team out of the playoff picture.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.