Kevin Millwood pitched decently for the Mariners this this season before a sore shoulder put an early end to things this month, but the impending free agent told Greg Johns of MLB.com yesterday that he’s not sure whether he wants to come back for another season.
“I’m going to go home and just relax and play with my kids and see what happens, see how I feel and see what pops into my head,” Millwood said Friday. “I don’t have any definite plans right now on next year, but I’m sure at some point in the offseason it’ll hit me on what I want to do.”
“I knew I wanted to play this year,” he said. “But like I said, now I’m just trying to figure out physically if I can do it. I still definitely believe I can get people out, but whether it’s time to stay home and spend more time with my kids or try it again, I don’t know the answer to that yet.”
Millwood signed a minor league deal with the Mariners last offseason and made the team out of spring training. The 37-year-old right-hander ended up posting a 4.25 ERA and 107/56 K/BB ratio over 161 innings in 28 starts. And he wasn’t just a Safeco Field creation either, as his ERA was only slightly higher on the road (4.35) than it was at home (4.15). Still, it’s unlikely any team will give him much of a guarantee at this point, so he’s understandably thinking about whether it’s worth trying to put his body through another season.
Millwood has a 169-152 record and a 4.11 ERA over 16 major league seasons. While he has averaged an unspectacular 6.9 K/9 for his career, he ranks 59th all-time with 2,083 strikeouts. He is the active leader in strikeouts among right-handed pitchers.