Kevin Millwood officially opts out of contract with Yankees

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Yankees fans, the Kevin Millwood Era is over.

From Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet comes word that the right-hander officially opted out of his contract with the Yanks on Sunday morning and is now a free agent, clear to sign with any team.

Millwood held out all spring for a guaranteed big league roster spot before finally agreeing to a minor league contract with the Yankees on March 25. He was sent Double-A Trenton initially and was fantastic in his first start, allowing just one hit over seven dominant innings, but he was shelled in two outings after moving on to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Yankees informed him Sunday that he was not going to be promoted anytime soon, so Millwood used the May 1 opt out clause in his contract and can now begin searching for a new gig.

Millwood, 36, registered a 5.10 ERA and 1.51 WHIP across 31 starts for the Orioles last season.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.