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.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.