Friday, December 11, 2009

More on Millwood, What the Bloggers and Websites are Saying & Rule 5 Draft

Keith Law of ESPN has his take on the Millwood-Ray trade, and while he likes the deal for Texas, he's kind of lukewarm on Baltimore's end...

Ray's not an elite closer, but he could help the Rangers in some leveraged late-game role. He also makes it easier for them to put Neftali Feliz in the rotation, where he worked in the minors before mid-2009 and where his future probably lies. Saving $8 million -- which they've allocated to Rich Harden, while adding a decent relief arm -- is a big win for Texas and allows the Rangers to close the door on another big free-agent deal that didn't work out.

-- snip --

(this is when he mentions the Orioles...)

Baltimore's motivation is a little less clear. They trade three years of control of Ray for one of Millwood and add $8 million in salary, although losing Ray's 2009 performance isn't going to hurt the club. Millwood could, in a best-case scenario, provide some bulk innings, but I wouldn't bet on league-average performance after a year when his strikeout rate was a career-worst and his walk rate was close to one as well.

Millwood's velocity has been gradually declining for years, and he doesn't have the type of command to survive as a finesse guy -- although his stuff hasn't yet dropped to that level. With Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and probably Brad Bergesen behind Millwood, the O's now have a complete rotation on paper, but I wouldn't be shocked if Millwood were only the third-best starter of the bunch in 2010 (even though he'll outearn the other four combined).

I'm curious how Millwood will perform in Baltimore considering he's going from one bandbox (The Ballpark in Arlington) to another (Camden Yards). Although Millwood may be better older and may be slightly in decline, the organization hopes he could serve as a mentor -- sort of like what Rick Sutcliffe did in the early part of the 90's with Baltimore. Most fans know he's not going to help the Orioles acquire a pennant, but he's better than let's say some of the various pitchers who were given starts in 2009.

However, Millwood will be expected to keep the Orioles in games and take the pressure of Jeremy Guthrie. Also, Tillman, Matusz and the other young arms in the Oriole rotation will surely learn a lesson or two on how a veteran prepares for a game on the mound.

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