I gotta admit I really like the Millwood deal for the Orioles. I don’t care what that stick in the mud Keith Law over at ESPN thinks of the trade. I’ve been skeptical of the team’s off-season intentions, but I’ll give credit where it’s due. They’re finally spending some of that MASN money and that’s at least something to get excited about.
In my blog yesterday I questioned the strategy of giving up a pitching prospect to acquire Millwood with just one year left on his contract. Giving up Chris Ray is a completely different scenario. Ray has never lived up the club’s expectations for him and he’s now in line to receive larger paydays through arbitration. The deal opens up Ray’s role for a younger, cheaper pitcher like David Hernandez or Kam Mickolio.
Yesterday I suggested the Orioles sign a free agent starter like Jon Garland, but Millwood was already under contract and will be pitching for a new deal. The other benefit of dealing for Millwood is that he had no ability to block the deal. We all remember the “Confederate Money” quote from the Syd Thrift days, but frankly the Orioles haven’t been a very appealing option for free agents. If a player has options he ain’t coming to Baltimore. Millwood had no such options.
It has been reported that the Orioles traded the 3rd pick in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft to the Rangers as part of the Millwood deal. My guess is the pick is used to select Bowie BaySox Right Hander Steven Johnson, thus making the final deal Millwood plus $3 million for Chris Ray and Steven Johnson.
Welcome to Baltimore Kevin. Hopefully this is the first of many moves for Mr. MacPhail.