Larry Dolan is opening the wallet and shopping around, looking to add another starting pitcher to the Indians roster as spring training approaches. Earlier this week, rumors about a potential Jeremy Bonderman signing hit the press. Kevin Millwood is the latest name to enter the rumor mill for a potential late addition to the rotation.
Millwood was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts with the Baltimore Orioles last year. Those may not be advanced statistics, but I don’t think I need our Mr. Steiner to tell me that he was not very good at all and that this potential signing would not be the difference in contending in the AL Central. In his last stint with the Tribe in the lost season of 2005, he was 9-11 with a 2.86 ERA. That led the league that year but we are now talking about the 2011 season. What’s the benefit of signing Millwood at this point?
The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes first reported the Tribe’s interest in Millwood yesterday afternoon via Twitter. Millwood is an “innings guy” who is represented by Scott Boras and is likely looking for a one year deal in the $3 to $5 million range. Hoynes characterized the Tribe and Millwood as “making progress.” Jordan Bastian intimated that talks with Bonderman could have hit a snag and it was still unconfirmed if the perennially injured righty had been checked out by Tribe doctors.
The Indians enter spring training with Fausto, Mitch Talbot, and Justin Masterson slotted into the rotation. The end of the rotation is likely to be filled from among the list of Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, and Anthony Reyes. Concerns about the 5th spot have prompted these rumors about Bonderman and Millwood, both big league pitchers – and by that, simply, they have pitched in the majors on a consistent basis.
Unless the stable of unheralded young arms is simply incapable of filling the end of the rotation, I’m not sure adding either Millwood or Bonderman does anything but block development in a non-contending season. I fail to see the benefit, at this point, of signing Millwood for any amount of money to help at the back of the rotation.