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Monday, January 23, 2012 - Page updated at 06:00 p.m.
Mariners, right-hander Kevin Millwood agree to minor-league contract
By Larry Stone
Seattle Times staff reporter
In 2005, right-hander Kevin Millwood recorded a 2.86 earned-run average — lowest in the American League — in his lone season pitching for the Cleveland Indians.
Now Millwood will be reunited with his Cleveland manager (Eric Wedge) and pitching coach (Carl Willis), having agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners.
Millwood, 37, will likely compete for a spot in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and, most likely, Hasashi Iwakuma, a free agent from Japan signed earlier this winter.
Another rotation candidate is right-hander Hector Noesi, whose acquisition from the Yankees, along with catcher Jesus Montero, is expected to be officially announced Monday.
The M's impending signing of Millwood was first reported by the Gaston Gazette of Gaston County, N.C. Millwood is a native of Bessemer City, N.C.
The source of their story was a weekend Facebook posting by Kevin's sister, Erika: "Also we got some news at Jacobs party — — — We are now Seattle Mariners fans! Kevin signed with Seattle tonight — — whoohoo Go Seattle!"
Millwood has a career 163-140 record, and was a National League All-Star in 1999, when he went 18-7 with a 2.68 ERA for the Atlanta Braves.
But his last two years have been rocky. He was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA with the Orioles in 2010. In 2011, he signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on March 25, but opted out after three minor-league starts. He signed with the Red Sox on May 19 and was released on Aug. 7 with a 5-1 record and 4.28 ERA in 13 starts for Class AAA Pawtucket (exercising an opt-out clause in his contract).
The next day, Millwood signed with the Rockies and was 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts. This winter, Millwood reportedly turned down a one-year, $1 million offer to return to Colorado.
After his season with Wedge and Willis in Cleveland, Millwood signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Rangers.
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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