ST PETERSBURG FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Kevin Millwood #34 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 29 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Free Agent Kevin Millwood Signs With Red Sox

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Report: Red Sox Sign Kevin Millwood To Minor-League Deal

Yahoo!'s Tim Brown reported it, and now ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes has confirmed it: the Boston Red Sox have signed free agent Kevin Millwood to a minor-league contract.

As you might recall, Millwood signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees earlier this spring, with the option to become a free agent if the Yankees didn't bring him to the majors by the 1st of May. With both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia pitching well, the Yankees had no need for Millwood and he did free himself from the pinstriped shackles.

Millwood started only three games in the Yankees' system, and was absolutely hammered in his two Triple-A starts, giving up three home runs in nine innings. So this deal speaks more to the Red Sox's desperation -- with Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey on the Disabled List, indefinitely -- than to Millwood's talents at this point in his career. He will presumably join the Pawtucket rotation and try to out-pitch fellow senior citizen Brandon Duckworth.

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Kevin Millwood Opts Out Of Contract With Yankees

When Kevin Millwood signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees, the deal included a clause that he could opt out on May 1 if he wasn't on the 25-man roster. Millwood wasn't on the 25-man roster a week ago and allowed six runs in two innings in his next minor league start, so - and this might surprise you - the Yankees didn't add him to the 25-man roster before the deadline.

So Millwood has indeed opted out of the deal, electing to become a free agent rather than hang around in the Yankees organization, waiting for an opportunity. Even though his stuff isn't what it was and his results have been mediocre to date, one imagines he'll be signed by somebody else before long.

The Yankees have been worried about Phil Hughes, but with Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon pitching well in the rotation, there simply wasn't room or reason for them to bring Millwood up.

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Kevin Millwood Trying To Make Yankees' Rotation

Towards the end of March, the New York Yankees signed veteran workhorse Kevin Millwood to a minor-league contract  as insurance for their rotation. Millwood's deal assured him a prorated $1.5 million salary, were he to make it to the Majors, but it also came with a May 1 deadline, after which Millwood could opt out if he hadn't been placed on the 25-man roster.

That May 1 deadline is rapidly approaching, and as Buster Olney writes, Millwood will make one more start in the minors before the Yankees have to make a decision.

Right now, it doesn't seem like the Yankees have an imminent need, with both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon pitching well. There's also the matter of Millwood's stuff not looking real hot - he's made only two starts in the minors so far, but one scout dismissed his stuff as looking "terrible", and his fastball has been sitting in the mid-80s. In short, while he's presumably still building up arm strength, Millwood isn't wowing anybody.

So we'll see what happens, but the odds are against the Yankees calling Millwood up before the end of the month. That would allow Millwood to declare himself a free agent again, though he could also choose to stick around.

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Kevin Millwood Signs With Yankees And Will Report To Minors

The New York Yankees rather famously have question marks at the back of their rotation. Nevermind issues with A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes' spring velocity; the team is leaning on Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, and/or Freddy Garcia to carry the fourth and fifth spots. It should come as little surprise that the Yankees have been looking around for more help, and on Friday they found another warm body, signing Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract.

Millwood spent the offseason working out and looking for a new home, and won't be ready to begin the regular season with New York, as he'll have to stretch out and build up his arm strength. He'll report to the minors, and once he's ready, the team will evaluate whether or not it's worth shuffling Millwood into the rotation at the expense of anyone else. Basically, he's insurance, and there's nothing wrong with having depth.

Millwood's contract includes incentives should he make it to the Majors. The 36-year-old righty has posted an ERA north of 5 in three of the last four seasons, including last year with Baltimore, but he's got that proven veteran shine to him, he's pitched in the playoffs, and he's durable, so he's worth a virtually risk-free flier.

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