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Red Sox agree to terms with Kevin Millwood

05.19.11 at 9:48 pm ET
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The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Kevin Millwood. (AP)

The Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood on a minor league contract, pending a physical. If he reaches the majors, the deal would be for a prorated base salary of $500,000, with performance bonuses built into the deal.

Millwood, who opted out of a minor-league deal with the Yankees in early May after going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts in their minor league system (including an 8.00 ERA with 14 hits allowed in nine innings in Triple-A), has a career 159-137 record with a 4.11 ERA in 14 seasons with the Braves, Phillies, Indians, Rangers and Orioles.

Though a workhorse, Millwood has suffered diminished effectiveness in recent years, and last year he went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 190 2/3 innings while striking out 132 for the Orioles. His 16 losses were the most in the AL, while his 1.51 WHIP was the fourth worst in the majors. According to Fangraphs.com, Millwood’s fastball velocity in 2010 of 89.0 mph was the lowest he’s had since at least 2002 (the first year charted by the website); his swing-and-miss rate of 5.9 percent (meaning the percentage of his strikes that were swings and misses) also represented a career low.

The 36-year-old went unsigned until reaching his minor league deal with the Yankees late in spring training.

The Sox were left to search for rotation depth reinforcements after John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka landed on the disabled list this week due to elbow injuries. With Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves moving from the bullpen into the rotation and Triple-A left-hander Felix Doubront currently sidelined by a mild left groin injury, the Sox’ rotation depth was dramatically depleted in a short period of time, leaving the team to look outside the organization for reinforcements.

“Every club goes through injuries over the course of the season. So that’s why you have Tim Wakefield ready to step into the rotation and that’s why we signed Alfredo Aceves. That’s why we have some more depth at Triple-A and hopefully we built some more depth today by signing Millwood to a minor-league deal, pending a physical,” Sox GM Theo Epstein told reporters. “So every club has to get through this type of thing. You don’t want it to happen at the same time, but they usually do so we just have to weather it.”

Epstein said that Millwood will report to the Sox’ extended spring training facility in Fort Myers, where he will throw side sessions, then get in some games in extended spring training before being assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

News of the signing was first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (via twitter).

Read More: alfredo aceves, Daisuke Matsuzaka, felix doubront, john lackey
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