Millwood, Rangers agree to $60M deal

Baseball notes

December 27, 2005

Free-agent pitcher Kevin Millwood reached a preliminary agreement on a five-year, $60 million contract with Texas, giving the Rangers the legitimate No. 1 starter they have been seeking.

Texas can void the fifth year of the deal if Millwood doesn't pitch a certain number of innings in earlier years of the contract. Millwood, who had drawn interest from the Orioles, is expected to undergo a physical today, and the deal likely will be finalized tomorrow.

Details of the deal were disclosed by two people familiar with negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized.

Millwood had a 2.86 ERA to lead the American League last season, his only season for the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander, who turned 31 Saturday, rejected a salary arbitration offer from the Indians.

In nine major league seasons, Millwood is 107-75 with a 3.76 ERA. He won at least 17 games in three of his six seasons with Atlanta (1997-2002) and was an All-Star in 1999. He pitched two seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies before going to Cleveland last year.

Indians -- Former Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson signed a one-year, $4 million contract. Johnson, a 32-year-old free agent, went 8-13 with a 4.55 ERA in a career-high 210 innings last season for Detroit. The right-hander could earn as much as $11.5 million over two years in a deal that includes a mutual option for 2007. Johnson and Paul Byrd, signed by the Indians this month, join C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook in one of the AL's deepest rotations. The newcomers will try to replace Scott Elarton, who signed with Kansas City, and Millwood. Johnson has made at least 32 starts in four of the past five seasons. "We always look at dependability and reliability as being two main criteria," general manager Mark Shapiro said. "Beyond being a dependable person, Jason is among the elite in the amount of innings he's provided his teams in recent years." Those teams, the Orioles and the Tigers, have lost an average of 93 games the past five seasons. He is 52-86 during his nine-year career, which also included stints with losing teams in Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Blue Jays -- The team hopes to announce this week that it has acquired slugger Troy Glaus from the Diamondbacks. "Hopefully, soon. But not today," Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "Right now we're just trying to finish everything off." Ricciardi said Glaus had not yet completed a physical.

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