Wednesday, December 9, 2009
O's trade Ray for Millwood
The hot stove season officially began today when the Orioles traded Chris Ray to the Texas Rangers for Kevin Millwood.
Millwood was 13-10 in 2009 with a 3.67 ERA, and is 155-121 lifetime with a career 4.02 ERA. He averages 208 IP a season. So it's safe to say that the Orioles got themselves an innings eater in 2010 to lead a rotation of otherwise young pitchers in Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman.
And to think, the Orioles only had to give up Chris Ray, he of a 7.27 ERA in 2009, including a whopping 9.64 career ERA against the Yankees. Granted, Ray was not the same pitcher he was in 2005 and 2006 after suffering through Tommy John surgery in the 2008 season, but it's safe to say that even at his best, Ray was worth trading for an established veteran pitcher in Millwood.
Millwood at his core reminds me of Rick Sutcliffe, and many O's fans will remember his stabilizing presence in a young O's rotation in 1992, the same season the Orioles moved into Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Sutcliffe was 36 when he arrived in Baltimore, with a career ERA right around 4 (same as Millwood) and lead a rotation in which Bob Milacki (27), was the second oldest pitcher on the staff. (Mike Mussina, 23, and Ben McDonald, 24, also made up that rotation, which helped the Orioles win 89 games that year.)
Also, Millwood sports some decent stats against the Orioles 2 biggest rivals in the AL East, with a 3.84 career ERA against the Red Sox and a respectable 4.86 ERA against the Yankees. Surely, that weighted into Andy MacPhail's reasoning to target and acquire Millwood when there were about a dozen other veteran pitchers he could have targeted just as easily.
In the end, the Orioles landed themselves an established veteran SP who can teach the youngsters a thing or two about pitching in the major leegaues. And while the Orioles will only have Millwood's services for a year, as he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2010 season, it was still well worth Chris Ray to land him.
Welcome to Baltimore, Kevin. Good luck in 2010.