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December 9, 2009

Millwood: It's on (updated)

Orioles beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec is reporting that the O's are very close to closing the deal that would send reliever Chris Ray to the Texas Rangers for veteran starter Kevin Millwood and some cash to offset Millwood's $12 million salary for 2010. Stay tuned. His first story is up on the Web site right now and you can read it here.

Several sources have confirmed that the framework of the deal is done. There are several procedural hurdles still to clear. Both sides want to see medical records and the cash involved in the transaction has to be approved by the Commissioner's Office, but that's usually a formality. The deal should be announced today.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 2:01 PM | | Comments (57)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

BOOOO!!!!

It's not that Millwood isn't a good fit for the O's, but giving up Ray is crazy for a one year rental. Ray is 2 years removed from an All-Star season, and was iffy in his first year back from Major Surgery.

maybe the O's know something about his arm I don't, but this is selling the future for something now.

poor, poor move. This will be regrettable.

I'm kinda sad to see Ray go, but it doesn't look like he'll ever be a full-time closer.

I think he can be a great setup man, but I'm willing to give up a future setup man for a year of Millwood, because the instruction and tutelage he can offer our young guys could prove even more valuable than what Ray will deliver down the road.

nice move, Ray has been terrible and will never be the same pitcher again, I hope they add bedard too.

Millwood can be traded away at the deadline too.

Pete,

Love your online comments by the way. Wondering, Bedard had problems with pitching in a 5 man rotation. With the addition of Millwood, and the plethera of pitchers. Any chance of them switching to a 6-man rotation to let him not endanger his health? An extra day of rest would make bedard lethal and keep his health up

Great Deal for the O's. They get a proven starter for a question mark!

Pete,

Love your online comments by the way. Wondering, Bedard had problems with pitching in a 5 man rotation. With the addition of Millwood, and the plethera of pitchers. Any chance of them switching to a 6-man rotation to let him not endanger his health? An extra day of rest would make bedard lethal and keep his health up

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: No, that's not a possibility. If they get Bedard, he would likely enter the rotation at midseason and try to build back up. They'd have to have an option for 2011 or beyond.

Good opening move. It fills a big need with someone who is capable of pitching in a small park and getting hitters out. No other quality pitcher would want to sign with Baltimore and pitch with 4 rookies, so this gives us someone at the top. Now we can hopefully add one more top take the pressure off the youngsters. No one was talking about Ray being any part of our bullpen this year anyway. Good move.

I don't understand this at all. I mean, Ray was great facing those AAA and AAAA guys at the end of Spring Training games last year...

And Millwood will have trouble adjusting to Camden Yards. Everyone knows that Texas' park keeps the ball in play...

;-)

I don't like to see Ray go because I believe he tried to come back too soon after a major surgery and will be a much better pitcher next season.

But, the things Millwood can teach to a whole staff of very young pitching will be far more beneficial over the next several years.

Great trade for the O's

I like Ray for Millwood. I think Ray has seriously regressed since that big season. We need Millwood at this point more than a releiver with a 7.27 ERA.

It allows a mentor for our staff for a year. to see if Arrieta can make the transition. to see if Hernandez and Berken fit into the releif corps long term.

It's a very good move by AM i'd have been upset if we'd given up Erbe or a solid prospect as oppsoed to a pitcher struggling for the last two season with injuries and not perfoming well.

Let's hope.

Ray is a nice guy, but his ERA has never been good enough to be a top tier closer. It was a good move, glad we didnt give up a pitching prospect, and the kids can learn from millwood..

Why boo this move Orioles fans?

Some must have no clue about baseball other than the stick of gum that comes with each pack of cards.... Chris Ray is showing decreased velocity and it is still 50/50 that he could comeback to his 2007 form. They have Hernandez, Johnson and other power arms to offset the loss of Ray. The Orioles were targeting another late inning arm in Soriano.

I find this better than a Millwood - Hernandez trade.

question: if we sign Bedard, does that mean we basically got Adam Jones and Sherrill (and echo trade players) for basically nothing (bedard was hurt over 50% of time with seattle)?? Could this be the equalizer for the Glen Davis for Schilling-Finley massacre trade with Houston many years ago??

I completely agree with Don. I was worried about a Hernandez trade for Millwood b/c I think Hernandez has some good upside but Ray is a no-brainer. Yes Ray will be better than last year but it is very doubtful he'll return to form. And as I recall he gave me too much stress when he was on anyway. Millwood will be good for this young pitching staff too. Great opening move.

love this trade. hate to see ray go, but love this trade. thanks, schmucker, for the live chat today, that was really cool.

love this trade. hate to see ray go, but love this trade. thanks, schmucker, for the live chat today, that was really cool.

This is a great trade. Even if Ray gets healthy and becomes a good setup man we are getting a starter that can be a mentor and has significant value at the trade deadline if we are in dealing mode. That is the key. Tradeing Ray can bring back two prospects next year for the rebuilding process. If we don't trade Millwood maybe it means we are actually in it.

Pete- Any thoughts on Opening Day starter at this point? I know it's early, but assuming he's back by then, I'd love to see Bergie get the nod. Your odds on Bedard coming back? I think everyone here is hopeful he returns and would be a good fit. Thanks and I love the blog.

Nice trade.
Rays arm will simply fly into the stands someday with that out of control delivery.
Now sign Bedard to 2 year deal,be patient. Go get that right handed bat and top notch reliever.

Obviously, this alone won't make much of a difference, but it's an excellent trade, regardless. Millwood could be an attractive trade or FA target, which means talent coming back to us. I don't see any logical way of opposing this from the O's perspective.

GOOD RIDDANCE RAY!!!!!!! He was the worst Ray in Baltimore. Welcome Millwood. I wonder how he feels coming to Baltimore? Oh well.

great move by the O's.. we needed an innings eater for the rotation for a while now. Millwood can also mentor are great young pitchers. if we can add either Bedard or even rich Harden, watch out...though we still need that middle of the order bat...GO O's

GOOD RIDDANCE RAY!!!!!!! He was the worst Ray in Baltimore. Welcome Millwood. I wonder how he feels coming to Baltimore? Oh well.

Fantastic trade. In my opinion, Ray was done in Baltimore (he could blossom in Texas, but it wasn't going to happen here), so we get a viable starter for someone who had no future in our organization. I wish Chris all the best, and I hope he does turn things around in Texas.

anytime you can get starting pitching for releif pitching, job well done. Two questions though:
What are the chances of signing Millwood to an extension?
And does this mean the O's won't persue Bedard?

Good first move. Any time you can bring in a starting pitcher used to pitching beyond the 5th inning it is a good thing. You have all seen Millwood pitch. A team thinks they have him out of there in the 2nd inning and they look up he is still out there in the 7th.

Reading some of these comments is laughable. Giving up Ray's 7+ era and his blown out arm is a problem? Sure Millwood may be for just one year. But that's one year that Ray won't lose 10 games. And should Millwood have a good year and the Orioles (God forbid) actually try to extend him, Millwood is a solid pickup for basically nothing.

BOOOO!!!!

It's not that Millwood isn't a good fit for the O's, but giving up Ray is crazy for a one year rental. Ray is 2 years removed from an All-Star season, and was iffy in his first year back from Major Surgery.

maybe the O's know something about his arm I don't, but this is selling the future for something now.

poor, poor move. This will be regrettable.

Posted by: paulie | December 9, 2009 2:13 PM
____________________

You're joking right? Chris Ray is also removed from two years ago having surgery. Two years and he has regressed; not shown improvement. Would you have preferred they give up Hernandez? Even if Ray becomes a decent pitcher again, and I wish him well, this is a steal for the Orioles as Ray was expendable. Bravo for MacPhail.

Great move! We get someone that can give us 175+ quality innings for someone who was lucky to throw a strike. Closers can be found, but someone that can pitch 6+ quality innings every 5th day is harder to find especially with our 'Confederate Money'.

Ray in my eyes was never mentally ready for a closer role. After the surgery, he never had the same ferociousness he had prior to the knife.

Now let's sign Bedard on a 1 year contract. He will pitch his butt off because he is looking for a more lucrative long term contract that the Orioles should not offer. The best thing in the world to have, IN ANY SPORT, is a player in his final contract year. They play through pain and their numbers are magically (delicious - lucky charms reference) great.

In Andy I trust.

Great move! We get someone that can give us 175+ quality innings for someone who was lucky to throw a strike. Closers can be found, but someone that can pitch 6+ quality innings every 5th day is harder to find especially with our 'Confederate Money'.

Ray in my eyes was never mentally ready for a closer role. After the surgery, he never had the same ferociousness he had prior to the knife.

Now let's sign Bedard on a 1 year contract. He will pitch his butt off because he is looking for a more lucrative long term contract that the Orioles should not offer. The best thing in the world to have, IN ANY SPORT, is a player in his final contract year. They play through pain and their numbers are magically (delicious - lucky charms reference) great.

In Andy I trust.

Congratulations Paulie. At last count you're outnumbered 25-1 in being against this trade. Make that 26-1 now.

Paulie's last name is Ray...

Well, now we have a No. 3 starter, if we can secure and Ace or a solid 2 man, we might have a decent chance of hitting .500 this year.

The greater question is what the heck is Texas thinking? (not that I care) AM has huge brass ones. He makes such lopsided trades MLB should investigate mafia ties.

ERA is like golf; the lower number wins! Hope they insert Chris when they play us. Batting Practice is not supposed to count on the stat sheet.

Well, now we have a No. 3 starter, if we can secure and Ace or a solid 2 man, we might have a decent chance of hitting .500 this year.

Great Trade for both Baltimore and Texas.

Best wishes to Chris Ray.

Millwood gives Baltimore the quality starter to lead the young birds.

Adding a healthy Bedard would allow Guthrie to focus on winning rather than leading.

Now a solid 3rd baseman.

Aubrey should be our 1st baseman until the farm generates an clear improvement.

Paulie's last name is Shore. Too much weed is hard on the brain cells.

Love this move. I know championships are not built with stop-gaps, but we're not winning a championship anyway. We have money to spend so we can take on payroll, and any time you trade a guy who, in a good year, might pitch 60-70 innings for a guy who might pitch 180-200 innings quality, you make that deal.

Let's also not forget the hidden aspect here. And no I'm not talking about the mythical "solid veteran who can bring the young guys along" b.s. (isn't that the job of a pitching coach?)...on a team this young, with young guys in the bullpen and young guys in the rotation, it's critical to have a workhorse in the rotation who can save that bullpen. Matusz, Tillman, et al are going to be on strict pitch counts, and they're also going to struggle. This puts a huge burden on the bullpen (see: last year). Having a dependable guy who can eat innings will really help this club in the long run from a player development perspective.

If we somehow land Bedard, I absolutely love the idea of a rotation featuring five of Millwood, Bedard, Guthrie, Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen. As we saw last year, having more than five starters isn't just a luxury these days, it's a necessity.

Great Trade for both Baltimore and Texas.

Best wishes to Chris Ray.

Millwood gives Baltimore the quality starter to lead the baby birds.

Adding a healthy Bedard would allow Guthrie to focus on winning rather than leading.

Now a solid 3rd baseman.

to anyone who doesnt know how they feel about this deal yet, one thing is for certain- texas fans do not seem to like it. check out some of the comments:

http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/12/report-rangers-to-deal-millwood-to-balti.html

Another great move by McPhail. Get a proven starter to eat innings and give up only a former closer and inconsistent setup man who only seemed to be consistent at giving up big homers. I liked Ray, but he never seemed to take that next step and you need to if you're going to be a major league reliever. Great movement and a power arm mean nothing if you can't locate it. Ray was all over the place and major leaguers will catch up with a 100 mph fastball if you leave it over the plate.

Now if they sign Bedard, they can start the year without him, hope Millwood shows steadiness so they can move him around the all star break, bring in Bedard to fill his place while getting more prospects in return.

Just a great move.

Solid move, in that Ray was expendable and Millwood has a history of success, but I'm still worried that Millwood is going to put up an ERA north of 5.

But, either way, I like it. Unless he gets hurt, Millwood is going to toss 180 innings. I'd take that over tossing in a Waters or a Berken any day.

I like the deal. I hope Ray has success in Texas but I'm actually surprised they got Millwood for so little. A liittle sad to see him go because he has a live arm but I'm sure some one else is equally capable of giving up tapemeasure bombs in the mid to late innings.

Now let's not get too excited. I will believe it when I see the press conference with Millwood in an O's uniform.

i'm not a huge millwood fan, but this is a great move. even for only a year, it's still worth it if all they have to give up is ray. now lets get a big bat to hit cleanup, and we can call this a very successful offseason.

Aside from the on field standpoint, Chris Ray is a great guy and I believe he gave 100% whenever he went out there. Had one 'lights out' year and that is what Texas is gambling on. Hope he finds the groove - just not against the O's.

As for Millwood, never liked the guy but hope he does well here. Hope he shows the young guns what they need to stay in the 'bigs' for 10-12 as a SP - and then is dealt for a couple of prospects as Hernandez, Arrieta, or Patton takes his SP spot.

Ray sucks, when the deal is complete I'm glad we got Millwood and get rid of another injured person off the team and get a guy with consistency.

Peter,

BTW - thx for the excellent work today. Glad there is something to report for you and the O's fans. You and the Sun team are leading the way. Great job all around!!

Okay, the "paulie shore" comments are a bit personal... :)

Chris Ray: young, proven closer, All-Star, had one season back from surgery (elbow, not shoulder!), and everyone wants to get rid of him. One bad season after suregery, and he's "expendable?" Cause the O's have "depth" in Closers? huh?

Kevin Millwood: 34, not an All-Star, 1yr, 12 million.

granted the O's need a "Millwood type", but is giving up Closers a move the O's can make?

Young ex All-Star, for 1 season 34 year old starter.

Anyone think giving up Adam Jones for Jermain Dye with 1 yr contract a good deal too?

just an opinion.

and think Schmuck is on my side of this...I'd never speak for him though.

I like this move if they sign the Cuban also.

paulie -

Can't say that I didn't expect a negative spin on this from you, but are you seriously comparing Ray for Millwood to Jones for Dye?

That's almost as nonsensical as the guy who say we have two Nick Johnsons in Luke Scott and Michael Aubrey.

Oh, and since when was Chris Ray an All Star? In waspman's alternate dimension where the Houston Texans have made the NFL playoffs?

Well all know that there's a chance that Ray could return and put up a few solid seasons, but he's not 23 anymore. The guy will be 28 by Opening Day 2010 and four years removed from his last sub 4.00 ERA.

This was a good move no matter how you spin it.

No other way to look at this, but an excellent deal for the Birds.

I wish Ray a lot of success because he seems like a really good guy, but I think his style of pitching is similar to BJ and that's a concern now and down the road.

Paulie,
"Proven Closer" is someone who puts up good numbers more then 2 consecutive seasons. '05 and '06 are the only good years from him in regards to effectiveness. In '06 and '07 when he was our closer, he had a blown save rate of 16%! Of the 58 total chances for a save, he only recorded 49 saves.

Proven, I think not.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=6319

not brooks,

you are correct, and I am dead-wrong. Chris Ray was not an All-star. (memory failing...bad sign). I'm not being negative just to be a poo-poo head--just speaking my mind.

(and you're right too, the comparison was a reach...maybe not quite the same as the Nick Johnson one though, that was silly).

Ken,

Ray is better than all of the other guys "presently" in the O's bull pen for Closing. He's no Mariano, for sure, I wasn't saying that.

Here's a snippet from MLB's write up on the moves.

One Major League scout said Ray probably should have started last season in Triple-A and be brought along slowly instead of starting out in the big leagues.

"He might have thrown too hard too early and lost his command and release point," the scout said. "He just had erratic command and control. I would anticipate he would be a lot better being one more year away from Tommy John surgery."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091209&content_id=7783458&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


I'm a huge AM fan, but I'll call a spade-a-spade if it's so. This move was poor. imho.

Paulie,

The 2 key parts in that quote were "one major league scout" and "anticipate".

1 major league scout still thinks Ben McDonald can still pitch.

You are trading "seeds" for a "blossomed flower". Yes your flower has blossomed so there is only a short time left before the petals fall off, but Ray is "seeds" at best. When he was closing, they were shaky saves. At least 1 runner always got on before he got 2 of 3 for K's. Sherrill reminded me of Ray. At the end of the evening, they were saves, but they were never pretty or without Maalox.

Ray imho was no better then a setup man. Relievers can come from anywhere. Proven starters are much harder to find. This is especially true because of our recent losing history and the fact that we are in the AL East. How many times do we have pitchers run through the line up once, yet on the second time through they get lit up like Snoop Dogg in California. A true starter can run through a line up at least twice with no problem and hopefully a third time.

Ray was on borrowed time here. He still is not right since the surgery and he may never be. We have younger kids that are waiting in the wings to get an opportunity. Time was not on his side here.

Great trade again Andy. Hope you train your successor when you get the commish job.

"call a spade-a-spade"

Proven closer has more saves then 49. In an 80 win season, you have about 50 save chances.

49 in 2 seasons is not something I would hang my hat on.

As far as being the best "presently" in the Pen to close, who says we have to look to our Pen for a closer This is the same ill faded logic that people use to say "move Reimold to first". Get the correct personnel to fill the position they are good at. Ray was no closer. Keeping him as the closer serves no purpose other then to get Trembley fired.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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