Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Millwood's Millions

Kevin Millwood tells the Inquirer today that he will "likely" accept the Phillies' arbitration offer. Saying the offer "was a huge relive" and "a pleasant, pleasant thing to happen," Millwood continued to insist that he likes playing in Philadelphia, and added that he's been working on what Todd Zolecki describes as "the most strenuous off-season conditioning program of his career, maybe his entire life." Should he accept the offer, he will earn at least $11 million this season, maybe more, which is not an insignificant amount -- but it's a far cry from the $75 million contract his agent, Scott Boras, was peddling.

While the Inky is all over the story, Marcus Hayes and the Daily News play catch-up. Hayes's story in today's paper talks mostly about the Phillies' arbitration offer reflecting their desire to have Millwood return for next year, and not as a tool to gain compensatory draft picks. His lunch eaten by Zolecki, Hayes can do no more than quote a story in yesterday's Bucks County Courier Times which said that "Millwood ... would gladly return to the Phillies for one season." (See Randy Miller's story here.)

Regardless of who's reporting it, this is a win-win deal. The Phillies will spend more this year than they had projected, but still won't be on the hook for an onerous multiyear deal. Millwood gets another season to build his resume in hopes of attracting the kind of scratch Boras was seeking for him. And we fans get to watch a rotation of four former All-Stars and a No. 5 guy who would be a No 3 on many teams.


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