INDIANAPOLIS -- In a deal that allows Texas to clear salary off its books and Baltimore the chance to add the veteran starting pitcher it wants, the Rangers have agreed to send right-hander Kevin Millwood to the Orioles in exchange for pitcher Chris Ray, CBSSports.com has learned.
The key to the deal is the Orioles agreeing to pick up "a significant portion" of Millwood's $12 million 2010 salary. The deal, in the final stages of being formalized, will be announced early Wednesday evening.
Millwood, 35, was 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA over 31 starts for the Rangers in 2009. He worked 198 2/3 innings and, in to the Rangers' credit, once they were eliminated in September, they did not pull the plug trying to limit his innings pitched. At 180, his 2010 option for $12 million automatically vested.
While the players' union certainly would have barked, the Rangers, who have been hovering on the brink of financial crisis since early last season, could have worked toward preventing that.
And with the market setting up for pitchers after Brad Penny ($7.5 million base salary with incentives that could bump that up to $9 million with St. Louis), Randy Wolf ($29.75 million over three years with Milwaukee) and Andy Pettitte ($12 million over one year) all signed this week, Millwood looks like a bargain for the Orioles.
Ray was 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Orioles in 2009. A 27-year-old right-hander, Ray missed the 2008 season following Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.