Millwood Possible Trade Target for Crew

We’ve heard a lot of names already connected with the Brewers early this offseason. Let’s add one more — the Boston Globe is reporting that the Brewers have made a few calls to the Texas Rangers about the availability of Kevin Millwood. Cue the jokes about Doug Melvin being interested in anyone that’s ever played for Texas.

Millwood’s an interesting name to hear, to be sure. He had a strong 2009, posting a 13-10 record with a 3.67 ERA for a surprising Rangers team that pushed for a playoff spot (he was probably a bit lucky with the ERA, as he ended the season with a FIP of 4.80). It was a welcome change for the Rangers, who had seen him underperform a large free agent contract they gave him prior to the 2006 season (5 years, $60 million). The veteran righty will turn 35 on Christmas Eve and is entering the last year of that deal, slated to make $12 million in 2010. The Rangers, who are in the middle of a questionable ownership situation, are likely looking to shed some salary.

The Brewers probably won’t be able to take the entire $12 million, but it may not be a bad deal if they can get the Rangers to pay half of his salary. They likely won’t have to give up any major pieces, especially if Texas is more concerned with getting rid of him than what they’re getting in return. A return to the National League could benefit Millwood, and if the Brewers only have to pay him $6 million or so of that salary, he could be a better deal than some of the available free agent options. Who would you rather pay that money to, Millwood or Jarrod Washburn?

At this point in his career, Millwood probably isn’t that #2 pitcher the Brewers need, but he’s at the least a very solid #3. While it’s fun to think about what the Brewers could offer Florida for Josh Johnson, a deal for a guy like Millwood is a lot more practical — not to mention more appealing than giving up on Corey Hart for what’s left of Derek Lowe’s contract.

Thoughts on possibly adding Millwood? What would you be comfortable offering?

UPDATE: Adam McCalvy checked his sources, and says that if the two teams have talked trade, it hasn’t been recent. It doesn’t mean that the Brewers wouldn’t be interested — he notes their interest in him last offseason — but nothing appears to be imminent.

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