Blue Jays Offer Minor League Deal to Kevin Millar

Kevin Millar

It's hard enough trying to find an agreeable contract if you're a former All-Star like Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu, but if you're an aging journeyman coming off the worst season of your career? You have to take what you can get.

The Blue Jays must be hoping Kevin Millar subscribes to that "beggars can't be choosers" philosophy, as GM J.P. Ricciardi has confirmed that he's extended a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training to the 37-year-old slugger.

The Blue Jays were woefully short on power last year, ranking 10th in the AL in home runs and 11th in team slugging percentage. Only Vernon Wells hit as many as 20 home runs, so the addition of Millar, who hit 20 home runs himself, might seem like a smart move.

Looking closer at Millar's numbers, though, it's clear that he's a hitter in decline. He hit just .234 with a .323 on-base percentage and .394 slugging, all career low marks. Fortunately for him, the Orioles were so bad they had no other option than to keep him in the lineup, allowing him to inflate his counting stats.

That said, Millar is just one season removed from respectability (he posted a 106 OPS+ in 2007), and a non-guaranteed minor league deal is about as low risk as you can get. Plus, assuming Millar made the team, it'd allow him to stay in the AL East and play another nine games at Fenway Park, which I'm pretty sure has been the highlight of his three seasons in Baltimore.

Incidentally, it's a bit curious that the Blue Jays are the only MLB team that has yet to sign a free agent to a major league contract. I can see the strategy in waiting until prices drop, but this team isn't good enough to justify sitting on its hands all winter, certainly not while the rest of the AL East has made moves to improve.

Blue Jays Offer Minor League Deal to Kevin Millar originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 02 Feb 2009 16:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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