There is one primo free agent pitcher left in the market…Kevin Millwood. And the Rangers are desperate to get him.
Kevin Millwood is a more accomplished pitcher than AJ Burnett. Burnett signed a 5 year deal with Toronto for $55 million. At the time we were shocked that he would get 5 years. But that’s where the market is right now. Worth is determined by the marketplace and the marketplace is a little crazy right now.
The Rangers need to do everything in their power to get Millwood. If that means giving him 5 years, give him 5 years. If it means dealing with Scott Boras, deal with Scott Boras.
Why would I give Kevin Millwood an offer. There is a perception that you cannot pitch in Arlington and win . I don’t believe that is necessarily true. I don’t believe that you can pitch in this park and win the ERA title. But I do believe that it is possible to pitch in this park and win.
But there is a real perception out there that you cannot pitch in this park and win. It does not matter if that perception is true or not. As long as it’s out there, the Rangers are going to have trouble luring free agent pitchers to Arlington.
Prospective free agent pitchers use the Ballpark against the team. The Rangers have to stop what has now become a public train of negative opinion. They need to get a pitcher in here and show the rest of the league that you CAN pitch successfully in Arlington.
The Rangers have to face reality here. What was a bear whisper a couple of years ago is now being openly talked about. “…That ballpark is going to hurt my numbers…”
Free agent pitchers are based upon their statistics. If the statistics are not there, the big free agent contract isn’t there. There’s no pot at the end of the rainbow for a 5.15 ERA . Free agent pitchers think that the Ballpark has such a negative impact on stats that they don’t even consider the Rangers as an option.
Yes, a 5 year contract is excessive. Millwood will not be a great deal. He will be overpaid. But his impact on this team goes beyond the field. Millwood is not afraid of this park. And if he comes here and experiences some success, maybe other pitchers will take notice.
The Rangers need to smash the negative perception of this ballpark. Kevin Millwood can do that. Show him the money (and the years).