Orioles pondering a Millwood return

Orioles pondering a Millwood return

Orioles pondering a Millwood return
CHICAGO -- The Orioles are, at least, considering the possibility of bringing back veteran Kevin Millwood, although it remains to be seen if the right-hander -- who opted out of his contract with the Yankees on Sunday -- would accept a Minor League deal.

Millwood was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts with Baltimore in 2010, and given the team's lack of starting-rotation depth, the O's have kicked around the idea.

"Everybody thinks the world of Kevin, including me," said manager Buck Showalter when asked about the team's interest in Millwood. "But that's a question for [president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail].

"We discussed Kevin in the offseason and in the spring. We like him a lot and some of the things that he did for our young pitchers and our club last year. He gave us a lot of innings. I think all the things like that from a depth standpoint are kind of moving targets, but I'm sure Andy would have a better answer to that than I did. But to say that we haven't discussed the guys that might be out there wouldn't be frank with you."

The 36-year-old Millwood started strong last season, but he faded considerably down the stretch. After failing to latch on with a Major League club this spring, he signed an incentive-laden Minor League deal with the Yankees that included an opt-out clause on May 1. Millwood pitched to a 4.50 ERA in three Minor League outings with varied results.

Showalter bristled when a media member asked if the sentiment around Millwood in the Orioles organization was "been there, done that."

"I think that's a little cold for a guy like Kevin," he said. "If you are looking at it purely statistically, you can say whatever you want to say. But I kind of feel a little bit more as Kevin is a human being than some slab of meat that pitches. He's a good man. He's professional and a lot of times last year, that 'been there, done that' was pretty good for the Orioles, OK?"

Still, Millwood will undoubtedly consider the chance that Baltimore affords as opposed to other teams. Starters Brian Matusz (left oblique) is on the mend -- and a few weeks away from returning -- and the team could also have Justin Duchscherer (left hip strain) back as early as May 30.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.