Debating the deal

I know we have plenty of anti-Kevin Millwood fans reading this blog, but you wanted the Orioles to accomplish something at these meetings, and obtaining a frontline starter qualifies.

Millwood went 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA last year. He's made at least 29 starts in 10 of his 12 full seasons.

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He's topped 200 innings five times and logged 198 2/3 this summer. And while the Orioles will have to absorb more than $3 million of Millwood's $12 million contract, they won't lose a young starter from their system.

Chris Ray was 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA this year and spent time in Triple-A Norfolk while trying to correct his mechanics and regain his confidence. He no longer could be used in pressure situations.

Ray posted a 9.33 ERA in 23 games against the AL East, compared to 5.76 against other opponents. The Rangers will want to keep him away from the Yankees.

Ray also was a candidate to be non-tendered by Saturday's deadline.

We can debate whether Millwood qualifies as a No. 1 starter, but he wears the crown on this staff unless the Orioles bring in somebody else.

If the Orioles maintain their interest in Erik Bedard, having Millwood in the fold makes it less of an issue if the left-hander isn't ready to pitch in April.

Nothing is official until the two sides review the medical records, and if a physical is required, and that's not a slam dunk. When the Orioles considered signing Millwood the last time he was a free agent, they had concerns about his right shoulder. But it shouldn't be an issue.

On the Rangers' side, they will save enough money to sign Jermaine Dye, which has been a top priority.

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