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Millwood glad to be a Phillie
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06/09/2003 10:45 PM ET 
Millwood glad to be a Phillie
Ace enjoying teammates and city
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com Vote now for the 2003 All-Star game
Kevin Millwood has been every bit the ace that the Phillies hoped he would be. (Mike Mergen/AP)
ANAHEIM -- For Kevin Millwood, a second trip to Southern California this season meant another chance to meet with super agent Scott Boras.

Which in turn leads to additional speculation about whether any progress has been made in keeping the ace right-hander in Philadelphia beyond 2003.

"It's obviously a no-brainer. We'd like him here for a long time," said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "It's a matter of where our comfort level is and where his comfort level is. Hopefully we can make those two things come together."

When, remains the question. The two sides met during Spring Training and Boras reiterated a policy of not negotiating during the season. Amaro maintains that the door swings both ways and they are open to discussions at any time.

"The main thing is that Kevin is happy here and happy with the direction the team is going," said Boras, who is fixture at Angels games. "He likes his teammates and the city."

Millwood has been everything the Phillies have asked for and more. He's worked deep into games, made quality starts and mentored a young pitching staff, especially Brett Myers.

The no-hitter he threw on April 27 was just gravy.


"All the indications we have suggest that Kevin is happy with the way things are going. And we're certainly pleased with how he's performed. He's a horse."
-- Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

The Phillies knew Millwood was eligible to be a free agent after the season when they dealt catching prospect Johnny Estrada to the Braves for him just before Christmas. He's 8-3 with a 3.05 ERA this season. He couldn't choose the Phillies last year. Come November, he can play anywhere he wants.

While the new collective bargaining agreement may continue to curb salaries for some middle-of-the-road free agents, it shouldn't effect a 28-year-old ace entering his prime earning years. Millwood could command a contract for at least six seasons, rivaling recent pacts inked by Mike Mussina and Mike Hampton, though they were eight-year deals.

"I think most teams need a No. 1 pitcher," said Boras. "There aren't many who are under 30 around. There's a lot of money for those kinds of players."

The Phillies are willing to have that discussion whenever Millwood is ready. They heaped gifts on he and his wife Rena last month in celebration of his no-hitter.

"All the indications we have suggest that Kevin is happy with the way things are going," said Amaro. "And we're certainly pleased with how he's performed. He's a horse."

As for Millwood, he's just going out and pitching.

    Kevin Millwood   /   P
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 205
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Phillies site

"I think any big decision you make at any part of your life, you should take a long time to think about it and make sure it's what you really want to do," said Millwood, when asked about it last month. "This is one of those decisions. I don't feel like I should put pressure on myself to worry about it. I'm sure there's going to be a time where I continue to enjoy myself or I don't. That will make the decision a lot easier."

Take a seat: About 1,900 pairs of Veterans Stadium seats were sold on their availability, the team announced.

John Nash, who is handling the disposition of the Vet assets, said the team started received orders last night and they continued throughout the day.

The Phillies own the demolition rights to the Vet. The team has 20,000 pairs of seats available for purchase, with each going for $280.

This day at the Vet: 1972 -- Chris Short records his last win as a Phillie. He pitches 1/3 of an inning in a 4-3 win. He goes 135-132 for his career. ... 1980 -- A rain-delayed game against the Giants finally ends at 3:11 a.m. with San Francisco winning 3-1. ... 1982 -- Steve Carlton whiffs 16 Cubs, a Phillies record for strikeouts by a left-hander.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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