Source: Millwood traveling to Cleveland for physical

Updated: December 26, 2004, 8:16 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Free agent right-hander Kevin Millwood is working toward agreement on a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, baseball sources told the Associated Press on Sunday night.

Kevin Millwood
Starting Pitcher
Philadelphia Phillies
25 9 6 0 125 4.85

Millwood is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland on Monday for a physical, said the sources speaking on the condition of anonymity. But there are still several other details to work through before a contract can be finalized.

"This is still a 50-50 proposition, at best," one of the sources said.

The sides are still negotiating the eventual structure of the contract, which is believed to be around $7 million.

To this point, a starting pitcher has eluded the Indians in their offseason search to upgrade their rotation. The club has offered multiyear deals to starters Jon Lieber and Matt Clement as well as a one-year contract to David Wells. But in each case, the Indians have been outbid.

The 30-year-old Millwood, who spent the past two seasons with Philadelphia, would fit in nicely into the middle of a Cleveland rotation featuring C.C. Sabathia, Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee and Scott Elarton.

Millwood went 9-6 with a 4.86 ERA in 25 starts for the Phillies last season. However, he made only two starts in September after spraining a ligament and tendon in his pitching elbow. Millwood's injury appears to be the main reason why teams have not pursued the eight-year veteran more aggressively this winter.

In six seasons with Atlanta, Millwood went 75-46. He was coming off an 18-8 year when the Braves traded him to Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 2002, for catcher Johnny Estrada.

Millwood, who has won at least 17 games three times, got off to a nice start in his first season. He pitched a no-hitter against Philadelphia in April and was 8-2 before losing 10 of his last 16 decisions.

With Philadelphia in the NL wild-card chase, he went 0-3 with two no-decisions in his last five starts as the Phillies fell back.

Still, the Phillies offered him a three-year, $30 million deal during the '03 offseason that was turned down by his agent, Scott Boras. Millwood signed a one-year, $11 million contract with the Phillies last February.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder, who has pitched more than 200 innings four times, came into spring training last year 10 pounds lighter, but what he hoped would be a comeback season was derailed when he hurt his elbow in an Aug. 5 start against San Diego.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press