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Saturday, February 15
Updated: March 14, 5:40 PM ET
Red Sox acquire Millar from Marlins for cash news services

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Millar was obtained by the Boston Red Sox in a cash deal with the Florida Marlins on Saturday after the Japanese team he agreed to sign with last month released him from his contract.

"It was a long and complicated process," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "He's ecstatic to be a member of the Boston Red Sox."

Millar, a first baseman-outfielder who led Florida with a .306 batting average last season, agreed in early January to a $6.2 million, two-year contract with Chunichi of Japan's Central League. The Marlins released him in exchange for a $1.2 million payment from the Dragons.

After talks with Major League Baseball officials, the Dragons released him Friday for an undisclosed payment, the commissioner's office said.'s Peter Gammons reported Friday that the Red Sox would pay the Marlins between $1.35 and $1.5 million for Millar.

Neither the Marlins nor the Red Sox released dollar figures.

Epstein said the Red Sox were not involved in the discussions to free Millar from the Dragons.

Epstein was confident the Red Sox would sign him shortly and said he would be in camp in "a couple of days."

Millar, 31, hit 16 homers with 57 RBI last year. The Red Sox didn't express interest until Florida put him on waivers, a step necessary to complete the deal with the Dragons.

After claiming him, the Red Sox talked with Millar about a contract and, based on those discussions, "I expect we should be able to come to a deal quickly to avoid arbitration," Epstein said.

The Red Sox plan to try him at first base along with veterans Jeremy Giambi and David Ortiz.

"He's an outstanding right-handed hitter," Epstein said. "He's one of the better unknown hitters in baseball."

Epstein said he felt "a sigh of relief" after the deal was completed. "There was never really a lot of confidence until this morning" when the trade was finalized.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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