Sides meet halfway on one-year deal

PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Millwood agreed Tuesday to an $11 million, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, avoiding arbitration.

Millwood, who made $9.9 million in his first season with the
Phillies, had been seeking $12.5 million, while the team had been
offering $10 million.

"We are pleased that we were able to get the case settled,"
Phillies general manager Ed Wade said. "It's our hope that we can
continue to have an open dialogue with Kevin regarding him being a
Phillie for a long time."

In November, the Phillies offered the right-hander a three-year
deal believed to be worth $30 million with an option for a fourth
year. Millwood's agent, Scott Boras, rejected the offer, which the
Phillies withdrew when they acquired former All-Star Eric Milton
from Minnesota in December.

Millwood went 14-12 with a 4.01 ERA for the Phillies last year,
and pitched a no-hitter against San Francisco on April 27.

He had a poor finish, going 0-3 with two no-decisions in his
last five starts, including two disappointing outings against
eventual World Series champion Florida. At the time, the Phillies
and Marlins were battling for the wild-card berth.

In his last start, Millwood left the field at Veterans Stadium
in a strange moment, throwing his glove and hat into the stands as
many fans booed. He said he had planned to do that all along,
hoping to give fans a souvenir in the final game at the Vet.

Millwood will anchor a rotation that could be one of the best in
baseball. Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, Milton and Millwood each
have been All-Stars, and Brett Myers could even be better.

The Phillies enter spring training with high expectations after
re-signing Millwood, acquiring Milton and getting All-Star closer
Billy Wagner in a trade.

Millwood was acquired from Atlanta for catcher Johnny Estrada a
year ago in a cost-cutting move by the Braves. The Phillies had
hoped to immediately sign Millwood to a contract extension, but
talks broke off early last season.

Millwood, 29, is 89-58 with a 3.78 ERA. He won 17 games in his
first full season in 1998 and twice has won 18 games.

The Phillies won 86 games last season, but finished 15 games
behind Atlanta and five behind Florida. They had a half-game lead
over the Marlins with eight games left, but were eliminated after
losing the next six games.

Second baseman Placido Polanco is the team's only
arbitration-eligible player. His case is scheduled to be heard Feb.