The poor Boston Red Sox had been searching high and low for a player to give them added depth at DH/first base/corner outfield. They thought they had the problem partially when they searched as far as Australia and plucked former Brewer Dave Nilsson off the barbie. Nilsson hadn't played in the majors since 1999, when he was an All-Star, but the Red Sox were undeterred. That was until Nilsson turned them down and went home a couple of days ago.
Meanwhile, their unrequited relationship with Marlin-cum-Chunichi Dragon Kevin millar started to heat up. Millar said that he would not report to the Dragons because his wife was afraid of their being abroad if the U.S. started a war with Iraq. The principles met at the commissioner's office and basically Millar was left to negotiate his release from the $6.2 M Chunichi contract.
Tonight he was successful. Millar is now property of the Marlins again. He is arbitrary-eligible, but that will probably be the Sox problem since his acquisition appears imminent. Boston had claimed Millar off waivers at the time of the Japan deal, a formality of the system, but Millar rejected the claim.
Florida repays Chunichi the $1.2 M fee for Millar's rights. So why did the Dragons make the deal? What's in it for them? Check this out, my man:
Under Friday's agreement, the Dragons will get an undisclosed payment, the commissioner's office said. One of the negotiators, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the amount would be between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.
That's right, commissioner Bud is bailing out his friend John Henry again. Why? What's in it for the commissioner and MLB if Millar plays two years in Japan? Well, Millar is a bette than average player. So? That didn't seem to be a problem when the Marlins sold him to Japan, just when the Red Sox expressed interest. Besides valuable players like Bob Horner have gone to Japan in the past and the commissioner's office hasn't so much as batted an eye. What makes Millar so special?
The only thing that I can come up with is that the Red Sox want and need him and that the commissioner wants the Red Sox wants and needs to be fulfilled. And this team has the gall to call another organization the "Evil Empire." At least they're not the K-Mart of baseball. Or perhaps the Keating Seven would be more apropos.