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Jays Reach Agreement With Kevin Millar

The tireless Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Jays and Kevin Millar have come to terms on a minor-league deal.  We've already spilled some ink on Millar, and I thought then as I think now that Millar and Jose Bautista are competing for a job now on uneven ground.  Although Millar doesn't have the platoon splits Bautista does, making him not a great fit for a first-base and/or DH platoon, he does hit lefties a lot better than Overbay did last year and has similar career numbers against lefties to Bautista. 

While Bautista offers some insurance against a Rolen injury, the fact that he can't hit righties and plays average at best defense at third really means he only offers insurance as the right-handed half of a platoon where Joe Inglett would probably get more at-bats.  Millar can't really play third base, but the Jays could still have a platoon in the event of a Rolen injury by letting Mac play SS against lefties (who he is marginally less terrible against at the plate) and having Scutaro play 3rd.  Scoot is used to a utility role so it wouldn't bother him at all. 

The main consideration with Millar v. Bautista is probably money, with the Jays likely to save about $1-1.5 million going with Millar.  That said, Millar does offer something Bautista doesn't - he can actually hit righties.  Often a platoon player turns into an everyday player because of an injury, etc.  Bautista has OPSed .685 in his career against right-handers and was even worse last year with a .648 OPS against them.  Millar actually has better career numbers against righties (.823 lifetime OPS) as compared to lefties (.804 OPS).  It's worht pointing out, though, that Millar is 37 and didn't hit anyone, lefty or righty, particularly well last year.  However, he did put up a line-drive rate similar to his career average while posting a BABIP over 50 points below his career mean, so he could be due for some rebound.  

Anyway, still no major-league deals for the Jays