Phillies Get Milton In Four Player Deal

General manager Ed Wade had said that ideally, he would acquire a starting pitcher and right-handed reliever before the Winter Meetings begin December 12th. He made one of those moves with the acquisition of starter Eric Milton from the Minnesota Twins in a four player deal. Wade is sending reliever Carlos Silva, infielder Nick Punto and a player to be named later to Minnesota for the left-handed Milton, who is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $9 million in 2004.

If the Phillies were out to corner the market on left-handers, they're off to a good start.

After re-signing reliever Rheal Cormier, the Phillies traded for closer Billy Wagner earlier in the off-season. Now, they've struck again, sending reliever Carlos Silva and infielder Nick Punto plus a player to be named later to the Minnesota Twins for 28 year old Eric Milton. In addition to the players, the deal will cost the Phillies the $9 million that Milton is due to receive in 2004.

Milton, missed most of last season after undergoing knee surgery prior to the season. He returned to the Twins in September and started three games, going 1-0, 2.65 in those starts. The Phillies pointed out that they believe Milton is completely healthy.

Throughout his career, Milton has been known as a guy who can pitch deep into ball games. Prior to the 2002 season, Milton had averaged 32 starts and 194 innings and reached his career high of 220 innings in 2001. Milton is also known as a control pitcher who has been compared to Randy Wolf by some people around baseball.

Phillies general manager Ed Wade said that he made the deal after a discussion Tuesday night with Scott Boras, the agent for Kevin Millwood. Boras told Wade that he didn't think the Phillies offer was close enough to get a long-term deal done with the man who was considered the ace of the Phillies staff in 2003. Wade said that he believes Millwood will likely pitch elsewhere in 2004, so he completed the deal with Minnesota to get Milton.

Silva has been with the Phillies the past two seasons and may work his way into Minnesota's starting rotation. At one time, Silva was considered the Phillies closer of the future, a title that may have been obsolete with the acquisition of Wagner.

Punto was used sparingly off the bench in 2003 to spell infielders at second base, shortstop and at third base. He was also used as a pinch-runner.

The player to be named later will be named after the Rule 5 Draft when it's clear which minor  league players, if any, the Phillies have lost in the draft.


Eric Milton's Career Stats























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