39-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Eric Milton in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Eric Milton Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract in Feb. 2009.
Milton (back) filed for free agency, the L.A. Times reports.
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Eric Milton Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Eric Milton: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Eric Milton.
Milton underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in July. He was limited to 23.2 innings in the big leagues, and at 34, he's going to have to come to camp on a minor league contract and prove he's healthy before a team will consider investing a roster spot in the lefty. Considering he's managed just 55 total big league innings since 2006, Milton can safely be ignored.
Milton ranks as one of the all-time free agency busts, and was a poor fit for the Reds from the day he signed. If it weren't for former owner Carl Lindner's insistence on signing Milton, former GM Dan O'Brien wouldn't likely have this stain on his resume. Anyhow, Milton is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and probably won't be ready to pitch in a meaningful fashion until the end of the season, if then.
Milton was a little healthier in 2006 than he was the previous season, being able to get full velocity on his fastball after getting his knee taken care of. The resulting improvements were marginal, however, as he still gave up homers at a prodigous rate. The homers can't even be blamed on pitching in the Great American Ballpark—he gave up 13 of his 29 homers on the road. The Reds are paying him like a number-one starter, when at best he's a fourth or fifth starter for them, and even worse in a fantasy context.
When you play your games in homer-friendly ballpark and then sign a flyball pitcher who gave up 43 homers the previous year, do you have any right at all to be surprised when he serves up 40 in his new ballpark? Milton's three-year, $25.5 million deal was a foreseeable colossal waste of resources by a team trying to give the appearance of competing. If there's such a thing as a GM handbook for newbies to the job, Milton provides a perfect a case study on the dangers of paying "market price" on a mediocre free agent.
It was more of the same story in 2004 for Milton, who remains a fantasy tease. He posted 14 wins and struck out 161 hitters, but led the NL by allowing 43 homers, and his 4.75 ERA was right on his career mark. He can't blame it on his home park: he gave up 23 home runs with a 5.12 ERA on the road. Milton has a good fastball, changeup and control, but his breaking pitch is inconsistent, and he obviously makes mistakes up in the zone. He was the most extreme flyball pitcher in the majors in 2004. With the Reds now, he won't be helped much by the ballpark.
Milton missed all but three games of the 2003 season after left knee surgery in spring training. He returned to make three solid starts in September and should be back to full strength for 2004. Milton has good control and enough power to strike out batters, but has been victimized in the past by the long ball. However, his K:BB ratio and home run allowed ratio have been trending in the right direction so he could improve. He may not live up to his early superstar hype, but he should produce similar to his 2001 numbers and could surprise.
Milton hasn't been able to capitalize on his early success and strong skill set to become an elite pitcher. The skills are there as he has good control (30 BB in 171 innings) and enough power to rack up strikeouts ( 146 Ks). The main problem has been that he can't keep the ball in the park (an average of 29 HR allowed per season). However, he's given up fewer home runs three years in a row. May never become an elite pitcher but he's become fairly consistent and one season he's going to put together a monster year.