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Reds add Milton to rotation12/27/2004 1:52 PM ET
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds general manager Dan O'Brien today announced the signing of free agent All-Star LHP Eric Milton to a 3-year contract, with the player holding an opt-out provision for the 2007 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Milton, 29, in his Major League career is 71-57 with a 4.76 ERA in 200 appearances, including 199 starts, for the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. In his previous 6 full seasons, he averaged 12 wins, 33 starts and 195 innings. In 2001 he was named to the American League All-Star team. In 3 postseason appearances, all for the Twins in 2002 and 2003, Milton is 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA. Against the Angels on September 11, 1999, Milton had a career-high 13 strikeouts while throwing the fifth no-hitter in Twins history. Milton spent last season with the Phillies and went 14-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 34 starts. He led the staff in victories, starts, innings pitched (201.0) and strikeouts (161). In his first season in the National League, Milton ranked sixth in the circuit with a .700 winning percentage. Milton is the sixth player acquired by the Reds since the club re-signed RHP Paul Wilson to a 2-year contract, with a club option for 2007, on November 30. RHP Ramon Ortiz was acquired from the Anaheim Angels on December 14, followed by the free-agent signings of RHP David Weathers and RHP Ben Weber on December 15, LHP Kent Mercker on December 20 and 3B Joe Randa on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the Reds avoided arbitration by agreeing to contract terms with starting 2B D'Angelo Jimenez, who in 2004 produced the best season of his big league career. Also today, the Reds signed to a minor league contract and invited to Major League Spring Training camp 1B/OF Jacob Cruz. Cruz, 31, last season appeared in 96 games for the Reds and led the club's pinch hitters in hits, at bats and RBI. His .327 batting average with runners in scoring position was second-best among all Reds batters with at least 50 at bats.
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