Millar takes plunge into free agency

Millar takes plunge into free agency

TORONTO -- Veteran first baseman Kevin Millar filed for free agency on Thursday, becoming the first of four eligible Blue Jays to take a step toward the open market. Toronto does not plan on bringing Millar back for the 2010 season.

With the World Series ending on Wednesday night, Thursday represented the first day that eligible players could file for free agency. Toronto's other free agents include catcher Rod Barajas and shortstops Marco Scutaro and John McDonald. Teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents until Nov. 20, when other clubs can begin negotiating with any players on the market.

Millar, 38, signed a Minor League contract with the Blue Jays last winter and made the team's Opening Day roster out of Spring Training. Toronto was the third team in the American League East (Boston and Baltimore being the others) to sign Millar over the course of his career.

In 2009, Millar began the season in a platoon situation at first base with Toronto's Lyle Overbay. As the season wore on, Millar's offensive production tailed off and his playing time decreased in what ultimately became a forgettable showing for the veteran.

Over 78 games -- Millar's fewest in a season since appearing in only two contests in his first year in the Majors in 1998 -- he hit .223 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs. The Blue Jays had hoped Millar could provide some of the power he displayed in '08, when he belted 20 homers with the Orioles.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.