The Oakland A's added more pitching depth on Tuesday, acquiring veteran left-hander Brad Mills from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations. The transaction was announced on Twitter by the Brewers' Player Development Department.
Mills was in his first season in the Brewers' organization. He signed a minor-league deal with Milwaukee during the off-season and had been with the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate in Nashville all year. In 14 appearances (12 starts), Mills had a 1.54 ERA and a 77:18 K:BB in 75.2 innings with the Sounds. His GO/AO was 1.82 and he had allowed opposing batters to hit only .190 against him.
Mills had an out-clause with the Brewers that allowed him to leave the organization for a major league opportunity. That out-clause reportedly came and went this past weekend and Mills chose not to exercise it. However, the trade could be a sign that Mills will receive a major-league opportunity with the A's in the near-term.
UPDATE: The A's announced later in the day that LHP Drew Pomeranz has been placed on the disabled list with a broken right (non-throwing) hand. He was replaced on the roster by RHP Evan Scribner, but there is speculation that Mills will replace Pomeranz in the A's rotation once Pomeranz's turn comes up again (Pomeranz pitched on Monday night).
Mills spent parts of the previous two seasons with AL West organizations. In 2013, he pitched for Triple-A Round Rock in the Texas Rangers' chain, posting a 3.87 ERA in 97.2 innings. Midway through that season, he was granted his release to sign with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Professional League. He only appeared in one game for Orix, however. In 2012, Mills was with Triple-A Salt Lake in the Los Angeles Angels' organization, and he had a 5.86 ERA in 109 innings that season. He arrived in the Angels' organization in the trade that sent Jeff Mathis to Toronto.
Prior to 2012, Mills spent his entire career as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays' organization. The Arizona alum joined Toronto as a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft. The senior sign breezed through the Jays' chain, reaching the big leagues by 2009, when he made two starts for Toronto, allowing 12 runs in 7.2 innings. From 2009-2011, Mills split his seasons between Triple-A Las Vegas and Toronto, appearing in 14 games for the Blue Jays during those three seasons. He appeared in one game for the Angels in 2012.
For his career, Mills has a 7.76 ERA in 53.1 innings in the big leagues. He has found much more success in the minor leagues, where he has a career 3.73 ERA and a 705:262 K:BB in 801 innings. His Triple-A ERA is a respectable 4.19 despite spending the majority of his Triple-A time pitching for teams in extremely offensive-friendly parks (Las Vegas and Salt Lake).
Mills isn't a hard-thrower (his fastball sits in the upper-80s), but he has a solid arsenal of secondary pitches, including a curveball, change-up and a cut-fastball.