Milton returns to Yanks' farm system

Milton inked to Minor League deal

TORONTO -- The Yankees signed left-handed starter Eric Milton to a Minor League contract on Friday. The 32-year-old, who is recovering from surgery on his left elbow, has been assigned to Triple-A Scranton and will be placed on the disabled list. This will allow him to continue his rehab at the Yankees Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla.

"He's a left-hander, he's got a pretty big breaking ball," said New York manager Joe Girardi. "Obviously, we'll have to see how he does. But it's the beginning stages of him getting back to the big leagues."

Milton pitched last season for Cincinnati, where he went 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts before undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in June. It is not known how long it will take Milton to return to the Major League level, although the typical recovery time for a pitcher who undergoes such surgery is one year.

The left-hander was originally drafted by the Yankees as the 20th overall pick of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft. While still in the Yankees' Minor League system, Milton was involved in a trade with Minnesota that brought second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to New York before the 1998 season.

Milton, who has also pitched for Philadelphia, is a veteran of 10 big league seasons. He is 87-84 in his career, with a 5.01 ERA.

The left-hander was an All-Star in 2001, when he went 15-7 with a career-high 220 2/3 innings for the Twins.

David Singh is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.