Tag:Dontrelle Willis
Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:41 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 6:12 pm

Blockbusters in Winter Meetings history

From December 6-9, baseball's offseason will kick into high gear as team officials, agents, players and media descend upon Orlando, Fla. This week, MLB Facts and Rumors will preview an aspect of the Winter Meetings each day. Today: Big news from past meetings.

Baseball teams have been holding winter meetings since the 19th century, and even back then big news broke. In the first offseason meetings of the National League in 1876, the New York Mutuals and Philadelphia Athletics were kicked out of the league for running out of money and skipping late-season road trips.

These days, the Winter Meetings are all about wheeling and dealing. It’s the one time of year when all the owners, general managers and agents are in one place, and all the exploratory phone calls turn into full-fledged bargaining and bidding wars.

Today we look at five of the top trades, signings and acquisitions in recent Winter Meetings history.

The Athletics send future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson to the Yankees in a massive seven-player deal: Henderson, Bert Bradley and cash to the Bronx for Stan Javier, Eric Plunk, Jose Rijo, Jay Howell and Tim Birtsas. Henderson wound up playing so long, in so many places, that the idea of him changing teams doesn’t sound like a big deal now. But at the time, he was a 26-year-old superstar who in his first five full seasons had led the league in stolen bases every year with an astonishing average of 92 per season, batted .294, was a four-time All-Star and was a Gold Glove outfielder.

The Blue Jays make a trade that helps lay the foundation for back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993, acquiring Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar from the Padres for Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. In retrospect, this was one of the bigger trades in baseball history – all four were All-Stars who ended up with a combined 27 appearances, and three of them (sorry, Tony) have a shot at landing in the Hall of Fame.

The Rangers shock the world by giving a staggering 10-year, $252 million contract to former Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Even after 10 years of rapidly escalating contracts, no other player has come close to that total number or even eclipsed the single-season average salary. It was an industry-changing contract.

2006: AN MVP FOR $50,000
The Cubs snag troubled former No. 1 pick Josh Hamilton, who has fallen so far he's not even worth a spot on the Rays’ 40-man roster, for just $50,000 in the Rule 5 draft. The Cubs immediately flip Hamilton to the Reds for a $50,000 profit – think they’d give $50,000 to get him back now? The Reds weren’t the beneficiaries of Hamilton’s MVP comeback, but they did turn him into Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera a year later in a trade with the Rangers.

There was word the Marlins might be looking to deal stars Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, but nobody anticipated them both going to the same team in a single deal. The Tigers sent six players – Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz and Mike Rabelo – to Miami, and amazingly, none of them really panned out. For that matter, neither did Willis. But Cabrera was a big score for Detroit.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 5:49 pm

Willis gets minor-league Reds deal

Dontrelle Willis
He's 28, healthy, and a few years ago won more games than any pitcher in baseball. But the best Dontrelle Willis can hope for these days is a minor-league contract.

The former phenom has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Reds, a source tells ESPN.com, putting him in his fourth organization since June. Willis just reached the end of the $29 million contract he signed with the Tigers in 2007 (after arriving from Florida in a blockbuster trade) , but made just 27 major-league appearances over the three-year life of that contract, stricken by control and anxiety issues.

Willis was traded from Detroit to Arizona in June, and the Diamondbacks released him a month later. He signed on as a minor-league free agent with the Giants in July, but they cut him loose November 6.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 7:31 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Looking back at Marlins-Tigers blockbuster

Apparently the Marlins are trying to exorcize the demons of a 2007 trade in one fell swoop.

They have confirmed their trade today of outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Padres, a day after they traded pitcher Andrew Miller to the Red Sox. Maybin and Miller were the two major prospects Florida got back on December 4, 2007, when they sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers.

Going into the winter meetings, there was talk the Marlins could be looking to deal one of their stars, knowing they wouldn't be able to afford to keep them in free agency. But few expected both of them to move, and nobody anticipated both of them going to the same team in one deal. And the Tigers hadn't been considered a front-line option for either.

The Angels came close to getting Cabrera. They hit an impasse with the Angels offering Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis, plus a choice of one of three starting pitchers: Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders and Nick Adenhart. The Marlins wanted two of the three, and the deal broke down. Think throwing in Willis might have enabled them to get both Santana and Saunders, who have both since been All-Stars and gone 83-56? We'll never know.

What the Marlins did get for Cabrera and Willis was a six-team package of prospects headlined by Detroit's top draft picks from 2005 (Maybin) and 2006 (Wright), plus Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz and Mike Rabelo.

Just for fun, let's look at what became (so far) of everyone in that blockbuster:


* IF Miguel Cabrera: He was one of the game's best hitters then, and he still is. In three seasons since the trade he has batted .314/.388/.567 with 109 home runs and 356 RBI. Led the league in homers in 2008, and in 2010 led in RBI and on-base percentage.

* LHP Dontrelle Willis: The Marlins definitely sold high on Willis. At the time of the trade he was a two-time All-Star who had won at least 10 games in each of his first five seasons, but his career quickly came off the rails from there. He's started just 27 games in the ensuing three years, going 3-9 with a 6.86 ERA. He was traded to the Diamondbacks, who released him after a month, and is currently in the Giants' minor-league system.

Cameron Maybin TO MARLINS

* OF Cameron Maybin (pictured): Still just 23, the supremely talented Maybin hasn't hit his stride, in part because the Marlins didn't handle him very well. Since the trade, he's got 557 plate appearances, roughly the equivalent of a full season, and a line of .257/.323/.391 with 12 homers, 43 RBI and 14 steals. He's a serviceable major-league player, but not yet the star he was projected to be.

* LHP Andrew Miller: The big lefty hasn't figured it out yet, struggling with control and consistency. He's gone 10-20 in the past three years with a 5.89 ERA and found himself out of Florida's plans this year, spending most of the season in the minors.

* RHP Dallas Trahern: Has not appeared in a major-league game. He spent 2008-09 at Triple-A, posting an ERA over 6.00 both years, and missed 2010 after Tommy John surgery.

* RHP Burke Badenhop: Has appeared in 101 games the past three years for the Marlins, including 10 starts and 25 games finished.

* RHP Eulogio de la Cruz: Pitched nine innings for the Tigers in 2008, was sold to the Padres in 2009, and released by the Padres at the end of that season. He played in Japan in 2010.

* C Mike Rabelo: Played a handful of games in Miami in 2008 and played just nine games in 2009 before being released. The Tigers brought him back on a minor-league deal at the start of 2010 and released him in July.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 15, 2010 7:23 pm

Giants sign Willis to minor-league deal

Dontrelle Willis has signed a minor-league contract with the Giants, according to the team's official Twitter feed . Willis will play for Triple-A Fresno.

The left-hander was released by the Diamondbacks on July 6. He was traded to Arizona from Detroit on June 1 for starter Billy Buckner.

The one-time ace was 2-3 with a 5.62 ERA between the two teams this season, walking 56 batters in 65 2/3 innings.

Willis is a Bay Area native and still has enough talent for a no-risk minor league contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 30, 2010 2:41 pm

Next stop for the D-Train: the bullpen

Dontrelle Willis The latest attempt at resurrecting Dontrelle Willis' career is as a lefty-handed specialist, the Arizona Republic 's Nick Piecoro writes .

Willis has walked 27 batters in 21 1/3 innings since coming to Detroit this month and pitched five or fewer innings in four of his five starts with the Diamondbacks.

However, as Piecoro notes, there's been one thing Willis has done well, and that's retire left-handers. Lefties are hitting .188/.278/.261 against him this season. He's walked just eight left-handed batters in 80 plate appearances and struck out 28 lefties.

"It's worth a shot," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch told the Republic. "His troubles  have primarily been against right-handed hitters. If you look at how he's handled lefties this year, he's been pretty good. Suffice to say, that's the situations I would try to lead him towards."

Willis told Piecoro he understands the decision.

"I think it'll help me get myself right, get my arm slot to where I want to be," Willis said. "I can't continue to walk guys and expect to win. You have to put somebody in there who will throw strikes."

Although the Tigers are playing most of Willis' $12 million salary, it's still a last option before cutting bait entirely and it's not as if it's going to cost the 30-47 Diamondbacks the pennant.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 23, 2010 11:09 pm

Is Dontrelle done?

Dontrelle Willis Dontrelle Willis lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his latest start for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After Willis walked Alex Rodrgiuez with the bases loaded and one out, A.J. Hinch brought the hook to the mound and took Willis out. The walk tied the score at 2.

Reliever Blaine Boyer saved Willis' line by getting Robinson Cano to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Willis had allowed just one hit -- but had as many walks as outs, seven.

Willis has made four starts for Arizona since coming over from Detroit, winning a game, but has struggled mightily with his control, walking 21 in 17 1/3 innings.

Could Willis be done? It's been a popular question for several years now, but it's still relevant. The fact that Willis is still getting a shot reminds you of just how good he was earlier in his career. He was one of the shining lights of baseball, a guy you could root for and had to watch. Now you still root for him, but you don't want to watch just how far he's fallen since leaving Florida.

Willis will get a no-decision tonight thanks to Boyer, but since his first start for the DIamondbacks he's struggled more and more and it'll be interesting to see if he's back out there in five days. If Hinch can trust him to get through three innings, it seems tough to send him out there again.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com