We were all a bit skeptical of the idea of the Marlins trading their best pitcher, 24 year-old southpaw Dontrelle Willis. But I have to say, Ken Rosenthal’s article yesterday makes a Willis trade sound like a very legitimate possibility. Read up.
Rosenthal mentions Felix Pie, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Jon Lester as possible starting points for their respective teams. An offer starting with Lester and Dustin Pedroia would have to get the Marlins listening. An acquisition of Willis would give the team three former Marlins in the rotation.
Then there’s always Lastings Milledge, Omar Minaya’s last bullet. The Dodgers and Angels also have an overflow of young talent should either team decide they are one starting pitcher away from the playoffs.
Scary factoid: Willis’s top comparable, according to Baseball Prospectus? Steve Avery, circa 1994. Back in ’94, Avery was a 24 year-old southpaw coming off a brilliant 18 win, 2.94 ERA season. Avery never posted an ERA below 4 again. On the plus side, the 2003 version of Mark Buehrle is next on the list.