According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, Dontrelle Willis-to-Seattle buzz is starting to heat up. Willis could slide right in with Felix Hernandez to form a solid 1-2 punch atop the Mariners’ rotation.
Baker pretty much covers all the analysis angles and scenarios in his blog posting. The Mariners have plenty of players who could interest the Marlins: Jeremy Reed, Jeff Clement, and/or Wladimir Balentien. Baker does not think Adam Jones would be necessary to get a deal done, and the Mariners wouldn’t part with him anyway. (By the way, click here to see my fantasy analysis of Jones).
It’s an odd time to trade Dontrelle, as his value is pretty low with his performance and forearm issues. Willis just feels like a better pitcher than he actually is, doesn’t he? As Baker says, the Ms would be gambling on Willis returning to form. Better to gamble a few unproven prospects than seven years and $126MM.
It seems that former Willis contenders like the Mets and perhaps Braves might be out of the running. Kevin Kernan of the New York Times says the Marlins won’t trade Willis within the NL East, and most likely he’ll head west.
But before purchasing your custom-made Willis Mariners jersey, consider that the Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks have all expressed interest in him before. And those teams are kind of west of some stuff.