Not exactly a rumor, but worth a mention. This type of thing is common when teams meet up for a series. We saw it with Aaron Rowand when the White Sox played the Phillies this year.
Though the Phillies tattooed Dontrelle Willis Sunday night, Willis’s friend Jimmy Rollins and teammate Brett Myers were discussing how they’d love to see him in a Phillies uniform. Rollins suggested that Willis may be unmotivated in Florida. He also added that he’s asked Dontrelle and confirmed that the pitcher would not mind playing for Philadelphia. Of course, Willis doesn’t have any say in it.
I’ve heard estimates anywhere from $7-9MM for Willis’s arbitration reward this winter. He made $6.45MM in ’07. The Fish had a $30MM payroll on Opening Day of this year, and will owe Miguel Cabrera several million more in 2008. So Willis should account for 20-25% of the payroll.
Will the Marlins pay up for one more year and hope Willis rebuilds his value? Or will they opt to save the money now and trade him this winter? The latter scenario seems more likely. Even with his value at an all-time low it seems the Marlins could get one solid young player for Willis. I speculated recently that there was a tiny chance the Marlins simply non-tender him…but even my assigned 1 in 100 odds on that seem high.
Marlins GM Larry Beinfest can get one guy. Michael Bourn would be a fine target. Jim Salisbury suggests that the Marlins are fond of Shane Victorino. The Phillies are trying to settle their outfield situation for 2008; as you know, Aaron Rowand is a free agent this winter. Salisbury notes that the Phils might be gunshy about acquiring Willis given the whispers of possible health issues. They can’t have another Freddy Garcia trade.