D’Backs Acquire Dontrelle Willis For Billy Buckner

It’s a new beginning for Dontrelle Willis, who returns to the league he once thrived in.  And it’s an attempt to restore order by the Diamondbacks, who have allowed more runs than any NL team and are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak. Today the D’Backs announced that they have acquired Willis and cash from the Tigers for Billy Buckner.

There's about $8MM remaining on Willis' salary and the Tigers will pay all of it, except the pro-rated portion of the major league minimum. Buckner, a 26-year-old righty who started three games for Arizona this year, will begin his Tigers career in Triple A, according to the team. Buckner allowed 26 hits in 13 big league innings this year, striking out 11 and walking five. The former second rounder pitched better in Triple A, posting a 3.53 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

Ed Price of AOL FanHouse first reported the deal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirmed it (via Twitter). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported that Buckner was in the deal (via Twitter) and Jon Heyman of SI.com reported how much cash was changing hands (via Twitter).

As many as four teams had some interest in the 28-year-old Willis, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. The Tigers designated Willis for assignment Saturday.


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38 Comments on "D’Backs Acquire Dontrelle Willis For Billy Buckner"


verlander
5 years 2 months ago

Please be Chris Snyder. Please be Chris Snyder. Please be Chris Snyder.

(Probably won’t be, but one can hope.)

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

It’s not. He’s our starting catcher until Montero is back.

No Neck
5 years 2 months ago

It’s gonna be some burned out pitcher. My guess is Bryan Augenstine

LiveFastCyYoung
5 years 2 months ago

Exactly. Augenstine, Mulvey, something from that ilk. People saying LaRoche(why the hell would the Tigers need him), Kelly Johnson(HAHAHA. Arizona would look like morons here, or Chris Snyder(not a chance in hell) are delusional.

This coming from a Tigers fan.

tigers22
5 years 2 months ago

Well said. Going to be some fringe player

verlander
5 years 2 months ago

I can’t imagine you’d get more than a fringe player for Willis anyway.

tigers22
5 years 2 months ago

Exactly

BravesRed
5 years 2 months ago

Actually Ben, Morosi didn’t confirm it. He says he has no reason to disagree with what Price said.

I think it will be LaRoche, Johnson, or Heilman with adding about $13 million or so.

BravesRed
5 years 2 months ago

Never mind that statement on Morosi.

5 years 2 months ago

That’s stupid. Why the heck would Ari trade KJ for Willis of all people? The Tigers don’t need LaRoche & he’s worth more than Willis.

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

Apparently it’s going to be a pitcher who’s already on the 40 man.
I called this one. Swish.

LiveFastCyYoung
5 years 2 months ago

Confirmed: The Tigers will acquire Clay Zavada’s mustache in the deal.

East Coast Bias
5 years 2 months ago

Steal!

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

That’s huge overpayment.
His stache is legendary.

LiveFastCyYoung
5 years 2 months ago

How long until Dontrelle is walking Eric Byrnes in softball games?

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to pitch to Byrnes without getting an out.

tigers22
5 years 2 months ago

Makes sense on both sides. We had to get rid of him, and I’m actually surprised we’d find someone willing to trade for him. Granted it won’t be for much but still. And even as much as I watched Dontrelle struggle here in Detroit, I wish him all the best on his fresh start in the NL. Hell, he can probably even help the Dbacks at the dish too. Watched the game on MLB network last night against the Dodgers and those dudes are just up there hackin’

stltiger69
5 years 2 months ago

Oh my GOD! The Diamond backs just can’t wait until he’s released? Here’s food for thought, This season he’s pitched 43.1 innings and has given up 48 hits and 29 walks (77 base runners in 43 1/3 innings!!!) AND he suffered an amazing 102 degree flu bug that kept him from making starts against the Texas Rangers and (sixteen days later) against New York Yankee’s (you know, the team that’s #1 in runs scored in the major leagues this year?). In Arizona don’t be surprised if he suddenly comes down with that darn flu bug again and can’t make his start against the Reds or the Brewers for some odd reason (cough- pad his stats- cough) and then Arizona will have to scramble to find another emergency pitcher to start for him and another pitcher or two to finish that game for him (this does wonders for your bullpen- seriously!). Mr. Willis has not pitched past the 6th inning in any of his outings and unless Arizona team officials forget how to close the dome during a rainstorm, that means that every time Willis pitches, you’ll need at least another pitcher or two to help finish the game regardless of the score or the game situation. Also remember Willis’ contract expires after this year, so even if he pitches well for Arizona this year, Arizona will have to bid to keep his services against every other MLB team that his agent can get an offer from at the end of the year to keep him in Arizona for next year. I wish Arizona and Dontrelle Willis the best, he’s a decent guy and Arizona is a club that needs a good break or two in player development to get back into the mix, I just think the clear winner of any trade of Willis before he’s released would be Detroit!

Hubbs2
5 years 2 months ago

Paragraphs are your friend

Hubbs2
5 years 2 months ago

Paragraphs are your friend

5 years 2 months ago

I can’t believe some team hasn’t tried to make him into a position player yet. He used to be a pretty darn good hitter. He was a better hitter than Rick Ankiel.
Don’t major league GM’s have any brains in their heads?

The guy is a complete washout as a pitcher. He always was a good hitter. Wake UP!

LiveFastCyYoung
5 years 2 months ago

The reason he hasn’t been made into a position player: Have you seen him run?

5 years 2 months ago

What does that have to do with it? he use to run well.

nymets4581
5 years 2 months ago

You could say the same thing about Micah Owings, just with a better case. I think that Dontrelle has an ok shot at becoming a decent pitcher again, so if he can return to even half of what he was with the Marlins, this isn’t a bad trade for the D’Backs

Jason_F
5 years 2 months ago

The Giants just had their way with the D’backs pitching staff, so that should be a sign that they would be willing to try anything. However, I doubt they will wind up paying him much more than the prorated MLB minimum, especially given the fact that they are giving up someone on the 40 man.

5 years 2 months ago

I don’t care who the Tigers get back in the trade, they just got over on the D-bags. To get ANYTHING for Willis is an absolute steal! Willis is absolute garbage. I thought everybody knew that by now, but I guess there are still a few teams out there that still haven’t figured it out yet. The only thing that could make this trade any better is if the player actually turned into anything. If not, who cares, they actually got SOMETHING? They didn’t have to pay the entire contract? Ridiculous.

5 years 2 months ago

I agree, this is very stupid on Ari part. All they had to do is wait for him to be a FA & sign him for the pre-rated MLB minimum & have Det. pay the rest. The Ari GM needs to be smacked!

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

That’s EXACTLY what they’re doing, paying the prorated league minimum. Did you miss the “There’s about $8MM remaining on Willis’ salary and the Tigers will pay all of it, except the pro-rated portion of the major league minimum,” part?

They ate the contract and took Billy Buckner. Sounds like a win in my book…

No Neck
5 years 2 months ago

Billy Buckner was the player traded…

Gumby65
5 years 2 months ago

Dontrelle is going to get it together. He had jacked-up mechanics in FLA and somebody tried to “correct” them. It’s too bad he couldn’t have gone to a team that was a little bit more competitive (sorry AZ, I don’t mean that as a slam) to ease him along vs. throwing him back into the fire without too many opportunities to get him on a course to be where he once was. Best of luck to the D-Train…

verlander
5 years 2 months ago

I’m pretty satisfied with receiving Buckner. I mean, his numbers don’t look very good but if you told me last week the Tigers would get something (money, a player, a bag of baseballs) in return for Dontrelle Willis I would have laughed in your face.

tigers22
5 years 2 months ago

exactly man… I’m very shocked they found someone who wanted to deal for him, especially this quickly. I think that shows the dire state that the Dbacks pitching staff really is in right now. And like you said, I’ll take Buckner if for no other reason than I thought we were going to have to straight up release Dontrelle. Don’t know what Billy will do for us, but gotta love his name lol

5 years 2 months ago

Why were the Mets not in this? A combo of Ollie Perez and Willis would have given them four innings combined of seven run ball!

qudjy1
5 years 2 months ago

This seems like a good deal for AZ. They get some upside and give away a guy who is really no better than replacement value in Buckner. And yes – i know how terrible Willis has been. Its pretty low risk from AZs POV.

5 years 2 months ago

I’m not sure why any AZ fan would like this. First you just wasted 200k on Willis, because he’s not gonna pan out, bank on it, and then you just threw a prospect down the crapper as well.

Tigers fans have got to be loving this. They were gonna cut the guy anyway, so the cash is a wash. This just guaranteed that there is 200k they don’t have to pay because someone took a chance on him, AND they picked up a prospect in the deal! What a wonderful day for Tigers fans.

I wish the Mets would do the same with Ollie and GMJ now.

bomberj11
5 years 2 months ago

It’s Omar, dude. The right move is never going to happen, haha.

Jason_F
5 years 2 months ago

Obviously, they didn’t “waste” $200K on Willis. Do you think Buckner (or whomever had his roster spot before him) was playing for free? Buckner was absolutely horrible in the majors for four years and was just lit up by the Giants of all teams. With the D’backs having the worst pitching staff in the majors by far, it is definitely worth taking a chance on Willis in a league that he was once successful in, albeit several years ago. And, no, they weren’t going to just be able to pick Willis up once he was cut, because several teams were in on acquiring him via trade. Buckner was apparently the best offer they got.

qudjy1
5 years 2 months ago

Re: Brent – First, Buckner is NOT a prospect. He has never had the success that Willis did, and is roughly the same age. Niether one is likely to “pan out”, but at least willis has some upside.