Dontrelle Willis To Retire

3:50pm: The Orioles confirmed that Willis is retiring, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

2:36pm: Pitcher Dontrelle Willis is considering retirement and is not expected to make next start for the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter).  The left-hander has been in the O’s system since signing a minor league deal in March.

Willis was placed on the restricted list by Baltimore in late April after a difference of opinions between him and the organization.  The 30-year-old left Triple-A Norfolk believing that he was going to be granted his release but instead was placed on the restricted list because GM Dan Duquette did not authorize the move.  Willis planned on filing a grievance against the Orioles but instead returned to the club’s farm system.

The southpaw wound up making just three relief appearances and one start for Triple-A Norfolk after all was said and done. Willis originally signed a one-year, $1MM deal with the Phillies in December of last year but was released in March.

Willis owns a career 4.17 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 for his career and has earned nearly $41MM over the course of his career, according to Baseball-Reference.  The pitcher known as D-Train burst on to the scene as a 21-year-old with the Marlins and captured the National League Rookie of the Year award with a brilliant campaign.  Two years later, Willis finished second in Cy Young voting to Chris Carpenter, posting 2.63 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.


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47 Comments on "Dontrelle Willis To Retire"


TophersReds
3 years 1 month ago

If so, so long and congrats on the what-could-have-been career D-Train. I enjoyed watching you play while you were here in Cincy.

letsgogiants
3 years 1 month ago

Wow, hard to believe that he is only 30. Too bad the potential didn’t follow through after a dominant 2005. At least he was able to get a ring so early in his career. If he does retire, I wish him the best of luck in life after baseball.

Casor_Greener
3 years 1 month ago

Dude had 1 maybe 2 good years then stole 40M from the Tigers. No matter what happens I consider him a winner. Wish I could be so lucky.

1 Love  D Train!

sourbob
3 years 1 month ago

While I’m sure he’s glad to have the money, I seriously doubt he feels entirely good about it. Professional baseball players are inherently competitive people who want desperately to succeed. We should be careful about assuming they’re delighted to get something for nothing. More likely, they’re tortured by their failure to live up to the expectations of their contract and the money is only a partial consolation.

Even if you want to think baseball players ARE that greedy, wouldn’t you supposed he’d have rather pitched extremely well during that contract and earned another big payday?

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 1 month ago

Anybody who is a fan of a team that signed a player to a big contract and was a bust feels the same way, but you’re right.  Most of the time it has nothing to do with lack of effort.

Casor_Greener
3 years 1 month ago

I made no attempt to analyze his feelings on the issue, nor did I say he was greedy.  I’m just telling you how I feel about it.

sourbob
3 years 1 month ago

Fair enough. I had a sort of reflexive response to what I wrongly assumed was another “I bet he’s laughing all the way to the bank” comment. My bad.

GoRav114
3 years 1 month ago

Just don’t get what happened to the D train.  Seems like it has to be mental, he was so dominant for a short stretch then nothing.  If you can’t crack the Orioles five man rotation then it may be time to retire. 

pmc765
3 years 1 month ago

He showed up in 2008 for the Tigers amid much optimism. But he looked a LOT heavier. In Florida he was fit enough to kick his foot up high and put it down in the same place every time. In Detroit, the leg went up, but the pudgy Dontrelle found it coming down in a different place every time. Always a feel pitcher, he completely lost his release point. He threw pitches to the backstop. He had no idea where it was going.

He went on a diet and rededicated himself to fitness. Almost all players thicken somewhat as they age. But he never got the feel back.

I think he ate himself out of baseball.

Ben_Cherington
3 years 1 month ago

Why?  If its injury, I understand, if its bc he is not on in the MLB, get off your high horse!  Almost everyone hear would do anything to play Triple-A.  I wish players wouldnt let pride get in the way and just enjoy playing the game at a very high level. 

PS. Call Rick Ankiel, maybe you can learn to play the OF. If I remember correctly, Willis was pretty good with a bat and def has a good arm. Could be a nice project.

ImperialStout
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah, but he’s not really playing at a high level, and the perks of riding buses and never being home for the majority of the year to play minor league ball would probably be a drag.

TophersReds
3 years 1 month ago

He probably doesn’t enjoy pitching in the minors after having the great success he had early in his. Of course we would love to pitch in AAA, but he would love to pitch in MLB again and win another WS – which probably won’t happen even if he doesn’t retire. He already has $40M+ in his career, so money isn’t the incentive to pitch in the minors either for him. 

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
3 years 1 month ago

I thought that decision was already made for him.

55saveslives
3 years 1 month ago

Well……………Bye!

LifelongMets
3 years 1 month ago

This is just a shame. I always loved this guy, and he showed that he can be excellent. Watching him struggle like he has from 2006 on has really been hard, especially considering his early career success.

Best of luck to Dontrelle!

DerekJeterDan
3 years 1 month ago

Very good seasons with the Marlins with an exceptionally unique delivery. His trade mark will always be the flat brim cap he wore to the side with his sharp slider and mid 90’s fastball. It was always a pleasure watching him when he was pitching well from 2003 – 2007. When the Phillies signed him this offseason I hoped he might be able to get some work/stability in as a Loogy but his erratic delivery made him too wild on the mound and he bounced from team to team this year. If he were to retire today, he would finish with a 4.17 ERA a 72-69 record and 896 strikeouts. All in all, that is a nice little resume to have and say hey you know what, I played in the big leagues.
Best of luck to the D Train.

schellis
3 years 1 month ago

Once teams figured out his delivery his stuff was hammered.  He can still get lefties out but refuses to work out of the pen because he feels he’s still a starter.   

coolstorybro222
3 years 1 month ago

I hope he saved some of that money

YuppieScum
3 years 1 month ago

I’d feel bad for him if he hadn’t made FORTY FRICKIN MILLION DOLLARS in his career.

Frankly I’m surprised he hasn’t tried converting to the outfield.

RedSx799
3 years 1 month ago

My how the could-have-been-mighty has collapsed.

Cosmo3
3 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t call retiring at 30 w/ a WS ring and 40 mil “collapsing”

not_brooks
3 years 1 month ago

You should look up the definition for “collapse”.

3.44 ERA in his first 800 innings, 5.65 ERA in last 400. Certainly seems like a collapse to me.

RedSx799
3 years 1 month ago

He was included with Cabrera as a part of that hyper mega uber super deal that got the Tigers Cabrera and Willis. The high expectations combined with the above (5.65 ERA in his last 400 innings) is a collapse.

And you kind of said it. he retired at 30…with one ring. He bounced around from team to team the last few years pitching horrible every time.

Dave Reyes
3 years 1 month ago

That sucks, he was a pitcher with loads of potential. He could’ve become an outfielder or first baseman though. I bet he’s still got some pop in that bat of his.

Flames562
3 years 1 month ago

Dodgers should get him..

ima_robot_beepbeepbeep
3 years 1 month ago

should have been released a month ago when he started complaining and making demands. good riddance.

J Hayes
3 years 1 month ago

Braves will sign him.

RepOak
3 years 1 month ago

Great guy, struck me out a couple times in high school ha! Wish him the best..

sourbob
3 years 1 month ago

He could open a bar with Mark Prior maybe.

drjayphd
3 years 1 month ago

Nuh-uh, Prior’s pitching in Pawtucket and he’ll be back in the big leagues any day no–wait, what? Disabled list? For what, dislocated talent?

BradyAndersonsSideburns
3 years 1 month ago

his career has reached the caboose!

Paul Shailor
3 years 1 month ago

What I find funny is 29 mil is from the tigers, for 100 innings. Now that trade I would do again, but dang that extension was one of DDs worst. 

Retnan
3 years 1 month ago

Well thanks for robbing the Tigers Willis, why Sox fans appreciated it.

What happened dude?