Dontrelle Willis Rumors
Links for Tuesday night, as the Cubs decide on the back of their rotation...
- Zack Greinke told Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post that he chose to join the Brewers over the Nationals because he felt that Milwaukee was going to win sooner than Washington. The Nationals offered Greinke a $100MM extension at one point and Greinke didn’t accept it, though he says he expects the Nationals to be a good team within a few years since owner Ted Lerner wants to win badly. Greinke didn’t rule out the possibility of playing for the Nationals once he becomes a free agent, after the 2012 season.
- The Brewers are likely to start the season with four starters and eight relievers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon examines the Reds' bullpen and explains that Dontrelle Willis appears to have a good chance of making the team.
- In a mailbag for MLB.com, Matthew Leach suggests it’s a make or break year of sorts for Cardinals Kyle Lohse, Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker. They’re not the only ones with lots riding on 2011, as the MLBTR team has outlined.
Links for Monday night. with just one day remaining for teams to determine whether to offer arbitration to their ranked free agents...
- There's a good chance the Padres offer Kevin Correia, Jon Garland and Yorvit Torrealba arbitration, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Indians got some good news today. As expected, Shin-Soo Choo received a military exemption from South Korea for winning the gold medal at the Asian Games last week, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Before the Reds signed Dontrelle Willis, the Giants had interest in re-signing the left-hander, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter).
- On his personal blog, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen writes that he was "confused" and "proud" to have appeared in trade rumors, even though he doesn't consider himself "untradeable like Michael Jordan."
- The Orioles are negotiating a deal that would add Willie Randolph to the team's coaching staff. The former Mets manager could become Buck Showalter's bench coach, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
The Reds have agreed to sign Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Still just 28, Willis has gone from rookie phenom to ace to trade chip to bust to reclamation project in his eight-year MLB career. The Reds are presumably willing to overlook the control problems Willis has had in recent years because of the promise he showed when he first appeared in the majors in the early 2000s.
The lefty pitched to a 5.62 ERA in 65 2/3 innings with the Tigers and Diamondbacks last year, walking more batters (56) than he struck out (47). In fact, Willis has walked more batters than he has struck out every season since the Marlins traded him to Detroit in December of 2007.
The Tigers designated Willis for assignment last year before trading him to Arizona. After a brief stint with the D'Backs, Willis signed with the Giants, but did not appear in a big league game for San Francisco.
As Nationals fans cross their fingers about Stephen Strasburg, here's some news from around the majors...
- Aaron Heilman is looking forward to his first taste of free agency, reports MLB.com's Andrew Pentis. Heilman said that he and his agent hadn't had any talks yet with the Diamondbacks about a new contract.
- Lyle Overbay thinks he has a chance of returning to the Blue Jays next season, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Given the Overbay trade rumors we've been hearing all year, this would certainly be a surprise, especially since the Jays have given Adam Lind a few starts at first recently.
- Carlos Delgado has been placed on the seven-day disabled list by the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, reports Sportsnet New York's Ben Wagner (via Twitter). Delgado is experiencing soreness in his back and left hip, not his twice-operated on right hip. The slugger signed a minor league contract with Boston on August 7.
- Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News thinks the Reds should "make signing Bronson Arroyo a priority," implies that 2010 is Ramon Hernandez's last year in Cincinnati and gives some other opinions in a fan mailbag.
- Was Khalil Greene the biggest loss for the Rangers this season? Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News thinks so, given the team's ongoing depth problems.
- Ricky Nolasco's contract extension talks with the Marlins may be on hold. Josh Friedman and Craig Mish of The Ticket 790AM radio report (via Twitter) that the Florida right-hander may miss the rest of the season with a partially-torn meniscus.
- Dontrelle Willis has been promoted to Triple-A Fresno, and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that Willis is a candidate to join the Giants when the rosters expand on September 1.
- LaTroy Hawkins will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. It's unknown if the scope will reveal more severe damage, but Hawkins says he plans on pitching in 2011. Since signing a two-year, $7.5MM contract with Milwaukee last December, the injury-plagued Hawkins has made just 18 appearances for the Brewers, posting an 8.44 ERA.
The San Francisco Giants' official Twitter feed reports that the club signed left-hander Dontrelle Willis to a minor-league contract with Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday. The Giants are Willis' third team this season, after he was designated for assignment by both the Tigers and Diamondbacks within the last two months. No matter where he has played in 2010, Willis' struggles have continued --- he has a 5.62 ERA in 15 appearances (13 of them starts) and only an 0.84 K-BB ratio.
We had heard that the Brewers, Mets and Marlins all had some degree of interest in Willis when he was first DFA'ed by Detroit, though Willis' stated preference to play near the west coast may have been a factor in his signing with the Giants. Should Willis get promoted to the majors, he will be playing just outside his hometown of Oakland.
Links for Sunday, as the baseball world attempts to come to terms with Omar Infante's All-Star nod....
- Kyle Drabek, who was a part of the Roy Halladay deal, threw a no-hitter for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. This was the first nine inning no-hitter in the history of Toronto's Double-A affiliate, writes Alex Raskin for MLB.com.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN (via Twitter) says that he's usually hyper-critical of the Royals organization, but applauds their pickup of Kanekoa Texeira. The Royals claimed the pitcher off of waivers from the M's early last month.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) suggests that Mike Lowell could be an option for the Phillies if he gets healthy. He points out that the Phils went hard after him last time he was a free agent.
- The Orioles have made 46 personnel moves since Opening Day, writes Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Marlins had interest in Dontrelle Willis before he was dealt to Arizona, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Frisaro hears that the lefty will take his time before deciding his next move.
- Kyle Parker, the Rockies' first-round draft pick, visited Coors Field, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding and Joey Nowak. Colorado hopes to sign the Clemson quarterback, who has three years of football eligibility remaining.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Astros have been telling teams they're willing to absorb some salary in a potential Roy Oswalt trade. We heard a couple weeks ago that Houston was entertaining this possibility if it meant landing better prospects.
- Heyman and ESPN.com's Buster Olney (both Twitter links) place their bets on the Orioles' managerial search.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says not to be surprised if the White Sox make a play for Prince Fielder.
- The Giants aren't expected to make a splash on the international free agent market, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
- Domonic Brown deserves to be labeled "untouchable" by the Phillies, according to this piece at Philly.com.
The D'Backs traded for Willis just over a month ago, acquiring the left-hander shortly after the Tigers had designated him for assignment. Although Willis got off to a promising start in Arizona, tossing six shutout innings in his debut, control issues plagued his later outings. He walked 27 hitters in just 22.1 IP for the D'Backs.
After Willis' last DFA, there were reportedly four teams interested in the 28-year-old, so we'll see if one of those other clubs gets involved now that his time in Arizona appears to be over.
- Mike Scioscia tells Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times he's "very optimistic" that Erick Aybar's left knee injury won't lead to a DL stint. That reduces the chances that the Angels will go after a shortstop.
- It's been a great year for young players like Strasburg and Mike Leake, as ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian shows.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the D'Backs often hear trade rumors from Dan Haren, who reads MLBTR. As Piecoro explains, players are generally aware of the latest rumblings in "the era of the trade rumor."
- Another top pitcher, Cliff Lee, chooses to ignore the rumors, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked 12 baseball insiders whether they would prefer to have Phil Hughes or Mike Pelfrey for the next five years and was surprised to see all 12 select Hughes.
- Edwin Jackson and Dontrelle Willis say they have good memories of Detroit and no hard feelings over the trades that sent them to Arizona, according to the Detroit Free Press.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro has a trade-filled edition of his Inbox this week, so let's take a look at some of the highlights:
- In spite of a need for bullpen help and the imminent arrival of Mike Stanton, don't expect the Marlins to part ways with Cody Ross.
- Ditto for Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu, despite their larger salaries. As Frisaro explains, both players' salaries have been budgeted for this season; there's no financial need to move them this year.
- Should the Marlins fall entirely out of contention, however, all three players could be shopped at the deadline.
- The Marlins had interest in Dontrelle Willis, and Frisaro speculates that if he struggles as a starter in Arizona and is designated for assignment, the Fish may take a flier on him as a reliever.
- The Marlins will indeed be on the lookout for relief help, but will be looking to trade prospects as opposed to big leaguers. Frisaro says trade talks for Florida will heat up once Interleague play has concluded.
- Speaking of Griffey, Bob Nightengale of USA Today says (via Twitter) that he will remain with the Mariners in a front office role.
- Big League Stew lists ten players who could be traded before the deadline, headlined by Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee.
- Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse grades the Padres' offseason pickups.
- The Red Sox almost drafted Kurt Suzuki instead of Dustin Pedroia in the second round of the 2004 draft, according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes did not deny that Dan Haren may be dealt this summer, according to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick presents the nine most-hyped draft picks of all time.
- Ben Goessling of MASN.com imagines what a Roy Oswalt-Nationals swap might look like, just as MLBTR's Howard Megdal did. Last night we heard that Oswalt would consider a deal to Washington.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports that Randy Wells switched agents "a while ago," leaving the Beverly Hills Sports Council for ACES (Twitter link).
- Lynn Henning of the Detroit News believes Oswalt and Cliff Lee would cost more than the Tigers can afford to give up.
- Scott Boras told Scott Miller of CBS Sports that Tony Gwynn was an "extraordinary" coach for Stephen Strasburg at San Diego State University.
- Boras doesn't want Bryce Harper to catch, but ESPN.com's Keith Law points out that Harper's bat is worth much more behind the plate than anywhere else.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle predicts that Pat Burrell may make his Giants debut as soon as this weekend.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan describes the journey Colby Lewis took from the majors to Japan and back.
- The Rangers need a reliable catcher more than anything else, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Indians had no interest in Dontrelle Willis, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- But other teams are eyeing an Indians starter. One executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Jake Westbrook is "everything you look for if you want to add an arm down the stretch."