Dontrelle Willis Rumors


Players Who Cleared Waivers

This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.

Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm

Starting pitchers

  • Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
  • Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list.  He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
  • Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
  • Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
  • Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th.  $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest.  The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however.  At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
  • Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
  • Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window.  But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013.  He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.    
  • Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
  • Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
  • Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball.  With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.

Relievers

  • Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
  • Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
  • Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
  • Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
  • Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
  • Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties.  The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
  • John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
  • D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April.  He stayed there until mid-June.

Position players

  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart.  The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious.  SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
  • Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency.  Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
  • Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
  • David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
  • Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
  • David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
  • Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
  • Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected.  It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
  • Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
  • Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
  • Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year.  El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
  • Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.



Stark On Astros, Damon, Jimenez, Rockies

There's now almost no chance that MLB will expand the playoffs by next year, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. It's far from a lock that the postseason will expand under baseball's upcoming collective bargaining agreement, despite heavy rumblings about expanded playoffs. The union views postseason changes as part of a series of related possible changes, which is why we won't necessarily see more playoff teams by 2012, according to Stark. Here are the rest of his rumors...

  • Incoming Astros owner Jim Crane has told commissioner Bud Selig privately that he wants to keep the Astros in the NL Central. However, MLB might look to move Houston to the AL West to even out baseball's divisions.
  • Johnny Damon cleared waivers and can now be dealt to any team, according to Stark. Rival teams say Damon didn't draw heavy trade interest last month.
  • Stark hears that the MRI the Indians took of Ubaldo Jimenez came back "remarkably clean."
  • Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who has often been mentioned as a possible successor to Selig, isn't lobbying to become the next commissioner, according to a longtime associate. "If he did it, he'd do it out of loyalty to the game. But I wouldn't say he has a burning passion to do it."
  • The Rockies are saying they'd like to swap Ian Stewart for another player who could use a change of scenery. However, other clubs recognize that Stewart is a non-tender candidate, so his trade value is not high.
  • The Rockies could take a flyer on J.C. Romero, according to Stark.
  • One NL scout says Dontrelle Willis looks as good as he has in three or four years.



Next Move For Dontrelle Willis?

Dontrelle Willis was scratched from his start for the Louisville Bats tonight, leading to speculation that the Reds are calling him up or he's involved in a trade.  Bronson Arroyo has dealt with a back issue this year, so it's possible Willis could take his place in the Reds' rotation for a while.

Willis' agent Matt Sosnick told me tonight that he is aware his client did not pitch, but he has no knowledge of the Reds' short-term plans.  Sosnick added:

"Based on the way that Dontrelle has pitched this year, he probably would've been in the Majors by now if not for the Reds' rotation depth.  I feel strongly that he has turned the corner.  He's in the best shape of his career and is throwing with the highest velocity he's ever had.  I feel very confident that he will be an impact player in the Major Leagues this year and for many years to come."

Willis, of course, was an impact player for the first four seasons of his career for the Marlins.  He battled anxiety and injury problems after that, bouncing around after struggling with the Tigers.  The 29-year-old has a 2.63 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 13 starts for the Reds' Triple-A affiliate this year.



Quick Hits: Dodgers, Willis, Purke

After consecutive disappointing seasons, Kyle Lohse is averaging nearly 8.0 IP per start this year and has a 1.64 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9. Lohse, who signed a $41MM deal with the Cardinals in 2008, is living up to his contract so far in 2011. Here are today's links...

  • Tom Schieffer says he wants to be helpful, not disruptive, when he takes over the Dodgers' day to day operations and finances, according to Quinn Roberts of MLB.com. Earlier today, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt sounded intensely displeased with MLB's involvement in L.A.
  • Dontrelle Willis does not have an out clause in his contract with the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The left-hander has a 1.12 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 24 innings at Triple-A Louisville so far in 2011.
  • TCU is set to announce that left-hander Matt Purke has been cleared to return to the mound, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. That's excellent news for Purke, who was recently shut down with shoulder soreness and evaluated by Dr. James Andrews. Click here for MLBTR's Q&A with Purke.



NL Central Notes: Greinke, Reds, Cardinals

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.



Odds & Ends: Padres, Choo, Willis, Guillen

Links for Monday night. with just one day remaining for teams to determine whether to offer arbitration to their ranked free agents...



Reds To Sign Dontrelle Willis

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.



Odds & Ends: Heilman, Overbay, Delgado, Reds

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.



Giants Sign Dontrelle Willis

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. 



Odds & Ends: Texeira, Orioles, Willis, Fielder, Giants

Links for Sunday, as the baseball world attempts to come to terms with Omar Infante's All-Star nod....









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