Results tagged ‘ Dontrelle Willis ’

D-Train heads to Cincinnati

Still hoping for another shot at being a productive pitcher in the big leagues, Dontrelle Willis — one of the best young lefties in the game for a four-year stretch with the Marlins — signed a Minor League contract with the Reds on Monday.

Willis’ deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. And because of the depth in Cincinnati’s starting rotation, the long-time starter is going to try to pitch out of the bullpen, even though he’s only made three relief appearances in his big league career.

From 2003-06, Willis went a combined 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA and averaged 32 starts per year. But from 2007-10, he went 13-24 with a 5.81 ERA while averaging just 16 starts a year and striking out only 22 more batters than he walked.

In December 2007, Willis was given a three-year, $29 million contract, but the final year of that deal proved to be the tipping point. That season, the 28-year-old was designated for assignment by the Tigers on May 30, dealt to the Diamondbacks for Billy Buckner two days later, released by Arizona on July 6 and signed by the Giants to a Minor League contract on July 14.

With the Tigers and D-backs, Willis posted a 5.62 ERA while walking 56 and striking out 47 in 15 games (13 starts).

– Alden Gonzalez   

Roundup: A Lowell-to-Rangers revival?

One of the biggest surprises of the offseason came when the Rangers nixed a proposed deal to acquire Mike Lowell, which led to one of the more uncomfortable situations in baseball, considering Lowell knew the Red Sox were looking to deal him and just couldn’t find a match. Well, according to a report by WEEI.com, we may have Lowell to Texas Part II. The Web site attributed an unnamed Major League source that the Rangers “continue to monitor” the status of Lowell — currently on the DL with soreness in his surgically repaired hip — and could have “increased interest” in a deal. 
The Red Sox and Rangers have continued to talk throughout the season about the possibility of bringing the previously vetoed deal back to life, according to the site. Texas would be interested because it just dealt Justin Smoak to the Rangers to acquire Cliff Lee, and current first baseman Chris Davis (.203 batting average, zero home runs in 19 games) is struggling. Still, the Rangers, according to WEEI.com, will continue to look for other trade options before pulling the trigger on another Lowell deal. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* The Mets, as a surprise to no one, are in the market for starting pitching. ESPN’s Buster Olney named Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly and — wait for it — Brett Myers as rotation candidates they’ve kept tabs on. 
* The Marlins could be on the verge of making a move, considering manager Edwin Rodriguez said Thursday that he’s thinking about plugging Emilio Bonifacio into the leadoff spot, even though there’s seemingly no position for him at the moment. Can that mean Cody Ross, Jorge Cantu or Dan Uggla are moved relatively soon? As MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes, this homestand could decide what course of action Florida takes in regards to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. 
* Struggling left-hander Dontrelle Willis was prepared to sit out the rest of the 2010 season, but the Giants gave him another shot with a Minor League contract, and the Alameda, Calif., product accepted. 
* A couple of rather notable bullpen moves were made late Thursday afternoon. The Reds signed 41-year-old right-hander Russ Springer, and the Phillies designated 36-year-old righty Nelson Figueroa for assignment. Meanwhile, GM Walt Jocketty may not be done tweaking the Reds’ bullpen just yet, writes MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. 
* Could Joba Chamberlain be next? That’s a question being posed by ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand, who believes Chamberlain’s struggles (a 5.79 ERA in 37 1/3 innings) could lead to him being replaced before the Trade Deadline. 
* The Mariners signed three international prospects on Friday, according to Baseball America — Dominican outfielder Phillips Castillo ($2.2 million), Colombian right-hander Jose Torres ($851,000) and Venezuelan third baseman Yordyn Calderon ($477,500). 
* The Giants have long been linked to Royals outfielder David DeJesus. But it might be his teammate, Jose Guillen, who they end up acquiring, writes MLB.com’s Chris Haft. 
Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Lee’s landing spot still talk of MLB

Amidst the All-Star Game announcements, rumors continued to swirl on Sunday about a potential landing spot for Cliff Lee. The Twins and Yankees are still being tossed around as potential front-runners for the Mariners’ Cy Young hurler.

The possibility has also been raised by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that Lee may be destined to become a Yankee, but not until the offseason when New York would be better equipped to sign him to a long-term deal. Others have suggested that Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s hand could be forced by A.J. Burnett’s recent struggles.

A baseball source outside of the Twins organization reportedly told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he believes the Twins are the front-runners to land Lee at this point.

The Mets, Rangers and Dodgers also remain possible contenders to land Lee before the Trade Deadline.

Here’s a look at happenings around the league on Sunday:

- SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Sunday that he believes the Astros might be willing to pay some of Oswalt’s contract, if they can get the right pieces in return.

With regard to the O’s mangerial search, Heyman said on Twitter that he believes it is now down to Wedge and Showalter, despite the players’ support of interim manager Juan Samuel.

- Kansas City utility man Willie Bloomquist has been drawing attention from a few clubs, according to a report in Sunday’s Kansas City Star. With Dustin Pedroia on the shelf right now, the Red Sox join the Phillies, Yankees and Rockies as potential interested parties, the report suggests.

- The D-backs designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment on Sunday, raising the question of his future once again. There were several teams interested in Willis after he was designated earlier this summer by the Tigers, before Arizona acquired him on June 1. Will another team take a chance on the hurler down the stretch?

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