The Tigers and Dontrelle Willis agreed on a 3 year contract. The Tigers will pay Willis $7 million in 2008, $10 million in 2009, and $12 million in 2010.
It’s a very reasonable deal with limited downside. The surge in homers and walks last year was disturbing, but he should benefit from Comerica Park’s left field which is more favorable for fielding than Florida and may trap a few of those homers. Of course Willis is a ground ball pitcher and he’ll have better defense at short and second than he had in 2007.
Plus given his age there is a decent chance he rebounds and gets better. There’s also the chance he was overworked at a young age and the injury he said he battled in 2007 could simply be foreshadowing of larger problems.
Regardless, there is little not to like. Given the current market for starting pitchers, and even discounting that Willis isn’t on the open market, the contract appears to be a very fair valuation.
Danny Knobler has some notes from presser and came away impressed. And for those wondering Willis will wear 21 in honor of Deion Sanders.