Dontrelle plus 3

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.

16 thoughts on “Dontrelle plus 3”

  1. Most ridiculous Tigers beat writing conclusion of the offseason

    As the payroll skyrockets: The Tigers have attempted to trade third baseman Brandon Inge and outfielder/first baseman Marcus Thames during the past two weeks — a subtle sign of the organization’s growing confidence in Mike Hessman.

    Man, I’m pretty sure that trading of Inge and/or Thames has absolutely nothing to do with confidence in a AAAA player approaching the age of 30.

  2. Ridiculous comment about Mike Hessman. He’s not the future at anything other then maybe a Tigers charity basketball team.

    Great price for Dontrelle who at worst should be an innings eater. And with the price of inning eaters rising (see: Carlos Silva’s 4 year, $48 million deal) we got Willis at a bargain. Well done.

  3. Ditto Mike R. Silva wouldn’t even be in the rotation on half the teams in the AL, and he’s making 12 mil a year (he’s had more earned runs than SO over his career!). What will ‘league average’ starting pitchers will be making in 2010, $15-16 mil per. This is a good deal for the tigers, even if DW just settles into a nate robertson role for a few years.

  4. Here’s my take on DW. He has so much talent and HEART that he will win more games than Verlander this year, not that Verlander doesn’t have heart.

  5. I’m impressed with this. DD et al. are publicly expressing and privately building up confidence in Willis, while dismissing his previous troubles as aberration – this is exactly the right tactic to use. I might not go so far as ron, but I think most people here will be incredibly surprised by Dontrelle’s performance with Detroit.

  6. Unless Dontrelle wins 25 and Verlander wins 20, Dontrelle nabbing more wins then Verlander probably is an ominous sign.

  7. The thing is how he pitches in the second half of the season ie Bonderman of last year

    He is notorious for not being able to hold up

    If he and Bondo get over the hump and put a complete good/great season together and Verlander even doesn’t get any better (doubt it) we should win a couple games

  8. OK. Good deal with Willis. $10 million/year is a bargain for a 25-year old with a sub-4.00 career ERA.

    Now let’s get Cabrera signed long-term. Hard to think of two guys you’d rather build a team around over the next 5-6 years than Verlander and Cabrera.

  9. DTrain is clutch during the stetch run and could really be an X factor in getting the Tigers to the playoffs.

    Besides building the team aound Verlander and Cabrera, I’d really have to add Granderson to that list.
    These three could be remembered as the new generation of
    Jack Morris, Tram, and Sweet Lou, despite a few obvious differences. This 2008 team has a 1982/1983 feel to it, if not a 1984 feel.

  10. I predicted it once on here right after the trade and I will say it again……..Willis wins the AL Cy Young this year. I know it sounds crazy but its not. He is healthy again he has an all around better defense behind him and an offense that is 2 or 3 times better than the one he had last year. He will win 20 games this year at least!

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