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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.

Posted by on December 20, 2007.


Categories: 2008 Season, Contracts

16 Responses

  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.

    by Stephen on Dec 21, 2007 at 12:26 am

  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.

    by Mike R on Dec 21, 2007 at 3:25 am

  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.

    by don on Dec 21, 2007 at 8:24 am

  4. I want to know what the league average ticket price will be in 2010?

    by ron on Dec 21, 2007 at 1:26 pm

  5. 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.

    by ron on Dec 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm

  6. bold prediction ron, but I like it.

    by ken in cincinnati on Dec 21, 2007 at 2:19 pm

  7. 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.

    by Dave on Dec 21, 2007 at 4:36 pm

  8. and yeah, I lol’d at the Hessman comment, too

    by Dave on Dec 21, 2007 at 4:36 pm

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

    by Mike R on Dec 21, 2007 at 4:43 pm

  10. 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

    by David on Dec 21, 2007 at 5:10 pm

  11. 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.

    by Kyle J on Dec 21, 2007 at 7:17 pm

  12. David, Willis’ stats don’t look too bad post All-Star break. His career ERA in July is high: ~.4.60. But he’s well under 4.00 in both August and September.

    by Kyle J on Dec 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm

  13. 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.

    by macbengal on Dec 22, 2007 at 3:36 am

  14. [...] Willis attended the game and was nicely applauded by the fans in attendance. He recently signed a three year extension and hopes to reach out to the African American community in the metro Detroit [...]

    by Behind the Jersey » Pistons 94, Grizzlies 67 on Dec 27, 2007 at 4:30 pm

  15. 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!

    by Joshua M. on Dec 27, 2007 at 5:44 pm

  16. DTrain is on the right track by playing Santa as soon as he hits town.

    by ron on Dec 28, 2007 at 1:34 pm

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