It should not be much of a surprise that the Dontrelle Willis era has ended in Detroit. Despite the ineffectiveness and lack of consistency I do feel somewhat bad for how the situation has played out.
I suppose every baseball fan has a few guys in mind that he would love to have on his team, the D-Train was that guy for me when he burst on the scene with the Florida Marlins in 2003. That opinion was cemented on June 13, 2004 when my brother and I sat behind home plate at Comerica Park and watched Willis throw a dominating complete game in a 9-2 Marlins victory.
When hearing of the Tigers decision to designate Dontrelle Willis for assignment I was quick to think that he would be released and picked up on a minor league deal elsewhere. An organization has ten days to trade or release a player that has been designated for assignment and it appears there may be an opportunity to actually get something in return for the departing Willis.
The Florida Marlins have reportedly shown mild interest in bringing Willis back to south Florida while the Arizona Diamondbacks have emerged as the most likely landing spot. It makes sense that Willis would garner some interest from the National League because of his abilities in the batter’s box. While Dontrelle’s only chance for contributing in Detroit was on the mound, he would have the opportunity to bat should an NL team deem him worthy of a spot in their rotation. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post has reportedly been told that the Mets and Brewers may also have interest.
The rumblings of multiple interested teams increases the chances that the Tigers don’t come out of this situation empty handed. Don’t expect a bidding war to result in more than a minor league prospect but something is better than nothing. Stay tuned.