Report: Phillies Agree to One-Year Deal with Dontrelle Willis

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Whoa. If one thing has come out of this offseason, it’s been the Phillies' interest in bench players. If there’s another, it’s the team’s interest in left-handed pitchers.

Last week, the Phillies were rumored to be in talks with the Athletics about Gio Gonzalez. Yesterday, they traded Ben Francisco for Frank Gailey, a promising left-handed prospect. Today, Jerry Crasnick reports that Phillies are close to signing Dontrelle Willis.

UPDATE: Jim Salisbury confirms the report.

Let's begin the head scratching: Willis has appeared in only 28 games (26 starts) over the last two seasons, for three teams. He was 3-9 in that timeframe with ERAs of 5.62 and 5.00, respectively.

Inquirer beat reporter Matt Gelb's source says Willis will be a reliever with the Phillies.

Todd Zolecki reports the deal is for under $1 million, plus incentives.

As our friends from (@Philsvilleblog) point out, Jimmy Rollins and Willis are both from the Bay Area, went to same high school… and were in MC Hammer videos.

Of course, all of these "reports" are great, but Willis and Shane Victorino all but confirmed the deal on Twitter late last night:

Screen Shot 2011-12-13 at 10.34.43 AM

Welcome to town, homie.

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26 Responses

  1. So I guess Willis can hit right? Cause he clearly can’t pitch anymore. Hey Amaro… if you’re handing out million dollar contracts – I’LL TAKE ONE!!! I don’t get this…

  2. Relax…Willis is being signed to provide SP depth along with Dave Bush too. This is done in case of injury (Blanton) or blow-up (Worley). Bush, Willis and even Austin Hyatt are minor league depth to start when needed. Every year the starters miss time. And this saves them for maybe overpaying for KK in the arbitration process which may be expensive.
    It isnt a big move but a smart one – starting pitching depth is important

  3. I guess he will be a veteran lefty out of the pen and an innings eater should Blanton or Kendrick blow up. But a 1M contract seems high for a guy who is done.

  4. Even in these last two seasons Willis had good numbers vs lefties. Can’t see him making this team as a starter so he’ll have to learn to throw strikes out of the bullpen.

  5. Willis and Rollins went to the same high-school. I actually don’t mind this. Willis would come cheap and could be a stud as a 5th starer. I mean what in the blue hell are they doing with Blanton? Is he really going to be the 5 guy again? I’d be much happier with Doc, Cliff, Cole, Vance, and Willis then having Blanton on the back end of that rotation. Get er’ done Rube!

  6. He’s gonna be a filthy specialist to complement Bastardo. Lefties hit .127 against him last year and have hit .200 against him in his career. They finally gave a role player something other than a 2yr deal, so it’s really low risk, high reward.

  7. I always liked Dontrelle for the passion he shows for the game. A great addition even if he becomes a situational lefty out of the pen.

  8. what a weird signing, does it mean he can take Bastardo under his wing and teach him how to be a dud?
    Also, my blog just did an interview with top prospect Jon Pettibone, if y’all could check it out nd let me know what u think it would be great.
    http://bit.ly/u96WQh

  9. All things considered, I’d rather Ruben concentrate on a right-handed bat to replace Placido Polanco at third than waste money on Willis who’s borderline fried.

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