The Baltimore Orioles are hoping to do something that the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies could not do over the past four years. The Orioles have signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis in hopes that they can resurrect his career.
They should not be holding their collective breathes.
Willis, the former 22 game winner with the Florida Marlins, was converted into a reliever after failing as a starter following his trade from the Marlins to the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera. But things did not go all that well for D-Train with the Phils, as he allowed five runs on four walks in just under 3 innings during Spring Training in Clearwater. He did not record one single strike out during his time with the Phillies either.
The 30-year-old enigmatic pitcher signed a one year deal with the Phillies for $850,000 back in December with the hopes that turning him into a reliever would help bring about resurgence in his Major League Baseball career. But his contract was not guaranteed, meaning that the failed experiment will cost the Phillies less than one-fifth of the contract in termination pay. Had Willis still been on the team’s roster this weekend, they would have had to pay him considerably more.
It did not appear to be a difficult decision.
“It seems like the bullpen was already set for Philadelphia, so this is another opportunity to go out there with another young, talented team and go out there and show my stuff,” Willis told MLB.com.
I’m not sure exactly what type of ‘stuff’ Willis plans on showing the Orioles that other teams have not seen from him over the past few seasons. But considering his lowest ERA since 2006 was back in 2010 – and it was still an unimpressive 4.98 – Willis probably should not unpack all of his belongings with the Orioles.
In fact, he may not make it out of Spring Training with them once they break camp in Sarasota in a couple of weeks. Baltimore may never see him pitch in an official home game.
Of course, when we are discussing the Orioles, no one shows up to watch them play home games anyway, unless their opponent happens to be the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.