photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
The Tigers and Dontrelle Willis today agreed to a contract that will take them through 2010. It’s 3 years, $29 million.
It’s interesting that this deal got done now, before the Tigers have any sense at all about how well Dontrelle will rebound from his 2007 season. The thinking probably runs something along the lines of “young pitcher+ crazy market = lock him up”. Dontrelle will be 26 next season; 3 years is in general a very team-friendly contract for a guy that young. In this case it’s evened out a bit by the fact that we don’t know if Dontrelle has ONE good year left in him, let alone 3, but since he IS so young and his delivery may be SO affected by so many variables due to its complexity (thus potentially in part accounting for last season), the odds are pretty good that he’ll be worth our while.
Selnick [Willis’ agent] stressed that Willis wanted the security of a longer-term deal. He also wanted to end the constant rumors about his being traded, rumors that had dogged Willis for the past couple of seasons in Miami.
“He was consistent on getting a deal done when he came here,” Selnick said.
Let’s put it this way: most players on the Tigers can feel more secure about their jobs than most players on the Marlins. At least they know that winning won’t automatically be followed by panicked rummage sales.
Even though $29 mil seems like a hefty chunk of cash, it’s broken up into 7, 10, and 12 million-dollars-per-season chunks, and those aren’t quite bank-breaking numbers for a team like the Tigers (when it comes to hopefully quality starting pitching). Still, I thought they’d wait a little and see both how Dontrelle pitched and how effective Bondo was, before locking themselves into a contract.
“They’ve shown a lot of love to take a chance and even offer me a deal,” Willis said. “It shows how much respect they have for me and my abilities.
“So, again, I’m gonna do everything I can to not only win a championship but uphold this team and make them proud.”
A lot of love! Check this out too: barely on the team and already he’s doing charity work in Detroit. I think we’re gonna like the guy.
In other news!
—Granderson wins TYIB “defensive play of the year” award. It’s for that over-the-wall catch he made against the Red Sox (relive the event RotT-ly here), which was indeed spectacular and deserving of awards. Of course Curtis Granderson is pretty much deserving of all awards, at all times, so this just fits right in.
–If Granderson had the defensive play of the year, who was the defensive player? That’s right, of course it was Placido Polanco and his zero errors in 2007. Defensive statistics are still not as good as offensive ones, and errors are a flawed system, based on somebody’s feeling that a guy should have made a certain play, and heavily weighted by the player’s range and his willingness to venture to the extremes of that range. That said, who cares? because Placido Polanco is freakin’ amazing.
–I’m sure most of you are aware by now, but Chad Durbin signed with the Phillies. One year, $900,000, and thus was launched a Philadelphian campaign to write as many articles as is humanly possible about the hilarity of having Chad and JD Durbin on the same team. Of all the pinstripes he could have chosen, these are the least objectionable.