UPDATE: According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Tigers will acquire right-hander Billy Buckner in return.
And the final piece of the puzzle, Jon Heyman of SI.com says that the Tigers will pay all but the prorated $400K major league minimum to ship Willis to the Diamondbacks.
6:18 PM: Another trade!
According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, the Tigers have traded left-hander Dontrelle Willis to the Diamondbacks, pending a physical. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com confirms it, so it looks like this one is happening.
Willis, 28, was designated for assignment by the Tigers on Saturday after tallying a 4.98 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and a 33/29 K/BB ratio over his first nine
appearances (eight starts) this season.
As mentioned yesterday, Willis’ agent Matt Sosnick told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Arizona was one of his client’s preferred destinations. The odds are against him being a productive major league pitcher again, but at least he’ll get his wish.
Willis is under contract for $12 million this season, so the Tigers will likely be responsible for most of his salary. The commissioner’s office will have to approve such a transaction.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.