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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.