This morning we asked what was up with Dontrelle Willis and his heretofore unexplained trip to the Orioles’ restricted list. Jon Heyman has an explanation. Dude went AWOL:
The Orioles gave no official reason Sunday for why he was placed on the restricted list, but Duquette to CBSSports.com confirmed Willis left the team without permission following a difference of opinion about whether he should start or reliever. “He just left,” said Duquette when confronted with the information from other sources.
Wow. if Willis thinks he should start, he shouldn’t be on the restricted list, he should be on the insane list. For what it’s worth, Heyman says that Duquette says that he’d still like D-Train as a reliever. And really, the only way he’s going to have value to anyone is as a lefty specialist, so Willis should probably listen to Duquette.
And, you know, not go AWOL.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.