Dontrelle Willis was placed on the restricted list by the Baltimore Orioles list after, according to them anyway, he went AWOL as the result of his unhappiness at being forced to work from the pen instead of starting.
Willis, through his agent Matt Sosnick, says that is hooey — they say he left the team with consent — and they are filing a grievance. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN Reports:
Pitcher Dontrelle Willis is filing a grievance against the Baltimore Orioles, alleging that the club placed him on the restricted list and is preventing him from signing with another organization even though he left the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate with the consent of a team official.
Willis received permission from Tripp Norton, Baltimore’s director of baseball administration, before leaving the Norfolk Tides last Wednesday, said agent Matt Sosnick.
Sosnick says that Norton said “we don’t want a player doing something he doesn’t want to do” and said he was thus free to leave. There are a bunch of additional quotes from Sosnick and Willis which strongly suggests that, at least in the minds of Sosnick and Willis, Willis had full permission to leave. If it was an open question, I’m not sure they’d be so forthcoming and adamant about it.
Oh, and there is a sick, sick burn of Dan Duquette in the last paragraph, when Sosnick responds to speculation that Willis might have offers to play in Japan or Korea:
“I have not been contacted by any Asian team about Dontrelle,” Sosnick said. “But I know that Dan has closer ties to Korea than I do, so maybe he knows something that I don’t know.”
Dan Duquette’s Orioles, of course, have been banned from any activity in Korea due to scouting misdeeds there. At least that’s what I hope Sosnick was referencing.