Tag: Burke Badenhop

dontrelle willis getty

Dontrelle Willis has decided to retire


Brewers manager Ron Roenicke just said that Dontrelle Willis has decided to retire.

A decision that, on the baseball merits, probably should’ve happened a long time ago given that he hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2011 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2006.

But you can’t really fault a guy for keeping at it if people keep giving him a chance. And people have given D-Train a chance. He was signed by the Brewers last month. Before that he did stints of various lengths with the Giants, Angels, Orioles, Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Dbacks, Tigers and Marlins. He also pitched for the Fresno Grizzlies, Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport Bluefish in independent ball. It may simply be a case of him more or less running out of teams. Heck, this isn’t even his first time retiring.

Of course there was a time when Willis was considered to be the next big thing. And for a while he was a big thing. Between 2003 and 2006 he was 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA, which in those days amounted to an ERA+ of 121. He won 22 games in 2005, made the All-Star team and finished second in Cy Young voting. Then, in December 2007, he was traded by the Marlins to the Tigers alongside a fellow named Miguel Cabrera for Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo. That ended up being one of the dumber and more lopsided trades in baseball history even with Willis falling off a cliff. With the idea that Willis would be an ace for years to come it was practically obscene.

And now he’s done. We think. He has said he was done before. But maybe this time it’ll stick. Who knows. All we know for sure is that, for now, one of baseball’s more interesting people is hanging it up.

Reds sign Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal

Kevin Gregg

The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has signed reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the right-hander will get a $1.5 million base salary and can earn more money based on games appeared in and games finished. Gregg had showcased for about half the league last month.

Gregg, 36, was only able to throw nine innings in the major leagues with the Marlins last season, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits with a 6/5 K/BB ratio. He underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow in August. Gregg, however, was productive out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2013, so there’s a chance he still has something left in the tank.

The Reds also bolstered their bullpen by signing Burke Badenhop to a one-year deal on Saturday.

Reds sign Burke Badenhop to a one-year, $1 million deal

Burke Badenhop

ESPN’s Jonah Keri reports that the Reds have signed reliever Burke Badenhop to a one-year, $1 million contract which includes a $4 million mutual option with a $1.5 million buyout for the 2016 season. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds that Badenhop can earn an additional $250,000 in performance incentives. To make room for Badenhop on the 40-man roster, Ismael Guillon has been designated for assignment.

Badenhop, who turns 32 on Sunday, put together the best season of his seven-year career in 2014, finishing with a 2.29 ERA and a 40/19 K/BB ratio over 70 2/3 innings with the Red Sox. His 61 percent ground ball rate was the seventh-highest among qualified relievers last season. The right-hander pitched in mostly the seventh and eighth innings for the Red Sox and figures to do the same in Cincinnati behind closer Aroldis Chapman.