Tigers designate Dontrelle Willis for assignment

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willis leg kick.jpgAs first reported by the Tigers’ own official team Twitter feed, left-hander Dontrelle Willis has been designated for assignment to clear room for the promotion of Sunday’s starter, Max Scherzer.

Thus ends an era, for lack of a better term.  Willis, now 28, joined the Tigers on December 5, 2007, as part of a massive trade from the Marlins that also involved Miguel Cabrera.  He signed a three-year, $29 million contract extension soon after the transfer was complete, and that’s when the problems began. 

D-Train made only seven starts in his first year with the Tigers and allowed 25 earned runs in 24 innings — good enough for a 9.38 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP.  Things got no better in 2009 and he continued to show ineffectiveness this season.

Perhaps a move back to the National League will help Willis revitalize his career.  It’s worked so far for Carlos Silva, and countless others have enjoyed similar success.  Either way, his time in Detroit, wearing the Olde English “D,” will not be remembered fondly.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).