UPDATE: Dontrelle Willis traded to Diamondbacks

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Dontrelle Willis headshot.jpgUPDATE: 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.

Yankees to activate Greg Bird tomorrow

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The Yankees have the best offense in all of baseball. Now they’re about to add a big power threat: Greg Bird will be activated tomorrow.

Bird has missed the entire year since undergoing ankle surgery to remove a spur back in March. He’s been on the mend of late, however, and recently completed a stretch of 12 rehab games in which he didn’t hit a ton, but he showed that he was healthy and that’s always been the biggest thing with him. As you’ll recall, he missed considerable time with trouble in the same ankle last season.

Bird has always shown considerable promise, and the Yankees — despite scoring runs in bunches — could use a little left-handed power and some better production at first base. Bird, hopefully, will be able to provide it.