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Willis pitches with sense of urgency

Posted by Jason Beck on Tue, 24 Mar 2009 21:10:00 EDT.

If Tuesday was Dontrelle Willis' last chance to impress Tigers officials, at least he can say he gave it what he had, whatever happens.

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About possibly going to the minors...I think it has more to do with him wanting to get paid rather than wanting to be a part of this organization. If he refused assignment I read that the Tigers wouldn't have to pay the remainder of his contract.

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About possibly going to the minors...I think it has more to do with him wanting to get paid rather than wanting to be a part of this organization. If he refused assignment I read that the Tigers wouldn't have to pay the remainder of his contract.

I don't believe that is correct, although I'm not sure. I think because DW has paased a certain threshhold of MLB service time, he can refuse assignment to the minor leagues and demand to be paid according to the terms of his contract. The Tigers would then be faced with the decision of keeping him on the roster or releasing him. In either case, he'd still get paid.

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I don't believe that is correct, although I'm not sure. I think because DW has paased a certain threshhold of MLB service time, he can refuse assignment to the minor leagues and demand to be paid according to the terms of his contract. The Tigers would then be faced with the decision of keeping him on the roster or releasing him. In either case, he'd still get paid.

I do not know the rules regarding refusing assignment, but I was under the impression that after a certain amount of service time in MLB, a player could refuse assignment and still get his full salary.

I think that simply because I have it in my head that this rule stems back to when teams would periodically send veterans to the minors for punative reasons (or at least what appeared to be punative reasons / reasons not tied soley to performance), and the players fought for (and won) the right not to be sent to the minors at the team's whim, once they achieved 'veteran' status.

Take that with a huge grain of salt, my memory isn't the best.

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I don't believe that is correct, although I'm not sure. I think because DW has paased a certain threshhold of MLB service time, he can refuse assignment to the minor leagues and demand to be paid according to the terms of his contract. The Tigers would then be faced with the decision of keeping him on the roster or releasing him. In either case, he'd still get paid.

Building off of that, I presume that is why Easley and Higginson weren't optioned to the minors, and were released instead a few years back.

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If he refused assignment I read that the Tigers wouldn't have to pay the remainder of his contract.

Can someone clarify this, because if this is true .. that'd be nice.

Oh, and was there even a game today .. did I miss something?

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I think Willis gets paid even if he were to refuse an assignment to the minors and the Tigers released him. Otherwise teams would send every veteran with a bad contract to the Gulf Coast League, forcing them to refuse the assignment and thus avoiding paying them.

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Did the article mention that Dontrelle did that pitching today against the group of players that will likely be the team in West Michigan?

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Yea. Woo Hoo Dontrelle pitched well in a "camp game." Magnificent.

This guy should have been cut weeks ago. Why are we still having this discussion? It's clear he's not going to rebound, regardless of what new pitching coach Knapp has to say.

Cut ties with him. Eat the salary and give another pitcher a shot.

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This article by Jayson Stark says Willis would forfeit his salary if he were to refuse assignment:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=stark_jayson&month=3&year=2009

THE FALL OF DONTRELLE: A scout who has seen a lot of the Tigers this spring says Dontrelle Willis has thrown so badly that "I don't think he's in their [rotation] mix at all." When Willis sacrifices stuff for command, he can still throw strikes. "But when he gets in favorable counts and has the leeway to add a little more stuff," the scout said, "it goes all over the place." This guy has $22 million coming the next two years ($10 million this year, $12 million next). So while the Tigers need his permission to send him to the minors, he'd have to say yes -- or forfeit that money.

I think Beck said the same thing but I can't find his article.

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Honestly, I think .. I have this funny feeling .. that Dontrelle Willis and the Detroit Tigers will part ways and come to some sort of agreement on the money. I don't think he'll get the entire 22, but he'll get enough to get his outright release, which I think he'll want. He'll then get a chance somewhere.

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So the trade is now basically Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera, because as fast as D'Train bombed out in Detroit, I hear Andrew Miller is doing worse -- YES, WORSE -- in Florida, and that they don't expect much from the other players... It'd be awesome to get some of that money back though!

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So the trade is now basically Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera, because as fast as D'Train bombed out in Detroit, I hear Andrew Miller is doing worse -- YES, WORSE -- in Florida, and that they don't expect much from the other players... It'd be awesome to get some of that money back though!

A couple years ago I said Andrew Miller was a candidate for Steve Blass. Is that what's going on?

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So the trade is now basically Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera...

I'm fine with that, except that we're paying Willis a whole lot more than we were paying Andrew Miller. I guess that's the price you pay.

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About possibly going to the minors...I think it has more to do with him wanting to get paid rather than wanting to be a part of this organization. If he refused assignment I read that the Tigers wouldn't have to pay the remainder of his contract.

I found a couple sites about this as it has intrigued me the whole Spring...

The first is a 10 years old example, so things could have obviously changed, but the second was posted last month. Both of these examples look like they are for the regular season (I don't know if timing has anything to do with it):

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/1999/04/12/braves_wohlers/

http://baseball.blogdig.net/archives/articles/February2009/19/MLB_Transactions_Part_Three__Waivers_and_DFA.html

EDIT: I am obviously an idiot as I've edited this post 13 times in 2 minutes... The second link seems to be valid for any time throughout the year, not just the regular season. The waiver positioning had me confused as I just skimmed the page...

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There's no way he refuses a minor league assignment. We're not talking Gary Sheffield who has already earned over $100 million in his career. Willis is due more money than he's made so far in his career combined. Last year was only his 3rd year of making serious money. That's worth 2 years of riding buses through the midwest.

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Yea. Woo Hoo Dontrelle pitched well in a "camp game." Magnificent.

This guy should have been cut weeks ago. Why are we still having this discussion? It's clear he's not going to rebound, regardless of what new pitching coach Knapp has to say.

Cut ties with him. Eat the salary and give another pitcher a shot.

I still don't understand this line of thinking...

Why would you cut him if he'll accept an assignment in the minors? We pay the guy the SAME amount of money if he's pitching in our minors or if he's sitting at home watching TV.

Are the chances slim that he'll come back to be an effective pitching in the majors if we send him to the minors? Certainly.

But if we cut him, the chances he'll come back to be an effective pitcher in the majors for us are exactly zero.

If I have to pay a guy $5 million dollars and have a slim chance of seeing any value from that vs. paying a guy $5 million dollars and having no chance of seeing any value from that, I'll take the slim chance every day and twice on Sunday.

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I still don't understand this line of thinking...

Why would you cut him if he'll accept an assignment in the minors? We pay the guy the SAME amount of money if he's pitching in our minors or if he's sitting at home watching TV.

Are the chances slim that he'll come back to be an effective pitching in the majors if we send him to the minors? Certainly.

But if we cut him, the chances he'll come back to be an effective pitcher in the majors for us are exactly zero.

If I have to pay a guy $5 million dollars and have a slim chance of seeing any value from that vs. paying a guy $5 million dollars and having no chance of seeing any value from that, I'll take the slim chance every day and twice on Sunday.

I agree with this. I'm about as down on Dontrelle as anyone on this board, but if he will accept a minor league assignment, then I'd like to see him Erie ASAP.

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So the trade is now basically Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera

At the time the trade was made it was basically Maybin+Miller for Cabrera. Willis' performance to date doesn't really alter that........he was pretty clearly a throw-in to the deal, as were the various filler players that the Tigers sent over to Florida.

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Why would you cut him if he'll accept an assignment in the minors? We pay the guy the SAME amount of money if he's pitching in our minors or if he's sitting at home watching TV.

My understanding is that the Tigers need to make the first decision in whether or not they cut him, and then Willis has the right to refuse assignment. The Tigers don't have the luxury of knowing whether or not he'll accept before they make their decision.

If what Jayson Stark says is true - that Willis forfeits his contract if he refuses assignment - then it is a no-brainer that they should assign him to the minors.

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A couple years ago I said Andrew Miller was a candidate for Steve Blass. Is that what's going on?

It's not that bad, I don't think .. but he has trouble locating a pitch when he has to. I have seen him walk guys on four straight -- many times, when all the catcher wanted was a pitch down the middle on a 0-3 count, he still couldn't do it. He then starts to get jittery, and starts giving up a bunch of hits.

And when he gets hit, he gets hit hard. People are laying off the slider in the dirt, which I thought was his "UNIT" pitch, and just waiting on fastball.

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