Mar
17

Yankees unlikely to look at Dontrelle Willis

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The Phillies released Dontrelle Willis yesterday after bringing him in as a lefty specialist candidate during the offseason. Joel Sherman says the Yankees did offer the D-Train a minor league contract earlier this winter, but he understandably took the big league contract from Philadelphia. He adds that the Yanks might take another look at Willis, but it’s iffy at best. Buster Olney says they could have signed Mike Gonzalez two weeks ago, but didn’t because of the budget.

Willis, still only 30, hasn’t been an effective big leaguer since 2006 with the Marlins. Following a bout with anxiety disorder late in 2009, he’s held left-handed hitters to .178/.245/.248 batting line with 50 strikeouts (35.0%) and ten walks (7.0%) in 143 plate appearances. Those are some pretty strong numbers despite the obvious sample size concerns. Clay Rapada seems to be separating himself from the rest of the second lefty pack (Cesar Cabral and Mike O’Connor), and while I’m not a big Willis fan, there’s no harm in a minor league contract.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • Jamey

    Shame, he was pretty exciting to watch at one time.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Because of they do he might turn into a pillar of salt?

    • Dale Mohorcic

      *if, not of.

  • Monterowasdinero

    I was impressed with Cabral the other day going 3-0 on Harper then striking him out on a fb (green light swing and miss) curve, and slower curve.

    Don’t-relle

  • forensic

    Keeping roster space open for this:

    •Free agent Sergio Mitre will work out for teams in March or April and expects to play in the majors this year, according to Tim (via Twitter).

    • Havok9120

      Eh, I think we’re safe from him this year. Too much depth, as opposed to previous years when we brought him aboard. “The Experience” will need to find some IPs elsewhere.

  • Steve (different one)

    I assume this would be for DH?

  • Tom

    Why in the world is Cashman/Girardi still looking for a 2nd LOOGY? Do they really think Logan’s 1 year splits makes him a non-specialist?

    It’s almost comical at this point as if the default need is 2 LOOGYs in the pen when they have 4, maybe 5 guys who can get both lefties and righties out and don’t need a lefty “caddy”

    I can see the need in the playoffs but with the Girardi formula (TM) is he really using 2 lefties in the 5th and 6th innings? That’s high leverage enough to justify carrying a 2nd lefty in the pen?

    What this will lead to are the games where the Yankees are down 2 or 3 runs in the 6th and Girardi sets a torch to the game and deploys the lefty specialist to pitch a full inning because he doesn’t want to burn one of his ‘good’ guys.

  • jack knife

    Can someone take the time to explain what happens to all the leftys if they dont make the team Cabral,Rapada, Cedeno, Oconner,hmmmmmm
    That quite a bit to choose from Why would we even go after another one And ther are about 3-4 below them

    • johnnybk

      Do you understand the concept of depth? I don’t mean that to be snarky, I’m genuinely curious. The cliche is true, you can never have enough pitching. And if the players who don’t make the cut don’t like it, hey, that’s what the money is for.

      • Tom

        Cabral is a rule 5… if he doesn’t stay on the ML squad all year he can elect to become a free agent (since this is his 2nd or 3rd go around as a Rule 5 pick, he doesn’t just get returned to his original team)

        Also people throwing out “depth” should be careful… many of these minor league deals have trigger dates on them, where if they are not called up by a certain date (usually sometime in April or May), they can ask for the release… this is how Cashman stole Corey Wade last year… he had a trigger date in his contract with the Rays and when he wasn’t on the squad by then he elected for his release and signed with the Yankees.

        People have this impression that a lot of these guys will be around most of the year in the minors in case of injury but depending on the contract it’s generally not the case except for the first month or two.

        I would suggest someone read up on the concept of “minor league deal/non-roster invitee” before being snarky.

        • Tom

          I should say Cabral could ask for his release.

          He could sign anywhere he wanted at that point (including staying with the Yankees), but since he doesn’t have the service time I think he would be subject to pre-arb and arbitration years, so I guess he wouldn’t technically be a FA (much like Wade is still making league min and facing 3 arb years)

          Not sure what kind of minor league deals Rapada and Cedeno are on, a lot of times the details aren’t published (or reported) or if there is a trigger date where they can ask for a release, but I’d be surprised if they don’t have something in the deal. O’Connor I’m not sure about; he may have no choice unless someone takes him in the next Rule 5 draft.

          Jack knife.. hope this helps.

          • johnnybk

            I understand it fine. Like I said below, they all have options eventually. Some of them can do as they please in a few weeks, others are stuck for a few years.

            Those that we do control are depth. My point is that whether they can play somewhere else or not has no bearing on the teams decision about whether they need more pitching. I’m pretty sure cashman didn’t have luca brasi holding a gun to they’re head when they signed. It’s a business, they’re paid, and their feelings are not a concern.

            • Tom

              The original question was “can someone take the time to explain what happens to all these guys”

              Your response was “ever heard of depth?”, which kind of suggest you don’t understand it fine, or else you wouldn’t have answered that way. And not only did you misinform, you were a bit of a jerk about it.

              If your point was the Yankees are bringing in as many options as possible to find a better solution…well, that’s a whole lot different than ever “heard of depth” which implies the Yankees can hold on to them if they want. Guys like Dickerson, Maxwell, Vazquez, Pena… depth; guys invited to spring training to compete for a job is not “depth”. Rule 5 guys… not depth.

              Since you made the “depth” claim…. which guys do the Yankees control?

  • jack knife

    Depth is one thing. Wasting time for players is another. All those above mentioned could be knocking on the door for other clubs. Thats what is important here. Not playing for the Yankees so much but playing in the big leagues

  • jack knife

    And Johnnybk I do understand depth. But I also understand that time does not stand still and if you are not going to play them let them go where they can play

    • johnnybk

      They all have that option eventually. That’s what the rule 5 draft is for. Until then, they’re very well paid. It is a business.

  • jack knife

    Thank You Tom for the explanation I am glad that there is one person that can at least respond intelligently and without sarcasm or the know it all approach.