Trade Rumor of Interest: Dontrelle Willis May Be Avalilable!

For years, I’ve been saying that the Rangers should make the Marlins an offer they can’t refuse for Dontrelle Willis.  At only 25, Dontrelle is THE premiere young-but-developed lefty in the game today.  The Rangers need a lefty. In his column today, Ken Rosenthal mentions that now that Mark Buehrle is off the market, the D-Train’s value hasn’t been higher in some time, which could open the Marlins’ ears to trade offers.

The same was said last season.  And I have to believe that if Little Jon DanielsHart had put a package together out of some combination of John Danks, Fransisco Cordero, Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner, Willis would be a Texas Ranger right now.  Instead, we have McCarthy and Cruz left from deals that sent those guys packing.  Wouldn’t you gladly take Willis for as many as four from that list and not have McCarthy or Cruz? 

Before you accuse me of using hindsight that’s 20/20 – I said this last year, in repeated posts on T.R Sullivan’s blog and elsewhere.  When the Rangers didn’t try and the Marlins pulled back from shopping Willis, I suggested the Rangers turn their eye toward acquiring the next-best, developed young attainable lefty – Mark Buerhle (who they had and missed a chance to get).

It’s rare to get a second chance.  If the Marlins’ door is even slightly cracked open, Hicks and Daniels ought to kick it in with whatever it takes.  They should go “All In” if they have to.

Seriously, if it takes sending the entire Oklahoma Red Hawks roster to the Marlins to get Willis, that’s what the Rangers should do.  I truly believe that they’d be more successful over the next 5-7 years with Willis (assuming they resign Dontrelle after 2009 and he stays healthy for most of that time) than they would be with all of the prospects they have at AAA (maybe 3-5 of whom will ever make any meaningful contribution to the Rangers).

OK, that’s nuts, and I am exaggerating to make a point.  But if it took packaging Hurley, Rupe and Botts – I’d do it in a heartbeat.  Botts would be the hardest to let go of, but the Rangers don’t seem to want to bring him up anyways.  Hurley and Rupe – they’re still prospects.  We have NO idea what will become of them, but history shows the odds are stacked against them ever developing their full potential as Rangers or in The Ballpark.  A bird in the hand is worth two prospects in the bush leagues – easily. 

In fact, that offer may not be enough for the Marlins.  OK.  We’ll throw in Tex (we’ll pay 30% of his salary next season) and the Marlins’ choice of Cruz, Tejeda or Kasey Kiker but they have to throw in Mike Jacobs.

Many say Willis is over-rated.  He does need to do better against righties, but he would immediately be the Rangers’ ace… head and shoulders better than any pitcher they’ve had this millenium.  He’d make the entire rotation better by pushing Millwood to #2, lowering the need to sign a free agent this winter from a top-of-the-rotation guy to a mid-rotation winner, while McCarthy, Loe, Padilla, Volquez, Wright, Wood and Mendoza compete for the last two spots.

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8 responses to “Trade Rumor of Interest: Dontrelle Willis May Be Avalilable!

  1. After reading that, I admit, I can almost hear the PA annoucer: “starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers… Dontrelle Willis.” But one crucial thing: the Rangers should never, under any circumstances, get rid of Jason Botts. Yes, the Ballpark is a hitters park, but no matter how much you would think free agent hitters would want to sign with us to play here, they won’t be free. Texas needs some muscle for the future, and muscle is expensive. Botts looks to be the best bet to be another Jim Thome or Ryan Howard there is. Think about it: when Teixeira’s gone, who will be our power? Sammy Sosa? Brad Wilkerson? Even the Angels, who are a team practically devoid of power save for that thing they call Vladimir Gurrero, rely on their token “big guy” to carry them when they need it. The Rangers will need a power hitter, or “big guy” of their own for the future, and I don’t see a whole lot of those on the market currently. Adam Dunn? Good luck signing him. Botts deserves at least a shot. And about the Rangers not wanting to bring him up, I’ve heard some rumors about a Botts callup by the time the Rangers are heading to Kansas City. Whether that’s true or not, I think sooner or later this year, or next year, the Rangers are going to pull their collective heads out of you-know-where, and Botts will be the new Mark Teixeira by 2010. But I agree, if the Marlins crack the door, the Rangers should put their shoulder to it. Just don’t give up too much for a guy that has a reputation of injuries and inconsistent performance.

  2. TradeTeixeriaFoundation

    I know this is a long shot but the rangers could send Teixeria and lets say Thomas Diamond (can you trade injured players if not use volquez),Cruz,and padilla(lol)for Dontrell and 2 farm hands sounds like a good deal for both teams, marlins need someone to protect miggy we need pitching

  3. rangersorrobbers

    Jon –

    Descent point about Botts. I think the Rangers are already a power hitter short of a good lineup, even with Tex. But I disagree with the “should never, under any circumstances, get rid of Jason Botts” view. If that’s what it takes to get a Willis or other Ace-caliber pitcher here, do it. The Rangers have almost always had power – and what has it gotten them? They’ve always needed pitching. And if Jason Botts or any other hitter could be leveraged into an Ace, the Rangers should always, under any circumstances, do it!

    TTF – I like your thinking, but the Marlins probably wouldn’t take on Tex’s salary. We’d have to pay some, which I mentioned I think would be worth doing, and then the Marlins would let Tex walk and take the compensory draft picks after next season. And I think Justin Thompson was evidence that you can trade injured players!

  4. I think those are all bad deals for the rangers. Dontrelle is not the ace he was once thought to be. Didn’t the article from Ken scare you when this is what he had to say about Willis:

    The truth is, the Marlins already might have waited too long to move Willis, who is only 19-19 with a 4.16 ERA since the start of last season.

    His 2007 splits are downright frightening: Willis is holding opposing left-handed hitters to a paltry .315 on-base/slugging percentage, but right-handed hitters are abusing him for a .900 OPS.

    It’s possible that Willis, if he produces a big second half, would have greater value in the off-season.

    It’s also possible that an increasing number of clubs will begin viewing him as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter rather than top-of-the-rotation material.

    At the moment, the Marlins can still make an advantageous trade by exploiting the demand for starting pitching.

    They need to move quickly. Willis’ value might never be higher.

    Those numbers don’t lie and he’s struggling in the National league where he get’s to face the pitcher every 9 at bats. There’s no way I trade my farm system for him. Although I know from your point of view no pitcher drafted and developed in our organization will ever turn out good for us. So I think your undervalueing our guys and overvalueing theirs which is why that is a bad trade.

  5. rangersorrobbers

    Yes, I’ve seen Willis’ numbers two. Yes, they do concern me. But in between there are still some sparkles of brilliance that hint at possibilities to come.

    He isn’t the next Pedro – like everyone thought he would be. But he is still the best, young, developed, attainable lefty in the league. For that, I’d bowl the Marlins over for a trade.

    He may not be an ace on several staffs, but he would be for Texas.

    And – especially if you take away July 2 and 3rd – he can hit better than Brad Wilkerson.

  6. TradeTeixeriaFoundation

    He is better than most guys we have so I ll take him dispite he numbers

  7. Today’s date 12/11/2007, and Dontrelle Willis is now a Detriot Tiger making this post useless… Oh yeah the Rangers sigh Milton Bradley… what a joke.

  8. Actually, from the standpoint of low risk/high reward, I like the Milton Bradley signing… if he’s healthy, and turns out to be an offensive asset, this will be great for us. If he bombs, we’re only out 5 million.

    But if you’re looking at it from the standpoint that we where promised a real CF (i.e., Aaron Rowand, or Torri Hunter) and wound up with Bradley, then you’re right, that is a joke.

    Say speaking of how things have turned out as of today (which is now 12/16/07) how bad of a bust has Jason Botts turned out to be? Boy, was I wrong about him up above.

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