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Moving Willis by deadline makes sense


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Moving Willis by deadline makes sense

Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com

Posted: 24 minutes ago

 

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria keeps denying that the team might trade left-hander Dontrelle Willis, growing increasingly outraged by each new round of speculation.

 

What Loria can't deny is the sheer logic of moving Willis at the July 31 non-waiver deadline if the rebuilding Marlins get the right offer.

 

Willis, 24, will appeal not just to the losers of the Roger Clemens sweepstakes, but also to any surprise team that wants to maintain its early momentum with a midseason blockbuster.

 

For example, what if the Reds offered a package including third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and top pitching prospect Homer Bailey?

 

Dontrelle Willis is just 24 and could be a hot commodity at the end of July.

 

The notion isn't as far-fetched as it might appear.

 

The Reds' new owners want to win. And while Encarnacion and Bailey would be a high price, the Reds would get Willis for the rest of this season and all of 2007 and '08 before he becomes a free agent.

 

Yes, Willis' salaries in arbitration likely will exceed $7 million '07 and $10 million in '08. But his arrival would change the entire dynamic of the franchise. Willis is one of the few players in the majors who is an actual draw. If he stayed healthy ? a big "if" with any pitcher ? he would pay for himself.

 

And, as the Marlins' Loria surely recognizes, other clubs might want Willis for the same reasons as the Reds, creating the possibility of a frenzied auction before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

 

Say the Brewers, like the Reds, hang around in the National League Central. Perhaps they would want to pair Willis with right-hander Ben Sheets at the top of their rotation. Perhaps they would offer a package starting with second baseman Rickie Weeks.

 

The Diamondbacks could be in a similar position in the NL West, seeking to put together a 1-2 combination of Willis and right-hander Brandon Webb. Outfielder Carlos Quentin and shortstop Stephen Drew are among the many Arizona prospects who could spur the Marlins' interest.

 

Then there are the more obvious potential suitors.

 

The Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels and Cubs all boast strong farm systems. Imagine the Mets adding Willis to their impressive young core. Imagine the Braves getting Willis to go with Tim Hudson and John Smoltz.

 

Still with us, Mr. Loria?

 

See you July 31 ? if not before.

 

 

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What's funnier is this. Put this article away and 'if' we trade Willis midseason ya wanna bet Kenny boy writes an article titled "The Firesale Continues"

 

I am not totally against dealing Dontrelle (see A.J. Burnett and Carl Pavano) for the right package of players but you wanna send him to the Brewers? Then send Prince Fielder back in return. Want him in AZ? Send us Quentin and Connor Jackson for Willis and Jacobs.

 

I am not for dealing Willis but if a team wants to empty their farm system or deal us what is considered a top 10 prospect +, I'd listen....you have to. Anyone here acting as if there is zero chance is fooling themselves....look what we have seen....anything is possible.

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See, I like to give articles like this a try because really, trading Willis makes more sense than I think most of us here give it credit for. I mean, we've got at least two arms (Sanchez, Olsen) that have ace potential in them and another four (Volstad, Petit, Nolasco, Johnson) that figure to be no worse than high end #3 starters, so trading Willis does make sense considering he could unquestionably bring back the highest bounty to plug areas of need.

 

When I stopped reading this article and literally got angry was when Rosenthal suggested that "overpaying" was a third-baseman and yet another pitcher who probably is still behind at least four of the arms mentioned above on the minor league depth charts given his high ERA and WHIP numbers from last season.

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I'm in agreement with Swift here.

 

I can see scenarios where trading Willis would make sense but when you weigh the ancilliary consequences and the idea that we'd get so little in return, that's where these types of articles begin to infuriate me.

 

The idea is to build another world championship team HERE, and that isn't accomplished by trading a prized and highly desired commodity for another team's cast-offs and/or second-rate players. Rickie Weeks? Excuse me but so far this season this guy can't sniff Dan Uggla's jock, and certainly not for the $1.2 million he's making. Edwin Encarnacion instead of Cabrera at third? Please, you have to be kidding unless you think it's okay to give up 30+ homeruns a season and 100+ rbis. The obvious conclsion of getting another 3Bman is Cabrera would be next to go, because everyone in the world knows Miggy wants to play 3B and he's not going back to the outfield to embarrass himself again just to make room for some kid who isn't half the player he is.

 

Rosenthal and his ilk seem to believe it's okay to put the Marlins needs second and all other teams first. Trading Dontrelle, for example, is about making the Reds or Brewers better, not about making the Fish a more competitive team. Or his line "The Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels and Cubs all boast strong farm systems. Imagine the Mets adding Willis to their impressive young core. Imagine the Braves getting Willis to go with Tim Hudson and John Smoltz...", again it's about everyone else's needs above ours.

 

So yeah, if the right deal, and I mean one that brings a bonafide, already proven player who above all fits "our" needs comes along, and with enough "star power" (name recognition + stats) to justify the deal and deflect the criticism that will be heaped on the franchise and ownership for moving Willis, I can see him being traded, but short of that, it's just not worth it. Not today, not next season, no thanks Ken.

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This is a trade we my have to make to fill holes on the offensive side of the club...like CF, 2B, and maybe C/1B and I believe it's why management selected almost exclusively pitching in the off-season and 2005 ammy draft. Established pitchers are so tough and expensive to get on the FA market (see crazy salaries for average SPs) making the value of one 3-4 years away from free agency very valuable, even if average. I'm starting to see the vision here.

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If we do trade Dontrelle who is next Miggy. Then when Olsen gets good we trade him etc: etc:. I am getting sick of it.

 

 

Apples to oranges.

 

Willis makes this team very good when he pitches, he could make this team even better on days he doesn't pitch by bringing in a 5 tool centerfielder and a legitimate two-way catcher.

 

That's something you have to think about.

 

I don't want him shopped, I don't want him dealt, but I do understand that it could make the team a lot better, especially given our almost comical depth at starting pitcher.

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