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Orioles sign Dontrelle Willis to minor league contract

Mar 20, 2012, 7:23 PM EDT

Dontrelle Willis Reuters Reuters

The Phillies released Dontrelle Willis last Friday after he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings this spring, but it didn’t take him long to find a new home.

As first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Willis has latched on with the Orioles on a minor league deal. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun adds that it’s a split contract worth $700,000 for time spent in the majors.

Willis posted a 5.00 ERA and 57/37 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings with the Reds last season, but the 30-year-old had a .127 batting average against and a 20/2 K/BB ratio against left-handed batters. The Phillies inked him to a one-year, $850,000 deal over the winter with the idea of using him as a left-handed specialist, but they quickly threw in the towel after he dealt with arm fatigue and was showing diminished velocity this spring. It’s not clear whether the O’s intend to use him as a starter or a reliever.

  1. mattjg - Mar 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    A minor league contract with the Orioles? Isn’t that redundant? *crickets*

  2. watermelon1 - Mar 20, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    So I guess we’ll be hearing a lot more “the future looks promising… In a few more years this team could really contend” talk.

  3. storebrandcookies - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    What ever happened to the D-Train, he disappeared faster than a plate of Kobayashi’s hot dogs.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      His leg kick is gone.

  4. giselleisasucubus - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    That, my fellow baseball fans, is a classic Dan Duquette signing. He loves guys that once had talent. This guy invented the term “value player”. Get used to it, Oriole fans. He will find some gems, I guarantee it. He knows talent.

  5. giselleisasucubus - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    whoever thumbed down my comment has anger issues. Bozo must be on the site :)

    • henryd3rd - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:51 AM

      Testy are we?

  6. wondroushippo - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    This headline is the answer to the question, “What’s worse than getting cut during Spring Training?”

  7. dashortstop517 - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    On da O’s

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    i hope he makes the roster and they use him. Id love to see him in the AL east

  9. cintiphil - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I always liked the guy, but it seems that he has lost something. He just can’t get his game back, and the Reds could not figure it out. Who knows if the O’s will.

  10. charmcityhasnonegoravensanyway - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Their clearly favorites to win it all after this move… So are the colts btw.

  11. Charles Gates - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    After we get past all of the hahahahaha-the-Orioles jokes, we’ll see that this is actually a pretty good signing. Not earth shattering, not palpable difference making, but a marginal improvement at a conservative cost that shows some foresight in the front office, something Baltimore hasn’t seemed to have had in awhile.

  12. joeflaccosunibrow - Mar 21, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    The only value in this is for Rawlings. They replace all balls that land in the right field flag court.

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