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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Diamondbacks - Acquired Willis
Arizona Diamondbacks - Acquired P Dontrelle Willis from the Detroit Tigers (and $12 million to pay his salary) for P Billy Buckner.
D-Train has a lot in common with actual trains - people also have a vague, foggy remembrance of when passenger trains were generally relevant, but nobody seems to ever want to pay to ride one for more than a few miles. So like the passenger expresses of yore, a declining rust-belt city subsidizes D-Train and tries to cut its losses and look to the future.
From the point of view of the Diamondbacks, they’re really not giving up much. It’s essentially a choice between a free Willis and a free Buckner and as lousy as Willis has been, he’s at least been a decent pitcher at some point in the past. Buckner did have a decent stint for Reno last year, but he’s been less impressive this year and there’s really not much exciting about him as a pitcher. Yes, he has a good curveball - some of the time, the rest of the time it just winks at the batter before it becomes a gapper or a souvenir. He’s probably a better pitcher than his 6.25 ERA in the majors, but he’s not that much better.
The Tigers, on the other hand, want to catch up to the Twins and would probably take a 5.40 ERA from Buckner as long as it’s fairly dependable. Plus, it gets the part of the Marlins trade that didn’t work conveniently out of the way while the good part, Miguel Cabrera, the AL’s best chance for a Triple Crown winner, is earning his pay.
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