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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tigers - Signed Willis

Detroit Tigers - Signed P Dontrelle Willis to a 3-year contract.

ESPN is reporting that this is worth $29 million.  Anyone see what Carlos Silva got?  Just under $10 million is perfectly reasonable for a league-average pitcher who still has upside left.

I was tinkering with the ZiPS report, adding runs above replacement and estimated marginal revenue product (assuming $4 million per win in 2008, increasing at 6% a season, with the proper league minimums added).  Useful?  Too cluttered?

ZiPS is a bit sour on Willis long-term, simply because his 2005 becomes farther and farther behind.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Dontrelle Willis
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA ERA+  RAR VALUE ($M)
Projection 14 11 35 35 228 243 110 23 74 130 4.34 103   28   11.4
2009?    12 12 33 33 213 237 110 21 77 119 4.65   96   19   8.3
2010?    11 12 32 32 202 229 109 21 76 108 4.86   92   13   6.3
Opt. (15%) 16   9 35 35 230 233   94 19 64 140 3.68 122   45   18.1
Pes. (15%)  9 11 29 29 185 210 108 25 70 100 5.25   85   4   1.3
Top Comps:  Mike Hampton, Paul Splittorff

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2007 at 07:34 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Tim D Posted: December 20, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2650972)
I'd call it a win win. Willis gets guaranteed money,doesn't have to worry about arbitration and gets to be a free agent before he's 30. The Tigers get some short term stability to go with Verlander and Bonderman. I'd guess Willis is a lock to win 15+ with that lineup. Plus he's fun to watch and a good kid. (A good African American kid, along with Granderson, a terrific asset in Detroit).
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2650974)
And he's well-spoken!
   3. Robert S. Posted: December 20, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2650975)
This could be a very nice contract for trading purposes, too.
   4. Toolsy McClutch Posted: December 20, 2007 at 08:43 PM (#2651024)
I think that's a great deal.
   5. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 20, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2651034)

Do you agree with ZiPS on the "long-term" projection, considering he's only 25?

Willis could be pretty bad by his 30th birthday, according to the ZiPS trend we see here.
   6. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 20, 2007 at 08:53 PM (#2651037)
EDIT: I'm not knocking ZiPS. That would be a stupid thing to do.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2007 at 08:57 PM (#2651044)
Willis could be pretty bad by his 30th birthday, according to the ZiPS trend we see here.

The projections stabilize more or less after the time-frame presented, as his promising years affect the projection only to an extremely small extent.
   8. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 20, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2651047)
#8: So how does he look at 30, then?
   9. davis21wylie Posted: December 20, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2651085)
I really like the additions of ERA+, RAR, and Value, Dan. Great work, as usual.
   10. MatthewCarruth Posted: December 21, 2007 at 07:26 AM (#2651420)
Unless he somehow cuts down on his walks heading to the AL, I'd be laying money on Willis hitting his pessimistic line. I'll be surprised if he gets his ERA south of 5 in the AL and with his mechanics, a DL stint seems more a question of when, not if.
   11. Mike Green Posted: December 21, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2651613)
Willis looks to me to be a special case. Using the usual measures of pitcher effectiveness, he is likely to be raked around pretty well in the AL. 40 homers, 80 walks, more hits than innings pitched and 5K/9IP would not normally be a ticket to success. He does however have a track record of performing better than the usual measures would suggest in a number of areas- much better performance with runners on than with the bases clear and much worse performance when the game is out of reach. Yep, a crafty lefty. And a funky delivery tends to be an asset rather than a liability for these guys.

These guys tend to much better on good teams than on poor ones, and the Tigers are definitely in the former category. I think that it's a smart signing.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2651912)
Was he an FA after this year or next? If after next year, I don't see the rush. It seems reasonably priced and he does have some upside. Surely 1000 IP by 25 does not augur well though. Ahh, what the hell, the Tigers have enough money this won't hurt them down the road too much if he implodes.

On RAR and value ... not too cluttered but I guess I wonder about one thing. "Value" (in whatever terms) is dependent on playing time and, as we all know, ZIPS is not a playing time projection system. Presumably we would use RAR and $ value to more fully discuss whether it was a good signing/trade, but we'd be relying on projected numbers ZIPS isn't designed to produce.
   13. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: June 15, 2010 at 03:02 PM (#3559700)
Well, this didn't go too well; sometimes you lose gambles.
   14. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 15, 2010 at 04:44 PM (#3559831)
Was it really three years ago that the Tigers signed Willis? Wow.

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