D-Backs interested in Dontrelle Willis?

Steve Gilber of MLB.com reports via his Twitter page that the Diamondbacks have had discussions with the Tigers about acquiring left-hander Dontrelle Willis.

Willis was designated for assignment over the weekend after he amassed a 1-2 record with an ERA of 4.98 and a WHIP of 1.78. He showed signs of rebounding back into form earlier in the year, but he’s struggled of late and the Tigers needed to make room on their roster for Max Scherzer.

Maybe a change of scenery would be good for Willis, who would return to the National League (which is where he had his most success) if the Diamondbacks can work out a deal with the Tigers. Detroit would have to eat most of his salary, but they were already planning to do that anyway so they might as well get something in exchange for the struggling lefty.

Willis probably won’t morph into the player he was with the Marlins earlier in his career, but the Diamondbacks are starving for pitching and he might turn out to be a marginal arm for their rotation. He’s worth a shot depending on how much of his contract the Tigers are willing to eat and what prospect they want in return.

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2009 MLB Preview: #12 Detroit Tigers

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Offseason Movement: The Tigers didn’t make a ton of offseason moves, but they did add shortstop Adam Everett, catcher Gerald Laird, pitchers Edwin Jackson, Brandon Lyon and Juan Rincon.

Top Prospect: Rick Porcello, RHP
Porcello, who is widely considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, was selected with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a slider, changeup and a curve, but it’ll take time for that array of pitches to be mastered. Some believe that the 20-year old is ready now, but there are signs (mostly his K/IP ratio) that another year or two in the minors would do him good. Unless Jeremy Bonderman starts the season on the DL, Porcello will likely start in Double-A this season to gain more experience.

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