Every year, there is a stream of borderline Major League Baseball players who try to hang on to a job in the major leagues. If there is one player in particular who had a great few years and has had very little success since then, it would be Dontrelle Willis. Willis won 22 games in 2005 for the then-Florida Marlins and has bounced around over the last few seasons. Willis now appears to be heading back where he started with the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs had traded Willis to the Marlins in exchange for Matt Clement and others in 2002 before Willis broke in with the Marlins in 2003 during their World Series championship year. There was no doubt that Willis has talent and may still have some but it is clear that this is likely the last chance for Willis in the major leagues. With the contract that Willis signed with the Cubs, it doesn’t include an invitation to spring training in a few weeks. That means Willis has a huge hill ahead of him if he wants to pitch again.
This reeks of desperation and maybe the Cubs can use Willis out of their bullpen sometime in 2013 but Willis has a lot of do to prove himself at this point of his career. Willis was a light that shined so brightly and then fizzled out after his first three years which included the trade to the Detroit Tigers for Miguel Cabrera. I wonder if Detroit likes making that trade now or not. I know they do with how Cabrera has been. Hopefully, Willis makes the most of this final chance in MLB.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.