Yes, that Dontrelle Willis. He’s still trying to make a major league ball club, and his latest attempt could possibly be with the San Francisco Giants.
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants and Willis are discussing a minor league deal for 2014.
Willis is from Oakland, Calif., and although he grew up rooting for the Athletics, he’s always had ties to the Giants. This isn’t his first appearance in the Giants’ organization, either. He pitched a combined 5.1 innings in 2010 between two different Giants affiliates: Arizona Giants rookie league and triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.
His ties to the Bay Area make sense for the organization to give him a shot in spring training, but by no means is it a confident investment in Willis’ future.
The signing is merely a shot in the dark that somehow he shows up in a form he hasn’t held in years and becomes an insurance piece in San Francisco’s minor league organization. Even if he makes it out of camp, there’s little chance he’ll see the big leagues barring injury. God help the Giants if their season ever gets to the point where they need Willis to step in and rescue the bullpen, and an even worse scenario would be if he sees the rotation.
Willis’ last MLB stint was in 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds when he appeared in 13 games and held a 1-6 record with a 5.00 ERA. He spent last spring training with the Chicago Cubs where he threw seven pitches before injuring his shoulder leading to his release in March of 2013.
He spent the last two years in minor league baseball, including 18 starts with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. He most recently pitched for the Los Angeles Angels‘ triple-A affiliate Salt Lake Bees of the Pacific Coast League where he posted a 6.43 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over 21 innings pitched.