The Detroit Tigers on Sunday designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment. You probably know the drill: He came off the roster immediately, and the team has 10 days to dispose of his contract —by trade, release or assignment to a minor league team.
Nothing too surprising here. Willis was once a star — entertaining and effective, a 22-game winner in '06 for the Florida Marlins — but his career went sour after that, and despite all the hopeful talk this spring about his comeback (including a pretty strong start against the Twins), he was still walking six men per nine innings this year.
What will happen, of course, is that Willis will clear waivers — nobody's going to pick up what remains of his $12 million salary for this season. The Tigers apparently will then release him rather than assign him to a minor league team — Willis would have the right to refuse such an assignment anyway — and pay him off, and Willis will be free to sign elsewhere.
Can he be fixed by somebody else? I doubt it ... but it would sure be interesting to see what the LaRussa-Duncan School for Failed Veterans can make of him in St. Louis.