The Red Sox and Tigers have discussed a swap of underperforming shortstop Julio Lugo for underperforming pitcher Dontrelle Willis, a possibility that was first mentioned by Nick Cafardo in the Boston Globe. It seems that both teams are checking out the other player. A close view of Willis lately can't look too good after an extremely promising start to his career. "The career trajectory isn't pretty,'' one NL executive said. Willis was the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year and won 22 games in 2005, but after being traded to the Tigers last offseason, he made just eight starts and spent most of the year in the minor leagues.
Both players do have talent, both make about $9 million a year (Willis a tad less) and both have two years to go on their current deals. And frankly, this makes a lot of sense.
One more thing to consider: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is said not to be all that fond of Willis. Maybe it's just his pitching because he always seemed to me to be a gentleman.