1/5 Report: Willis back with Cubs

Dontrelle Willis apparently is back with the Cubs. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network, Willis has signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs. Heyman reported the left-hander was invited to the Minor League camp, but may get some Cactus League innings, depending on how he does. The Cubs selected Willis in the eighth round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, and then included him in a trade to the Marlins in March 2002 for Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement.

Willis, who turns 31 on Jan. 12, also has pitched for the Tigers, Diamondbacks, and Reds, compiling a 72-69 record and 4.17 ERA over nine seasons. He was on the World Series champion Marlins team in 2003, and won National League Rookie of the Year honors that year, posting a 14-6 record and 3.30. He finished second in the Cy Young balloting in 2005 when he won 22 games. But Willis seemed to lose his touch after he was dealt to the Tigers in December 2007 along with Miguel Cabrera, and won four games out of 40 starts over the next four seasons.

In March 2012, he signed with the Orioles but voluntarily retired on July 2. He made three relief appearances in April for Triple-A Norfolk, then reportedly left in a dispute over his role as a reliever. He returned to make one start for the Minor League team on June 28, going 2 2/3 innings, before announcing his retirement.

On Friday, Willis made his return public on his Twitter account, @D_Train35. He tweeted: “Thanks For The Cubs Givin Me Another Opportunity To Keep Playin Ball … I’m Gonna Give It My All Hopefully Have Another Blessed Year.” Willis said he’s been working hard this offseason to get in shape “after a couple tough years,” and says “I’m Ready To Compete 100% In ’13 N Be A Bulldog Again.”

— Carrie Muskat


back when the Cubs signed Jim Edmonds, a friend told me that Wrigley Field has become a retirement home for old ball players. although Edmonds did a good job for us, today the Cubs under Theo and Jed really look like a medical hospital for broken down ball players. Jim Henry traded Dontelle Willis away and he was rookie of the year that year and won a world championship. now after several broken down seasons with 3 or 4 different ball clubs and still broken down Dontelle comes home to mend like the rest of the bums the Cubs have signed. a life long Cubs fan.

Wachyoo talkin’ bout….Willis?

This year could be very interesting. Comeback of all time. Go Cubbies!!

I understand your grief. I knew girls like Fern who were superb athletes, but were born too soon, as it were, as there were no organized team sports for which they could participate. May your heart mend, and your memories stay strong, Mamma Mia.

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