Hot Stove News: Dontrelle To Phillies, Aramis To Brewers, Rowand To Marlins

An article by posted on December 13, 2011

A major-league source confirmed that the Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal for under $1 million dollars with Dontrelle Willis pending a physical.

Willis posted a 5.00 ERA in 75 2/3 innings for Cincinnati in 2011, but the Phillies apparently saw enough to guarantee the lefthander a one-year contract for 2012 based mostly on how effective he was against left-handed batters.

The D-Train’s career numbers against lefties are tremendous, holding them to a .200 batting average and a .274 on-base, but in 2011 he was off the charts holding them to .127 batting average and a .369 OPS.

Willis, 29, will become the Phillies lefty specialist according to Ruben Amaro Jr. who has said he wanted to add a lefthanded reliever at the winter meetings.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a three-year contract with veteran slugger Aramis Ramirez, who was the top third baseman on the market. The deal is pending a physical.

Ramirez, 33, hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs with the Chicago Cubs in 2011. It was the eighth time in nine seasons that he topped 25 homers. The two-time All-Star also won the Silver Slugger as the league’s top offensive third baseman.

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The Miami Marlins signed Aaron Rowand to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. The San Francisco Giants must pay Rowand more than $11.5 million of the $12 million he’s owed next season, with the Marlins covering the rest.

Rowand, 34, was released by the Giants in September after hitting .233 with four home runs and 21 RBI. But was 9 for 26 with three home runs as a pinch-hitter. Rowand can play all three outfield positions and has hit .273 in 11 major-league seasons. He once played for Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen when he was with the White Sox in 2005.

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MLB teams have until Wednesday at 4 p.m. Central time to put a bid in to negotiate with Darvish. He’s started the posting process and teams submit sealed bids to the MLB office, and the club with the highest bid earns the right to negotiate with Darvish. They have 30 days to do so and if no deal is reached, the posting bid is returned to the team. If a deal is done, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish’s Japanese team, will get the money.

Darvish, 25, was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts. Both the ERA and strikeouts led the Pacific League. One scout told me at the Winter Meetings that Darvish has excellent command and throws “just about anything you can think of.” Various reports say the 6-foot-5 right-hander throws seven pitches, including a two-seamer that he added to his repertoire in 2010. He pitched for Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

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