D-Backs Exchange Buckner for Willis

The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired two-time All-Star Dontrelle Willis and cash considerations from the Detroit Tigers for right-handed pitcher Billy Buckner. Detroit will pay the left-hander's remaining salary for this year minus the prorated portion of the minimum salary of $400,000.

Dontrelle Willis, 28, has compiled a 70-62 record and 4.06 ERA in 186 games (184 starts) during eight major league seasons with the Florida Marlins and Tigers from 2003-10. He was the National League Rookie of the Year after posting a 14-6 record and 3.30 ERA with 142 strikeouts in 160 2/3 innings for the World Champion Marlins in 2003. Willis also finished second in Cy Young Award voting in 2005 after posting career bests with 22 wins, a 2.63 ERA, 170 strikeouts. and 236 1/3 innings pitched for Florida.

Willis was acquired by the Tigers, along with Miguel Cabrera, in an eight-player trade with the Marlins on December 5, 2007. The left-hander compiled a 2-8 record and 6.86 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) in three seasons in Detroit, including a 1-2 mark and 4.98 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 29 walks over 43 1/3 innings in nine games (eight starts) this season. Willis also spent time in Detroit's minor league system the past two seasons on injury rehabilitation assignments.

He posted a combined 3-4 record and 4.47 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for Triple-A Toledo and Class A Lakeland in 2008 after a hyperextension to his right knee early in the season placed him on the disabled list. Willis also spent considerable time on an injury-rehab assignment with an anxiety disorder in 2009 and compiled a 2-3 mark and 4.58 ERA with 23 strikeouts over 37 1/3 innings in seven starts with Lakeland, Double-A Erie and Toledo.

"We are pleased to add Dontrelle to our pitching staff," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He has shown he can overcome adversity, and we hope that he can help solidify our pitching staff."

"[Willis has] stuff that can play in the strike zone and coming back to the National League and getting into the flow of things, hopefully he can pitch like a lot of our starters have and give us a chance to win games," continued Byrnes. "There's some progress with the strike throwing; it still needs to get better."

Billy Buckner, 26, has a 6-11 record and 6.25 ERA in 36 games (21 starts) in four major league seasons with the Kansas City Royals and D-backs from 2007-10. The right-hander had a 0-3 record and 11.08 ERA while striking out 11 and walking 5 over 13 innings in three starts for the D-backs this season.  His fastball velocity has decreased in the past two seasons and his changeup has never been a consistent pitch.

Buckner was Arizona's organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after going 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA and a .239 opponent's batting average in 16 starts for Triple-A Reno. Overall, Buckner has compiled a 49-42 record and a 4.20 ERA in 141 games (123 starts) in the minor leagues after he was the Royals' second-round selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

Are you a full member of FutureBacks.com? If not, then you are missing out on the top Diamondbacks coverage we provide to our premium members, as well as full access to over 400 other Scout.com sites.  Join us today!

DBacks Insider Top Stories