DETROIT — The Tigers found a taker for Dontrelle Willis.
Detroit dealt the left-handed pitcher and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-hander Billy Buckner, who was sent to Triple-A Toledo.
The 28-year-old Willis was designated for assignment on Sunday, giving the Tigers up to 10 days to make a move with him. He was making $12 million this year.
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"We are paying a substantial portion of that salary," said Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, adding that a couple clubs showed interest.
Willis was 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance this season. He is expected to start Saturday night in Arizona against Colorado.
"I'm just excited to get a fresh start," Willis said on a conference call.
He joins a team that had lost eight in a row entering Tuesday night's action and ranked last in the majors with a 5.89 ERA.
"He's had extreme success, he's had a period of struggles, and he's hopefully coming out of it," Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He's always been known as a big personality and we've encouraged him to be himself and breathe some life into this team, which we need."
The former NL Rookie of the Year, All-Star and 22-game winner helped Florida toward the World Series championship in 2003, but failed to remotely regain that form in two-plus seasons with the Tigers.
"It was a great place to play baseball," Willis said. "I just didn't get it done."
Arizona manager A.J. Hinch talked to Willis shortly after the trade went down.
"He's an energetic guy who loves to play," Hinch said. "He wears his heart on his sleeve and has a lot of charisma. He had a lot of success early in his career for his play and his personality and his approach. He brings...
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