Christmas has come a little early for Dontrelle Willis. According to a report on ESPN.com, the Tigers and Willis have agreed to a three-year, $29 million contract extension. The deal reportedly includes incentives that could increase the total contract amount to more than $30 million.
An announcement of the deal is expected on Thursday following Willis' physical in Detroit.
Willis, 25, was acquired by the Tigers, along with All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera, as part of an eight-player trade with the Marlins during the Winter Meetings earlier this month. Without the extension, Willis would have been eligible for free agency following the 2009 season. Now, the left-hander, who made $6.45 million with the Marlins last season, is locked up through at least 2010. Willis is 68-54 with a 3.78 ERA in 162 career starts. Last season was the worst of his five years with the Marlins. He went 10-15 with a career-high 5.17 ERA. Signing Willis to such a deal shows that the Tigers believe him to be a part of their long-term plans. He will join Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers to fill out Detroit's rotation this year.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.