Dontrelle Willis signs with Bridgeport Bluefish

The Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League announced today that the team has signed former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

Willis in 2013 with the Long Island Ducks (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

In 2013, Willis posted a 5-4 record with a league leading 2.57 ERA in 87.2 innings for the Long Island Ducks before having his contract purchased by the Los Angeles Angels organization. He was the starting pitcher for the Liberty Division in the Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Willis finished the 2013 season with the Angel's Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake where he posted a 2-1 record with a 6.43 ERA.

He started the 2014 season with the San Fransisico Giants' Triple-A affiliate Fresno but made only two appearances due to injuries. 

Willis was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round (223rd overall) of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft. He broke into the major leagues in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. That season he was electric, going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA, leading the Marlins to a World Series title. He was eventually named the National League Rookie of the Year.

In 2005, he had another stellar season with the Marlins, finishing the season with a 22-10 record and a 2.63 ERA, He was voted to his second Major League All-Star game and finished second to Randy Johnson in the Cy Young Award voting.

Over the next few years Willis was a solid pitcher for the Marlins but nothing like his first three seasons. A string of injuries contributed to inconsistency, which saw him play for six different major league organizations (Detroit Tigers, San Fransisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, and Los Angeles) since 2008, not including his time in the Atlantic League.

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