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Willis Close to Signing

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There is something I don't get about this.

The Florida Marlins and the agent for left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis have made progress on a one-year contract.

Certainly where they started is reasonable,'' agent Matt Sosnick said Monday. "We've talked a few times, and it's been very open, very polite.''

The Marlins are expected to tender contract offers to their 37 unsigned players today, including Willis and third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Willis, the only player eligible for arbitration, is expected to sign for around $4 million, the salary he likely would receive in arbitration. Sosnick does not expect the process to reach arbitration.

Why isn't the club trying to sign him to a multiyear deal?  Assuming the Marlins aren't contracted and I don't think they will be, he is probably going to be arbitration eligible for his fourth and fifth years also.  May as well lock him into a multiyear deal and just be done with the arbitration process.

Then again, maybe the team's management is hoping that the argument Willis really dropped off from 2005 and didn't win near as many games in 2006 will hold water.  A-Train won't win 22 games next year or the year after that but I doubt that it will be a convincing rationalization come arbitration time.

There was one tidbit in the article that was somewhat disturbing.

Sosnick added that he would be "very surprised'' if Willis was traded.

Is that still on the table?!?  Just sign him and take heart - it's okay to have a couple of players making above the league minimum.  Geez.

Fun fact to know and tell:  The last team to be contracted was the Cleveland Spiders about a 106 years ago.