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Willis expected back

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Dontrelle could be back as a Marlin.

Dontrelle Willis expects to return to the Marlins rotation next year, the pitcher's agent said Sunday after talking to the team's front office.

Matt Sosnick, Willis' agent, said he spoke to baseball operations president Larry Beinfest on Saturday and came away from the conversation believing the Marlins won't trade the left-hander this winter.

Sosnick said he ran into Beinfest at a supermarket and asked when they could discuss a contract for Willis, who is entering his third year of arbitration. In Willis' past two years of arbitrations, both sides have had preliminary talks in late November.

"He said, ëWe plan on Dontrelle being here, so we'll plan on doing it the normal time,''' Sosnick said Sunday during a charity bowling tournament hosted by Willis.

Sosnick said the conversation was brief - Beinfest "was in the supermarket with his wife" - but the agent said he heard enough to believe Willis won't be traded this winter.

"If I were to guess, I'd guess Dontrelle is going to come back,'' Sosnick said.

I will be very surprised if Dontrelle is traded in the offseason.  Should the club look to trade him next season, I would imagine it would take place right before the non-waiver deadline.  Of course depending on the how the Marlins are doing at the time.

But honestly, I have no idea what the Marlins front office is going to do at this point since they are playing their hand extremely close to the vest.  As they always do.

There are so many factors involved as to whether Willis will be traded.  The main one is what Loria will set the team payroll for next season and also the stadium deal, or lack thereof, will have some effect but to a much lesser extent.

But since Matt Sosnick, and he is a good guy, feels like Dontrelle will be back, we will go with that.

It should be an interesting offseason.