It’s been an extraordinarily long road for Jerome Williams from a good rookie season in 2003 to being out of baseball from 2008-2011 until now. You can read about the whole saga here on Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ have decided that they would like to keep right hander Jerome Williams around for a while, at least much longer than some of the other teams he played for in 2014. It was announced by the club today that they’ve signed Williams to a one-year, $2 million contract extension.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish via Twitter, the contract includes incentive that could raise the value of the one-year deal all the way up to $4 million.
Source: If all bonuses are reached, #Phillies deal with Jerome Williams could be worth a max of $4M.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) October 21, 2014
This is an extremely good deal for the 32-year-old Williams who has had a very interesting albeit rough baseball career. In 2014 alone, Williams played for three different teams.
He signed a one-year contract with the Houston Astros in February and was released on July 8. Three days later he was signed by the Texas Rangers as a free agent.
Exactly a month to the day after he was released by the Astros, Williams was placed on waivers by the Rangers and picked up by the Phillies on August 10th.
Oddly enough Williams set a record and it wasn’t regarding the number of teams he played for. He became the first pitcher to defeat the same team three times in one season, the Oakland Athletics, while earning each win playing for a different ballclub.
If you think that that makes Williams’ career interesting, then that is only the half of it. Williams came up in 2003 with the San Francisco Giants in 2003 and went 7-3 in 21 starts with a 3.30 ERA. After that his ERA continued to rise. In mid-2005 with an ERA well over 6.00 the Giants traded Williams to the Chicago Cubs.
He excelle for the Cubs in the second half of the season, posting a 3.91 ERA but the next two seasons one with the Cubs and one with the Washington Nationals brought with them ERAs above the 7.00 mark.
By May of 2007 Williams was playing in Nationals minor league system. They released him in August and he signed a minor league deal with the Twins. Needless to say, at least at this point, things did not go well and he was out of baseball by the time the 2008 season began.
He played for the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League until his contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers in June and stayed in their minor league system until the end of the season.
In 2009 Williams spent the season with the Oakland A’s (now former) Triple-A afiliate Sacramento River Cats. He played winter ball with tthe Indios de Mayaguez in Puerto Rico in 2008–09 and ended up in Taiwan in 2010, playing for the Uni-President Lions o the CPBL.
He signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2011 and later that season got his first big league win since 2005. He spent the entire 2012 season in the majors with the Angels despite a stint on the disabled list and working out of the bullpen. In 2013 Williams finished his season with the Angels with a decent 4.91 ERA but they let him go after the season.
Which brings us to his signing with the Astros. His ERA with Houston was 6.23 and it was even worse when he was picked up by the Rangers.
He finished the season off well with Philadelphia going 9-9 with a 3.14 ERA which apparently pleased them enough to keep he righty around for another year.
As of now, that completes the long saga of Jerome Williams’ career thus far. Hopefully for him the Phillies will be a good fit but with the back and forth nature of his career thus far that is something that no one can predict.