The Minnesota Twins like Josh Willingham and Willingham likes the Twins. The Twins signed outfielder Josh Willingham to a three-year $21 million deal this past off-season.
Willingham is hitting .275, with a .389 on-base percentage, 23 home runs and 68 RBIs. Those are the kinds of numbers that make Willingham a bargain and a great find for a small market team like the Twins.
It also makes Willingham a very attractive option in a trade market.
While it has been said that trading Willingham is not likely, if a team offered the right package of prospects, the Twins would be inclined to listen closely.
The Twins would not have signed Willingham to a three-year deal if they planned on trading him a half a season into a contract.
While much of the talk for a right-handed bat involves Justin Upton, Willingham could become available for a lopsided offer, and the market may dictate that it is.
The terms of Willingham’s contract make him attractive to smaller smaller market teams as well.
Tampa Bay, for example, is struggling on offense and has been for most of the year. The Rays will lose B.J. Upton either through free agency or in a trade at the deadline.
Desmond Jennings could slide over to centerfield leaving left field open for Willingham.
The Rays may have the prospects that the Twins would require in return, which will include pitching prospects.
Tampa Bay would get a player under team control for another two years at a reasonable cost. Carlos Quentin just signed a three-year $31.5 million deal, so it’s not likely that the cost of right-handed bats with power is going down.
The Twins may say that Willingham is not being shopped around major league baseball. That won’t stop teams from asking, and that will only drive the price up higher. Trading Willingham is not in the Twins plans, for now, but that could all change very soon.