Yanks Would Be Smart to Target Willingham

The Nationals put outfielder Josh Willingham on the trading block, just two days after signing him to a one-year, $4.6 million contract for 2010. I’m willing to assume that Washington will seek pitching in return for the slugger and there could be a match with the Yankees, who have a surplus of long relievers.

Willingham, 30, would add extra right-handed power to the Yankees batting order, something they’ve supposedly been looking for. The former-Marlin hit .260 with 24 home runs in his first season with Washington and spent a portion of the season as a bench player before hitting his way into a starting role. I’m sure he’d fit into the lineup and with the club. He could work in a platoon with Brett Gardner (Willingham hit .300 against lefties in 2009) or start for the Yankees who could benefit from his career .362 OBP from the bottom of the batting order.

The key with Willingham is affordability. The Nationals will need cheap, reliable players, and the Yankees have a few to spare. It may only take Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and an infield prospect to land the slugger. Trading Willingham would allow the Nats to sign Mike Jacobs to play first, thus shifting Adam Dunn back to left field and slightly improving their defense. Let’s hope Brian Cashman jumps on this one.

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10 Responses to Yanks Would Be Smart to Target Willingham

  1. I like it. Especially if they could swing it for only Gaudin and a low level prospect. He had a pretty poor second half last season, but he hits lefties well and I think he could bounce back.

  2. Ryan says:

    I would love this deal. Try and trade Mitre, I think Gaudin and Ace are better. See what you can do Cash.

  3. Dan LaTorraca says:

    If the Yankees could get him for Gaudin and Ivan Nova, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

  4. Brandon says:

    Completely agree. Sounds like a good idea, IF and a very big if, IF the Yankees can only give up someone like Nova/Mitre/Corona

  5. Brandon says:

    Plus he did hit two grand slams in one game!

  6. Josh would be a perfect fit in the Bronx. I think Mitre or Gaudin plus an unproven player with some upside like Aceves would do it. The Nats are very thin pitching wise.

  7. I’d very much prefer to hang on to Nova. I think he could be a pretty decent bullpen option for the longterm. I can’t see Gaudin or Mitre on this team in 2 years though.

  8. Dan LaTorraca says:

    I agree, Florist. I'd prefer Gaudin + a decent prospect and I'm sure Aceves + Gaudin would be able to land Gaudin.

  9. Mark says:

    I'd hate to see us go after Willingham, honestly!! Gaudin's a starter on 50% of MLB rotations easily. If he's happy pitching long relief with the occasional spot start I'm more than happy with that. As for Ace, I honestly think its unfair to call him unproven after last year; he was Joe's go to guy for the middle innings; last season he had 7.4 K/9 and a 4.31/1 K/BBratio. I'm more than happy for that type of production from a reliever.

  10. Juke Early says:

    Willingham is sure a player to look at, if the price is not the typical NYY 'arm(ed) robbery.' meanwhile, as Rob A. knows from his appearance on NYBD Jan 24 -the Carl Crawford is available rumor is out agai, You know the xRays will definitely be holding a gun for him in any Yankee deal.