Although Josh Willingham only donned the green and gold for a season, he was one of my favorite A’s players in recent memory, and it appears he’s heading to the Twins. Even if he doesn’t end up going there it doesn’t look like he’s going to be with the A’s either way. Whoever ends up with him, they got one of the most underrated guys in the league. Sure, Josh might miss a game here and there, he doesn’t play the best defense in the world, but he does give you consistency whether you have someone good hitting in front/behind of him or not at all he puts up production. He might be the first guys that came to Oakland, and didn’t bitch once about the hitting in the spacious coliseum. He didn’t bitch about switching to the AL for the first time in his career after being in the NL for five years (looking at you Holliday). He even wanted to stay in Oakland for one of those “hometown discounts” us A’s fans hear other players willing to take to stay with other franchises. While 29 homers and 98 RBI’s isn’t a monster season, in this Oakland offense, it was. I honestly can’t understand why more teams weren’t interested in him or making a push for him when he’s putting up solid numbers in the worst hitting park in baseball. I mean, didn’t Jayson Werth get a kings ransom last year for doing less than what Willingham did this past season? Why aren’t teams trying to offer him what he’s worth? There’s tons of defensive deficient outfielders out there that produce far less (see the entire overpaid Anaheim outfield). At least the A’s will get a couple compensation picks out of it or some money to bid on Yu Darvish with, since that’s all we really seem to value these days…
Tag Archives: josh willingham
Clearly we’re all in full Summer swing each weekend as Doin Work seems to get laid off every Saturday and Sunday. But just because I spent my weekend bouncing between the pool, Hurricane Irene coverage, and beautiful Lake Clementine doesn’t mean I didn’t catch my share of sports this weekend. And what I didn’t catch over the weekend, I caught up on the radio during my morning and afternoon commute. Twice today, I started my thought with “If I had a Twitter, I’d tweet…..” Well I don’t have a twitter, but I do have a blog. So here are the tweets you would have seen if @The RealMCeezy existed…..
@Arian Foster: If it weren’t for Fantasy, no one would even KNOW you’re hurt. Be glad people know who you are!
@MichaelVick: Unless something CRAZY happened in the pen’, you just grabbed the biggest rebound in the history of human redemption.
@WilsonChandler: Bold move signing in China knowing you can’t come back if the lockout ends. But what does that say about the status of the lockout more importantly?
@JoshWillingham: Thank the baseball gods you hit a two-run double of Boston pitching outfielder Darnell McDonald on Friday night.
@SFGiantsFans: I hear you griping about the offense on KNBR 680 and KHTK 1140. You’re forgetting they overachieved last year. Vegas didn’t pick them to repeat, so you shouldn’t either.
@PepsiRoyaners: Congratulations to my fantasy baseball team for clinching a playoff spot. We survived serious injuries to Buster Posey, David Wright, and Jimmy Rollins, but we stuck with our guns, i.e. Matt Kemp. We pulled the league’s best ERA on the strength of Matt Cain, Ricky Romero, Ervin Santana, and Jeremy Hellickson (plus Price, Carpenter, Harrison, and Danks). But, just like real baseball, if we can JUST all get healthy and hot at the right time……
This post isn’t really about Jayson Werth, but his signing did trigger a chain of events that caused me to take notice of the Washington Nationals. In regards to his huge contract, Werth said something to the effect of it shows that the Nats are ready to win. He and Ryan Zimmerman make a solid nucleus. I immediately got curious to see where the Nationals were at in terms of talent on their roster. So I checked out their depth chart, and I’m not impressed. I like to think I’m a pretty big sports fan, but I literally have not heard of half of their roster. Half of the guys I do know are probably just the result of scouring the fantasy waiver wire. I mean, I’ve heard of Nyjer Morgan and Ian Desmond, but I couldn’t really tell you much about them. They have a pitching rotation full of marginal number five starters and I couldn’t tell any of the guys in the bullpen from a group of sales reps at my local Lowe’s. Then today, they dealt one of the few remaining familiar faces, Josh Willingham, to Oakland. Are they really ready to win now, like Werth believes? Hell, if my employer gave me $18mil a year, I’d be unjustifiably optimistic as well. But this brings me to another topic….. the A’s.
We try to not to overdo it with A’s coverage, but Chappy and I are diehards. With the exception of Athleticsnation, there’s not a lot of A’s blogs out there, no matter what Rob Neyer tells us. (Seriously, a blog that’s been around less than two months?) Anyway, people are starting to take notice of the moves the A’s have made this offseason. None are worthy of Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee type press, but Billy Beane is quietly putting together a team that many feel may be able to contend – especially while the Angels, Rangers, and Mariners seem to be hibernating for the winter. So far, they’ve added David Dejesus, Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, Rich Harden (pending a physical - never a sure thing with Harden), and Brandon McCarthy. The only notable prospects given up were Vin Mazzaro and Henry Rodriguez. I liked both of them, but neither were a sure thing in the big leagues. Besides, in typical A’s fashion, there are plenty of young arms in the farm system. I can’t help but wonder if the Giants’ World Series victory has forced the A’s hand a bit. They’ve maintained that they’re waiting for a new stadium before they try to contend again, but clearly they’re getting tired of waiting. While I don’t really expect them to make any more major moves (not that I’d call any of the aforementioned moves major), I’m curious to see what happens with Adrian Beltre. He spurned the A’s original offer, which I’m not really complaining about because it was a lot of money and I’m not sure he’s worth it. But it doesn’t seem like anyone else is really making a play for him. Combine that with the bats they’ve added this offseason, and maybe Beltre is warming up to the idea of playing in Oakland. He may not have any choice, unless he wants to take less money to stay in Boston or go somewhere else. While I don’t think Beltre would single-handedly put the A’s over the hump, his addition would give the team a legitimate big-league lineup, as opposed to the AAA roster they’ve been trotting out for the last two seasons. Perhaps it’s time to take part in a favorite pasttime over at AN, and pleasure myself with a little rosterbation. Let’s say the A’s do manage to acquire Beltre. Here’s what the 2011 lineup would look like…..
CF – Coco Crisp
LF – Josh Willingham
RF – David Dejesus
DH – Hideki Matsui
3B – Adrian Beltre
C – Kurt Suzuki
1B – Daric Barton
2B – Mark Ellis
SS – Cliff Pennington
Rotation: Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy (or Josh Outman, or Tyson Ross, or Bobby Cramer, or Rich Harden)
Suddenly, 2011 is looking A LOT better than 2010!