There haven’t been many bright spots for the Minnesota Twins this year. There probably shouldn’t be when a team is 40-58. Nevertheless, one bright spot for Twins fans has been the new addition of Josh Willingham. The All-Star snub is hitting .274 with 25 home runs and 72 RBI, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Twins should keep him.
One of the beautiful things about baseball is the minor league system. In baseball you don’t trade a star player for a star player straight up, instead you trade a star for multiple prospects.
There’s no doubt that Josh Willingham would bring in a lot of prospects. Being where the Twins currently are, it might not be the worst idea for the Twins to get prospects to build the system up for the future.
Knowing where you are is the first step to acceptance. The Twins are in last place in the American League Central, 13 games out of first place. It’s going to take some time to return to the prominence that Twins fans are used to.
That being said, does it really pay to hold on to Willingham? The Twins aren’t close to contention, but on the other hand they aren’t a decade away either. Trading Willingham or keeping him really depends on how close the Twins front office thinks they are to contending once again.
Twins fans lived through the Delmon Young era; we know a defensive liability when we see one. Now, Josh Willingham isn’t in Delmon Young territory, but personally I get a little nervous every time the ball is hit out to left field.
The Twins used to be all about defensive greatness and maybe that’s what they need to get back to in order to succeed once again. Willingham isn’t great defensively, but he could always be moved to DH. If the Twins are looking to make defense a priority, Willingham should not be in their outfield.
Josh Willingham is a very good player and many very good teams would like to have him. The Twins won’t be able to hold on to him forever. The Twins don’t tend to sign players to big money, but they did it once for Willingham.
It might not be a bad idea for the Twins to deal Willingham while he’s got a high value and is under contract by the Twins.
It’s a rebuilding process for the Twins and possibly a long one. The Twins need to be testing out young players, seeing what they have, and finding out if they need to find some new prospects.
The Twins know what they have in Willingham. They don’t know what they have in some of their prospects at the major league level. It may hurt, but sending Willingham out and bringing in a young gun won’t affect much. Testing out what you have should be a higher priority for the Twins.
Not many players play in every single game of the season, but usually they are close. Throughout his career, Willingham hasn’t necessarily been close. The most games Josh Willingham has played in a season was 144 in 2007 for the Florida Marlins.
For the Twins to keep Josh Willingham, they would need to know that he’d be in the lineup day in and day out for the future. He hasn’t necessarily shown that thus far in his career.
The Twins have nine players on their 40-man roster that have had significant playing time in the outfield. It could be considered somewhat of a logjam at those three positions.
There are many ways to go about the outfield situation for the Twins, so they should keep their minds open to anything… even if that means the possibility of trading Josh Willingham.