Josh Willingham Newsbeat
Friday, September 26, 2014
The Ham is no longer Willing.
Josh Willingham insists he hasn’t made any decisions about his playing future.
However, an associate of the 35-year-old outfielder/designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals says he has told people close to him that he is “100 percent retiring” once this season ends.
Willingham, one of just three players in Twins history to hit at least 35 home runs in a season, disputed that version in a text message to the Pioneer Press.
“I haven’t made a decision yet and don’t know what I’m going to do,” Willingham wrote.
Slowed by a groin injury that has limited him to two starts since Sept. 11, Willingham is closing in on the first postseason appearance in his 11-year career.
Only seven active players have more career games than Willingham (1,146) without a postseason appearance.
Closing out a three-year, $21 million contract signed with the Twins after the 2011 season, Willingham was traded to Kansas City on Aug. 11 after the Royals claimed him on waivers. The Twins received Double-A right-hander Jason Adam in the deal, which saw the Royals pick up the remaining $1.836 million of the $7 million Willingham is owed this season.
A right-handed power hitter, Willingham hit 35 homers and drove in 110 runs in his 2012 Twins debut. Only Harmon Killebrew (eight times) has exceeded that homer total in Twins history.
Willingham was unable to follow that up due to nagging injuries to his knee (2013) and wrist (2014). He had a combined on-base/slugging percentage of .761 in 23 games (83 plate appearances) with the Royals.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Hopefully not sharing too much time with Ibanez…
The Royals have acquired Josh Willingham from the Twins, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). The Twins will receive right-hander Jason Adam, per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).
Willingham was claimed by Kansas City off revocable waivers, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press…
The right-handed hitter, 35, is set to reach free agency following the season and will therefore be a pure rental for the Royals. He has posted a .210/.345/.402 slash with 12 home runs through 278 plate appearances on the season… Willingham brings some much-needed pop to a Royals lineup that has struggled to score runs at times. He is expected to see many of his plate appearances out of the designated hitter spot, per a tweet from Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, sharing time with the lefty-swinging Raul Ibanez…
The return for Willingham is not insignificant, which is a fair achievement for Minnesota given that the pending free agent was claimed (leaving the Twins without leverage to deal with multiple trade partners). Adam, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2010. He has scuffled somewhat in the upper minors as a starter (5.13 ERA in 242 1/3 Double-A innings), but has had some success at Triple-A this year in a relief role (2.35 ERA over 15 1/3 frames). Baseball America rated him Kansas City’s 9th-best prospect coming into the year, saying he has a solid heater and average slider but will need to develop a go-to third offering (change or curve) in order to succeed against lefties at the next level. MLB.com also rated him in the ninth slot among KC prospects entering the year, but dropped him to 16th in its mid-season update.
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