• Could Oswaldo Arcia's Ascension Mean Josh Willingham's Exit?

    Despite the Minnesota Twins' up and down start this year, it is most likely that the team will be sellers at the trade deadline. There will be plenty of talk about Justin Morneau being dealt in the coming months since his contract is up at the end of the year. Another name which will draw much speculation is Josh Willingham.

    Willingham is coming off his best season and there might be more than one team looking to add a powerful corner bat for the stretch run. In a story published this weekend, the Boston Globe talked about the possibility of a Willingham trade.

    According to one National League GM, "He's a powerful right-handed bat that any contender could stick right in the middle of their lineup and get outstanding production." He went on to say, "You'd have to give something up, but he'd be worth the expenditure. He can really hit."

    ESPN's Rumor Central mentioned the Pirates as a possible trade fit. They need an upgrade in their outfield and they have some players in the minor leagues that could be attractive to the Twins. It also helps that Willingham has a very club friendly contract. He is in the second year of a three-year, $21 million deal which any team could afford.

    Another wrinkle to the Willingham trade rumors is the ascension of stud prospect Oswaldo Arcia. It has been a whirlwind couple of days for Arcia. He made his MLB debut on Monday, he played for Rochester on Tuesday, and he got called back up to the big leagues after that game. Darin Mastroianni's injury will mean a longer look at Arcia this time around.

    Arcia won't turn 22 until next month, becoming the youngest position player to debut with the Twins since 20-year-old Joe Mauer. He was killing the ball at Triple-A and he certainly deserved this call-up. In ten games for Rochester, he was hitting .394/.474/.727 with three home runs, two doubles and eight runs scored.

    If Arcia had kept putting up those types of numbers it would have been hard to keep him at Triple-A. The problem for the Twins is finding him a place in the line-up. Arcia is used as a corner outfielder or designated hitter. The Twins have plenty of these types of players with Willingham, Chris Parmelee, and Ryan Doumit.
    For Arcia to stick with the Twins, they likely will need to make a trade. Morneau could be dealt creating a spot (first base) for Parmelee to move to. Willingham could also be traded to open an opening in the outfield. Both of these men could be traded before July and then there would be plenty of playing time for Mr. Arcia.

    His career is moving rapidly. He started the 2012 season at the High-A level so he played only 69 games at Double-A before getting the bump to Rochester this spring. He had a total of nine Triple-A games under his belt before he made his MLB debut.

    There should be tempered expectations for Arcia in the Majors, as we have seen how much Aaron Hicks has struggled. The Twins need Arcia to be a cornerstone of the franchise as the team tries to get back to winning baseball. This will be the first taste of what is to come.

    With (well-paid) players blocking Arcia's path, he most likely will get more playing time at Triple-A. If the Twins are looking to be sellers at the trade deadline a deal including Willingham could pave the way for Arcia settling in to a long-term spot on the roster.

    Willingham has done some great things in his Twins tenure but Arcia is the wave of the future.
    This article was originally published in blog: Arcia's ascension could mean Willingham's exit started by Cody Christie
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Tallion and Cole are much better prospects than the Twins got....or are you suggesting they can get Profar for Willingham? Some systems just aren't as deep as others. Also, Revere and Span are younger than Josh. Both also play defense. The Nationals have a super deep system, and a team that is a WS contendor, they were more likely to give up some of the future for the present than the Pirates are....
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      While the Pirates sound like they may have the right pieces to ask for in return, I kind of hate to see Willingham traded to a non-contender. The guy deserves better, and it's in the Twins' own interest to be seen as a good place for free agents like him to consider.
    1. cc80man's Avatar
      cc80man -
      I disagree, 6 of their 10 top prospects are pitchers. You got the #40 prospect for a .280 fast no power centerfielder. The Nationals have their top pitcher as AJ cole at #90, no other pitcher for them is in top 100 and they only have 3 pitchers in their own top 10. Nationals are not super deep, Baseball America has them ranked as the 25th deepest farm system and pitching poor while Pittsburg is ranked 5th and is pitching rich. 2013 Baseball Farm System Rankings - Minor League Ball
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      They are deep if you consider their starting staff in the majors is young, and awesome.....it isn't just about the minors, but I did not make that clear...my bad. You also just totaly ignored the "they are world serires contenders" part of the post, which to me is the biggest delta between them and the Pirates.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I agree, Cole and Tallion are probably not attainable, but what if you did this?

      Willingham, Worley, Wimmers (or something like this). yes, that makes 2013 even WORSE, but 2014 looks a lot better....
      They refused to move tallion or Cole for Upton so why would they do it for wilingham? Adding fillers wont help. Best case is we get hermida.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I agree, Cole and Tallion are probably not attainable, but what if you did this?

      Willingham, Worley, Wimmers (or something like this). yes, that makes 2013 even WORSE, but 2014 looks a lot better....
      I see that you are applying the Duensing rule with this trade speculation.

      Duensing rule - including a lot of useful but not great players with very little upside when trades don't even come close to an acceptable offer.

      Origin - BYTO - About 2 years ago Duensing (and even Casilla) found himself in pretty much every speculated trade. It was getting ridiculous.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      one can always dream.....but let's be realistic, Worley is a legit #3/4 in the NL, and Wimmers was once considered a safe number 3. Neither is Duensing.....

      And, I was replying to people suggesting somehow Willingham alone could get a good pitching prospect.......the only way Pit trades one of their big prospects is:

      1. they get something good and young in return
      2. they really, really, really want to get over .500 this year

      Otherwise, I see no chance of dealing with Pit
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cc80man View Post
      If you want a 30HR hitter, 100 RBI hitter who has a cheap contract you have to give up something. The Pirates have a semi deep #2, #3 minor league pitching. We got Phillies #1 prospect for Revere, we got Nationals #1 for Span, if you don't think you can get Pirates #1 or #2 for a 30 HR hitter with team friendly contract you are crazy, especially if other teams get involved.
      Trevor May isn't even in the top 100 on prospect lists. There is absolutely no way that he is comparable to Cole or even Taillon. These are legit top 25 overall prospects and aren't ranked very far behind Sano/Buxton. Would you give up Sano or Buxton for a guy like Willingham? If you would then you are crazy? If you think Willingham is worth that then you need to re-examine Willingham. He is entering his mid 30's, he has a long history of injuries and he's terrible defensively. He's a nice player but I would consider a top 50 prospect to be a good get for Willingham.

      I also think everyone on here is crazy for overlooking Alen Hanson in that org. Starting pitching is one need but MI is in pretty bad shape at all levels also. he also is getting close to attainable.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      one can always dream.....but let's be realistic, Worley is a legit #3/4 in the NL, and Wimmers was once considered a safe number 3. Neither is Duensing.....

      And, I was replying to people suggesting somehow Willingham alone could get a good pitching prospect.......the only way Pit trades one of their big prospects is:

      1. they get something good and young in return
      2. they really, really, really want to get over .500 this year

      Otherwise, I see no chance of dealing with Pit
      After 2010 Duensing wasn't that far off from Worley. He had less success as a starter but he seemed like a solid option even if he didn't have great stuff (which Worley doesn't).

      Wimmers has been a complete trainwreck since he was drafted and is currently recovering from a major injury. His trade value is practically non-existent. you can't just throw quantity together and try to get elite prospects. It just doesn't work like that.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      "one can always dream"............................................ ..............................
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      While the upside for the future is good, what do they do about the present? Just give up? I think they are in a tough spot, a spot they created.
      What's the upside for the Present? Dave Cameron often makes the point that too often fans want to give up on the present when a few breaks here or there can make a team a contender (EX.Balitmore, Oakland in 2012). The Twins case seems to be different- Even in the best case scenario they don't contend till 2014 (Still a stretch). You get better in the present by having guys develop internally. The key is developing talent that will be part of the next good Twins Team.
    1. biscuit's Avatar
      biscuit -
      People are still talking about Parmelee as a replacement for Morneau. Right now, Parmelee couldn't replace Butera at the plate, yet alone, Morneau. He ain't got it.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Nobody has to be traded... Someone will have to be sent down or waived... But no one has to be traded.

      A little creative managing and there is plenty of playing time for everyone.

      Its fun to think about trades but it doesn't have to happen to find room for Arcia.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      Trevor May isn't even in the top 100 on prospect lists. There is absolutely no way that he is comparable to Cole or even Taillon. These are legit top 25 overall prospects and aren't ranked very far behind Sano/Buxton. Would you give up Sano or Buxton for a guy like Willingham? If you would then you are crazy? If you think Willingham is worth that then you need to re-examine Willingham. He is entering his mid 30's, he has a long history of injuries and he's terrible defensively. He's a nice player but I would consider a top 50 prospect to be a good get for Willingham.

      I also think everyone on here is crazy for overlooking Alen Hanson in that org. Starting pitching is one need but MI is in pretty bad shape at all levels also. he also is getting close to attainable.
      No way we get any of these guys in a trade. You are right, we may be overlooking Hanson, but he is unattainable in my estimation. I think a straight up trade Hanson for Willingham would be great for the Twins. Cole is a top 5 prospect who went ahead of Bundy and hits upper 90's consistently. He is probably one of the best pitching prospects in the past 10-20 years. Tallion is also a front line type starter and has no chance of being traded. Henson is a stud at a premium position and he would be great get. I think Heredia and a B- to C prospect is the more realistic option. Willingham just doesn't have the value that even Span and Revere had. We get so overzealous on this site with trades. I thought the haul for Revere was great and I was even hypothesizing the trade for Meyer - Span at the trade deadline last offseason. The best time to trade Willingham will probably be July, but I think we will be disappointed in the results. MI, pitching, or keep him, that is what I would say as a GM.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Why do the Pirates want the Hammer? I could see them having interest in Arcia, but I look for contenders to go after Willingham, and then only around the break.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Why do the Pirates want the Hammer? I could see them having interest in Arcia, but I look for contenders to go after Willingham, and then only around the break.
      According to a report on ESPN.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Quote Originally Posted by biscuit View Post
      People are still talking about Parmelee as a replacement for Morneau. Right now, Parmelee couldn't replace Butera at the plate, yet alone, Morneau. He ain't got it.
      I am not saying that Parmalee is a lock for the future because he has much to prove but this business about how he stinks or he "ain't got it" seems crazy to me. He is batting .237 which is 9/38. Lets say he goes 2/4 and 3/4 in the next two games. Now his is 14/46 and batting .304. Does he have it at .304? I think he deserves a fair shot before we start writing him off after about 8% of the baseball has been completed.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      I believe that he is about a week short. Now he would have to be sent down for 3 weeks to get that week back. A player has to be sent down for 21 days for that time to NOT count against his clock.
      Are you sure about that?

      Also, separate note, but if Arcia never went back down, he'd be a super 2 as well.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      The Pirates haven't had much success in quite some time, but unless they are in the thick of it, I don't see them giving up much to get Willingham, but I think someone WILL.

      I'd agree that Cole or Tallison are likely not options, but that should be where Ryan starts, and he should hold to that until Pittsburg gives up something pretty decent. Morneau and Willingham should be flipped for pitching and middle infield help, or a very high ceiling catcher a few years out. I'd agree the Twins would likely need to add something to get one of those two, and I doubt it would be Wimmers or someone like that. I'd more suspect a guy like May or Gibson if the Pirates are desperate enough to ad a bat. That said, I'd think long and hard about something like that.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      I believe that he is about a week short. Now he would have to be sent down for 3 weeks to get that week back. A player has to be sent down for 21 days for that time to NOT count against his clock.
      20 days total, they don't need to be consecutive.
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