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Thread: Wolfson: Willingham interested in contract extension

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Wolfson: Willingham interested in contract extension

    Darren Wolfson reports that Josh Willingham, who is signed through 2014, is opened to a one-year contract extension to give him a little more long-term security - he's even willing to accept below market value for that additional year.

    He's 33 and coming off a career year that is seemingly hard to repeat. His home run-to-fly ball rate is a career-best 22% and compared to his career norm of 16%, it is likely some of those fly balls won't be reaching the seats next season. Then again, he is one of those few hitters who has had sustained success at Target Field.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star
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    An extension with two years left on the deal seems pretty unique to me. I wonder what he and his agent consider "below market" seeing as his current deal is way below market. Perhaps an extra year is going to pay $12 million instead of the current $7 million? Surely one could argue $12 is still below market for Willingham.

  3. #3
    Yeah, this guy is a keeper at that price! Doumit and Willingham both were great offseason pickups

  4. #4
    Banned Big-Leaguer
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    HELL NO!!!

    Love what the guy has done, but who the hell extends players in there 30's coming off career years?

  5. #5
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    TR to Willy's agent - "Get back to me mid-2014."

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Maybe next offseason. Certainly not now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    No way should they do this now. The only reason I see it possibly good NEXT offseason is if two of Arcia, Hicks, and Benson flop bad in 2013.

    I am glad that the Twins went out and got guys (Willingham and Doumit) who CLEARLY like playing for and in Minnesota (adding a year to this deal would significantly reduce his trade value).

  8. #8
    Senior Member All-Star 70charger's Avatar
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    I think it's premature, but I understand it from his perspective. From a guy who's on the wrong end of 30, he's really got to be pushing hard for job security. And below market is likely to mean something completely different to a 33 year old extending a three-year contract than it does to a 36 year old looking for a one-year deal.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
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    I love Willingham, but he IS 33, and we have a glut of outfield prospects coming up the ladder and coming up quickly. I would say that they should discuss it after next season if he has anywhere near the same production, although by 2014/2015, I would imagine he would be mostly living in the DH role and shouldn't be in the outfield if we have guys like Arcia, Hicks, Benson, and co. reaching the big leagues.

  10. #10
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Well, from his perspective, now would be a time to look for an extension -- he would be dealing from a position of strength given his 2012 performance.

    Question: Did HE and his agent push for the 3-year deal last off-season or was the impetus for the length of the deal on the Twins side?

    Just curious because he would seemingly have more value as a free agent this off-season than last. Since he signed for 3 years last off-season, an extension seems to be the only way that they can capitalize on his career year.

  11. #11
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    It's a nice thought, but now's not the time (as far as the Twins are concerned anyway). Revisit the idea next offseason to see if it still makes sense. By the time 2015 rolls around he would/should be a full-time DH, if the Twins really need one during that offseason there are likely going to be plenty of guys floating around with trouble playing the field willing to take 1-year deals.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    While I agree that it is too early to be talking extension, but next offseason I would consider it. $7M is pretty reasonable even he is the full time DH by then.

  13. #13
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    If I were Willingham I'd be hoping to sucker the Twins for a few more million too after this season. So of course he's willing.

  14. #14
    Twins Contributor Big-Leaguer Cody Christie's Avatar
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    An injury could hit him in the next couple years and make an extension worthless.

    At this point, my vote is no.

  15. #15
    Get him to verbally agree to become the fulltime DH beginning next season and, sure, why not? If Thome can be an excellent DH into his late 30s, if not early 40s, why not this guy?

  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    That would seem silly he'd be 36 entering that ext year.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    way past his prime by then and way too many OF/DH prospects in the system to extend him.
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  18. #18
    I don't think there is that much risk to it. Anybody can get hurt, and the veteran work ethic might be something that the youger kids should be exposed to. He has earned it from my viewpoint. And it might make for a better trade prospect, too.

  19. #19
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    He's 33, already signed for two more years, and the Twins have tons of OF depth in the minors. I love the guy, but this would make zero sense.

  20. #20
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex-Iowegian View Post
    I don't think there is that much risk to it. Anybody can get hurt, and the veteran work ethic might be something that the youger kids should be exposed to. He has earned it from my viewpoint. And it might make for a better trade prospect, too.
    I would think the opposite would be true. It means an additional year an interested team would have to commit to, which would make it less likely someone making a pennant run and looking for short-term help would bite. Keep him around the next year or two (for the work ethic and depth argument you make, as well as he is playing well right now), but hold off on extending and see how things play out next year.

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