Late last night, it was revealed that the team claiming Josh Willingham off of waivers was the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, the same Orioles who have repeatedly been rumored to be interested in Justin Morneau.
The Orioles are the team that claimed Twins OFer Josh Willingham -- they are trying to work out a deal with Minnesota, a source confirms— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) August 29, 2013
The Orioles don't currently have a spot open on their 40-man roster, but that won't stop them from making a move. Their current outfield consists of Adam Jones in center, Nick Markakis in right, and Nate McLouth in left. Former Twin Steve Pearce is listed as the team's fourth outfielder.
McLouth isn't having a bad season by his standards, but there's no doubt that Willingham offers significantly more power from that position. But just as likely is that Baltimore would consider adding him as their designated hitter, a position which has used five different players in their last six games because none of them are particularly capable with a bat in their hands.
Going back to the persisting rumors of Baltimore's interest in Justin Morneau, it's not inconceivable to think that the Twins and the Orioles could work out a trade that would send both players to the east coast. Baltimore would be on the hook for the remainder of both contracts, which would combine to be in the area of $3.5 million between them, but Minnesota could quite easily pick some of that up in order to maximize the return.
The Twins have until noon tomorrow to either work out a trade or pull Willingham back from waivers. Minnesota could choose to just stick Baltimore with the contract, but that seems unlikely.