Even though he actually can't be traded until Saturday, Josh Willingham is already one of the most popular targets in the propaganda pool. He's performing well, he's playing for a team that's going through a rebuilding phase, and he's under a very fair contract. What's not to love?
Count me still in the camp that believes the Twins would be best suited in holding onto Willingham. There's already a divide among fans who believe he can be a part of the rebuilding process and fans who believe that selling high would be the better way of setting up that rebuilding process for long-term success; it's hard to believe either side is wrong at this point. If the front office does decide to sell high on Willingham they'll have a great opportunity to do so. Everyone is screaming "Seller's Market!", and it was no different this morning behind ESPN's pay wall as Doug Mittler had (in part) this to say:
The extra wild card team should lead to a big buyers' market, and the Twins will be tempted tp take advantage. One team that might be looking to add an outfielder is the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose batting average for their left fielders was a paltry .209 as of Monday.
Wade further into the propaganda pool after the jump.
On Monday at SB Nation Minnesota, I had pegged the Pirates as one team who could be interested in Justin Morneau because of their paltry offense at first base. The same could also be said of their left fielders, apparently. I still believe money will be something of an issue for Pittsburgh, even at just $7 million per, and that's before due diligence on their farm system to see what might be attractive in return.
That's even if Pittsburgh is in a position to buy in the first place. ESPN did what I did and essentially created a market out of thin air, although at least I knew the Pirates were looking to add corner infielders. I haven't read anywhere that they're looking for corner outfielders, even if they've been awful at those positions. (Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.)
This is one of the more frustrating parts of the trade rumor season. People will inevitably examine a team's perceived weaknesses, pick out players who they think could be traded from teams who they think should sell, and try to put them together. It's part of the fun, absolutely, but it's frustrating, too.
The most important piece of any trade speculation, as far as I'm concerned, is: how does this move make the Twins better now and for the future? As we get further into the trade speculation season, if any concrete news surfaces we'll be sure to to look at exactly that.