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Josh Willingham hopes to bypass free agency, stay with the Nationals

Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham remains under the team's control for one more arbitration-eligible season, but Willingham would prefer to delay his first shot at free agency and sign a multi-year contract this offseason, said Matt Sosnick, Willingham's agent.

Willingham and Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo have not discussed a long-term deal, Sosnick said, and Willingham would be fine with accepting a one-year contract if the Nationals choose that option.

"Any decision they make is reasonable," Sosnick said. "But I think that if he had his druthers, he'd sign a deal that took him through this year and into the next couple years. He loves it there. If he had his druthers, he'd finish his career in Washington."

If not for durability concerns, Willingham would likely rank among the top players in his position. Over the past two seasons, Willingham's .863 on-base plus slugging percentage ranks 14th among all major league outfielders. He's hit one home run per every 19.67 at-bats, the 12th-best rate among outfielders. His left-field defense has improved to the point of adequacy, his professionalism is valued highly and, entering his age 32 season, he is in the midst of his prime.

But Willingham has played 102, 133 and 114 games in the past three seasons, all of which were affected by injury. He missed the final six weeks of this season after undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee. After rehab, Willingham's knee is completely healed.

Willingham, then, is a solid, middle-of-the-order bat who carries a certain amount of risk. He will not fetch the attention or money Jason Bay did last year or Jayson Werth will this offseason. But, so long as his production remains steady, he will be a sought-after player next offseason, his first when he is eligible for free agency.

"I do believe he's going ... he's going to [be] an incredibly successful free agent after this year," Sosnick said. "But it's totally in their hands. We will defer to what they want to do. That's the process. We respect that. If they want to do a one-year deal, we'll do a one-year deal."

Willingham's role with the Nationals could change this season. If the Nationals do not sign Adam Dunn - which seems more and more likely - the Nationals could replace him by signing another outfielder and moving Willingham to first base. Willingham came into the minors as a third baseman and also played 68 games at first in the minors. If asked, Willingham would be open to playing first.

"He'd be open to doing anything he could for the team," Sosnick said. "They could use him out of the bullpen."

Last year, Willingham made $4.6 million in a one-year contract. He would be due a raise this winter if the Nationals sign him to another one-year deal to avoid arbitration, likely to roughly $6 million.

By Adam Kilgore  | October 21, 2010; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Josh Willingham  
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Comments

Hey i like da hamma("smack em yack em")but defensively........................ and he tends to make me scream when he slumps but i love his demeanor between the lines and he'll probably be here because Carl Crawford ain't comming, so how about those Rangers(yeah,yeah,yeah) i know it ain't over yet but they are so close, you know Fox and MLB would have a fit if the Rangers and the Giants get to the fall classic.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 21, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If he's cheap enough he'll be here. That fit's the Lerner M.O.

Posted by: ridgely1 | October 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Willingham? There's another big-time baseball player that'll lead the Nationals to the mighty 4th place in the NL East.

No worries though. In a decade or so the Nationals will have left town and most of the people who follow the Nats will have jumped ship and will be rooting for the Orioles, since they're a flagship franchise of MLB.

Enjoy it while it last Nats fans because the Natinals won't be around for much longer.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | October 21, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

DixonTheDog: and you know of what you speak because? just keep your negative thought's to yourself and take that bullsh#t over to the B'more Sun, since the O's are so much better than the Nats why bother real Nats fans with your krap why not make your World Series resevations now that way you'll be sure to get a good seat at Camden Yards(LMAO!!)

Posted by: dargregmag | October 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dixon=Poopy

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Losing Willingham the last six weeks of the season really hurt us. He's valuable to the team. Why not sign him for several years, with incentives based on the number of games he plays?

Posted by: Natsgal | October 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Keep him - how many players actually want to STAY in Washington?

Posted by: PattyinSJ | October 21, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

One possible scenario: The team will tender Josh with a 1-year deal; It will likely go to arbitration, with Josh winning a $6.5M contract for 2011. Lacking a legitimate LH threat in the middle of the lineup, his offensive numbers will slip (as will Zimmerman's); Willingham will be traded just after the All-star break for two Hi-A/AA prospects & a ham sandwich, in an effort to get 'more athletic'. The sandwich will provide the most immediate value.

Posted by: BinM | October 21, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

you know Fox and MLB would have a fit if the Rangers and the Giants get to the fall classic.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 21, 2010 4:30 PM
=============================================
True, that.

Question: Why do they start playoff and WS games at 8:00 pm eastern? That just about guarantees that TV will lose about 50% of its east coast viewership in the late innings.

Yes, I know, if you start the games an hour earlier, that would be 4:00 pm west coast, meaning Californians would miss a couple of innings at the beginning of the game. But that way, almost EVERYONE would still be around at the end of the game.

How many east coasters don't even turn the games on in the first place, figuring, "I won't be around at the end, so why bother?" Is this how you build your fan base?

I know, it's about the money. But is there really more money in making it tough for east coasters to see the end of the game than there is in making it tough for west coasters see the beginning?

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 21, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Dunn wanted to stay - Currently there's about a 5% (1 in 20) chance of that happening.
---------------
Keep him - how many players actually want to STAY in Washington?
Posted by: PattyinSJ

Posted by: BinM | October 21, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

They can't move. Not allowed. Can't happen. Not before 2035, anyway.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 21, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see somebody got 86'd, though. That's pretty funny. I'm enjoying it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 21, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@gilbertbp: Think about it for a minute. If one of the 'big market' cities (NY, BOS, CHI, LA) are in it, the TV execs already know they'll have market share, regardless of when they air the games.

If the playoff or WS opponents are from outside those markets, then an 8:00EST start maximizes airtime in 'flyover' country, where a large number of unaffiliated baseball fans reside. It's the number of eyes they have on a given hour of airplay that drives the networks, not convienence to one coast or the other.

Posted by: BinM | October 21, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The true test is to see if McP is still posting on either Redskins Insider or Wizards Insider under his original moniker, or if 'DixonTheDog' is now appearing there as well.
--------------
Nice to see somebody got 86'd, though. That's pretty funny. I'm enjoying it.
Posted by: Sec3mysofa

Posted by: BinM | October 21, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

weren't the nationals contractually obligated to stay in DC for 30 years after moving?

Posted by: alex35332 | October 21, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse


An ode to aces:

Lee, Freak
c'est chic.

Posted by: Drew8 | October 21, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd like a healthy Willingham back. He does not have great range but he did appear to improve defensively last year prior to the injury. The slumps are indeed dramatic, but so are the hot streaks.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 21, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, given how bad our Nats have been, it's nice to hear solid players say "I'd like to stay here,'' taking them at their word. I hope we give them both there wish.

Posted by: nats24 | October 22, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Every player (including Hammer and Dunn) is trained to say how much they love it wherever they are and how much they want to stay and they hope it all works out, etc. That way, the current team bids up the price. At a minimum, you have a satisfactory fallback option.

In Josh's case, however, it may be more sincere to want to stay here than is often the case. He could start here and maybe even hit cleanup (depending on how much the Nats strike out in free agency). There can't be too many teams left with such an opening for Josh, realistically. From the Nats' viewpoint, Josh is much more affordable than players who won't give you all that much more production than Josh will.

Posted by: EdDC | October 22, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Adam: With Willingham, you have to plan around needing a replacement / backup for about 30 games a year, but, for 130 games, he is going to give you very good offensive production and adequate defense for a corner outfielder.

In some ways, he is JD Drew lite. Not as good a defender, nothing comparable to Drew's age 28 season for a peak, but otherwise comparable offense with less variability (about .010 on wOBA). Drew when good is better but has had more low seasons.

On the market, Willingham should be able to get $10MM / yr multiyear, maybe more. Nats should use the leverage this year to lock him in to 3 years, $25 MM, with an option for a 4th year.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | October 22, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

When the most games you've played in years is 133, can you really call him "solid"?

Anyway, OF COURSE he wants a multi year deal of guaranteed money! Every guy wants that, and guys like Willingham who have had a harm time staying on the filed, even more so. He has to stay here and he has to take a 1 year deal unless the Nats trade him.

And they should trade this guy right now. He has just as likely peaked as come into his prime and they need pitching badly. With his skills -- which are "solid" when he can play -- and only an arb year commitment to the guy hanging out there, other clubs will have serious interest.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 22, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

With Adam Dunn’s impending departure in Free Agency it seems like now is the time to lock up Josh Willingham long term. That idea is further reinforced by Nationals fans with reports that Willingham is open to negotiating an extension now. While it is hard to see where Mike Rizzo and the Nats brass fall in the ‘Extend Josh’ club, I hope they explore all their options and seriously consider trading him.

To read the rest of my friend's article visit: http://fanspeak.com/steveospeak/2010/10/22/what-should-the-nationals-do-with-josh-willingham-part-i/

Posted by: bmurph24 | October 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If we do not re-sign Dunn, we need the Hammer to bat cleanup as it would be unlikely we will replace Dunn with a #4 hitter at first base! Maybe whomever is the 4th OF can get some time in LF so Josh can have a day off once a week to rest his back and legs.

GO HAMMER!

Posted by: markfd | October 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey wait, let's not get carried away. True, Josh can be a clean-up hitter on a lousy club. And he does disguise somewhat the loss of Dunn. He is "affordable." But shouldn't the Nats explore other options first before locking Josh up long term? He will be 33 his first year of free agency in 2012.

Posted by: EdDC | October 22, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

EdDC, I don't think they have the luxury of exploring options. They need to sign everybody who's any good they can convince to do so.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Sec3,

I would prefer to target younger guys, but I can see your point. The Nats are indeed desperate, and Josh does provide versatility. My, how The Plan has evolved over the years. Your strategy probably reflects today's reality, after years of neglect.

What gets me is that the some of the same people who said "don't sign Dunn because he will be 33 at the end of his 3 year contract," (or 34 after he completes a 4 year deal) are probably the same ones who are now saying sign Josh to a multi-year deal. Josh will be 33 in 2012, when he attains free agency. So Josh starts his extension at age 33. Josh last had 500 ABs in the 2007 season, when he played in his all-time high of 144 games. Dunn plays in over 150 games every year, over many years.

Why would some posters favor Josh over Dunn? Why, "affordability" of course!

Posted by: EdDC | October 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I just can't stand the fact that the dumb traitor Rangers are going to the WS. I'll just have to hope that either the Phillies or Giants stomp them in a 4 game sweep.

Posted by: CountDemoney | October 22, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Note to CountDemoney: Don't rag on the Rangers this group is far removed from that weasel Bob Short who moved the Senators away some 39 yrs ago( damn has it been that long!) be happy for the fans after all they have had to wait almost 40 yrs for this moment, lets hope we don't have to wait that long for our Nats to accomplish the same feat.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 22, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree with Boz's recent column. I, too, held a long grudge against the former Nats. But it's way past time to let it go, not that I care if they win the series or not. (I'm not an AL or DH fan.)

I just want the current Nats to end the DC drought and get to the series asap.

Posted by: nats24 | October 23, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

"If not for durability concerns, Willingham would likely rank among the top players in his position." Well, thats kind of important. Willingham's trade by date this year is July 31st. Personally, I would like to trade him and Pudge (two great old guys who won't last much longer) for young pitchers while we can still get something. Or keep them and maybe not finish last next year. Big deal. Give me the pitchers.

Posted by: shred11 | October 23, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

"If not for durability concerns, Willingham would likely rank among the top players in his position." Well, thats kind of important. Willingham's trade by date this year is July 31st. Personally, I would like to trade him and Pudge (two great old guys who won't last much longer) for young pitchers while we can still get something. Or keep them and maybe not finish last next year. Big deal. Give me the pitchers.

Posted by: shred11 | October 23, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Why do people care about what Fox wants?If you're a fan,don't you think about what matchup you want to see?Also,Willingham has slumped in the second half of the last two seasons.

Posted by: seanmg | October 23, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see somebody got 86'd, though. That's pretty funny. I'm enjoying it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 21, 2010 7:01 PM
___________________

Who got 86'd?

Posted by: TimDz | October 23, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

It could be a turn back the clock world series...The New York Giants vs. The Washington Senators.

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 23, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Is Christian Guzman on the Texas Playoff roster? If he is then congrats to him since he is in the World Series!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Is Christian Guzman on the Texas Playoff roster? If he is then congrats to him since he is in the World Series!"

Nope. Although they will probably still vote him at least a partial share of the playoff money.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 23, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@cokedispatch:
The Minnesota Twins vs. the San Francisco Giants would be a true "turn-back-the-clock" series to the Washington Senators vs. the New York Giants in 1924 and 1933. The Texas Rangers are descended from the expansion Senators formed in 1961.

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Guzzie was let go by the Rangers. One of the TV broadcasters mentioned this briefly a week or two ago.

Posted by: samantha7 | October 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Just saw this in the story about the Giants' win last night:

"Affeldt struck out Howard - the big man struck out a total of 12 times in the series, tying an NLCS record, and has K'd in 30 of his last 56 postseason at-bats, dating to last year's World Series..."
===========================================

Let's hear the argument that Dunn isn't as good as Howard, just one more time...

Has Dunn ever had a streak of 56 ABs where he struck out in more than half of them?

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 24, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Too bad about Guzman. Looks like the Rangers used him very sparingly - 15 games, 50 total plate appearances. His BA was only .152, which seems to indicate he's another guy who needs to be in the lineup regularly, because he's not a .152 hitter.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 24, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Bert, I realize that, thanks. I used to go to the old Nats games at Griffith Stadium in the 50's as a young pup. But, its the closest thing we have right now, so, I'm going with it just the same.

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, coke, I'll be 58 at the end of this week and I saw a few games down on 7th St. between 1959 and 1961. At the first one in 1959, I went with my day camp and really couldn't follow what was going on.

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This may sound strange, but on some sort of technical level, this is really a replay of the 1933 series. Since the Sens II were allowed to keep the name & city, although Minnesota kept the players, etc., the Twins were, technically, the expansion team. Remember, that except for the two NYC teams moving out west and the Brownies moving to B'more, baseball had been stable for 50 years, so that they didn't have any experience at this sort of thing, so it was sort of fuzzy as to which was actually the expansion club.

The good thing is that the Rangers have never really embraced their time in DC and the Twinkies are gradually letting go of theirs. Let's remind ourselves that there are three pennant flags (one a W/S victory) flying in right field at Nats Park.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 24, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Just saw this tidbit (via MLBTradeRumors & Ladson @mlb.com) - Javier Vasquez (lately of NYY) apparently would be interested in signing with the Nationals.

Great - Another #3/4SP looking for one more paycheck. The roster is already thick with this type of pitcher, and they're almost all younger than Javy; If I'm in Rizzo's spot, I'm not buying on this one.

Posted by: BinM | October 24, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Folks: The original franchise moved to MIN in 1961, and won additional WS in 1987 & 1991; The 2nd American League iteration sucked while they were here, but is now in TEX, and has a chance at their 1st WS championship.

It's good to embrace & remember the players who 'made their bones' in DC (Walter Johnson, 'Goose' Goslin, Frank Howard, et al), but the franchise is now a relocation of the NL Montreal Expos. New league, new times; We must learn to accept the heroes from their past (Staub, Raines, Dawson, Carter) as a part of the team history and move on from there.

Posted by: BinM | October 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"We must learn to accept the heroes from their past (Staub, Raines, Dawson, Carter) as a part of the team history and move on from there."

Sorry, no. I've lived here since 1960 and have no clue who Staub, Raines, Dawson and Carter are. I never saw them play either live or on TV. I did see Frank Howard play and Gil Hodges and Ted Williams manage, though. They are a part of Washington history, those Expos are not. Don't go telling me who I must learn to accept as part of the history I lived through here. I know who's part of my history and who's not. You need to learn to accept that.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Rignt on nunof. While I recognize the former spos, I also draw the line on who is relative to DC baseball history, and it aint them. While the good folks in Montreal suffered the loss of there team, I experienced it twice. The Nats as far as I'm concerned were born again in 2005.

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 24, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@mikecatcher50:
You missed one franchise move before 1961: Philadelphia A's to Kansas City.

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 24, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@mikecatcher50:
Oops, and another: Boston Braves to Milwaukee.

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 24, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@bert...Sorry, for some reason, I tend to make the break when the Gints & Bums moved west.

Personally, having seen Vernon, Howard, Sievers, Porterfield, Ramos, Pascual, etc. Having heard my parents tell of having seen Johnson, Ruel, Judge, Goslin, etc. It's an easy call.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 24, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Just checked. Bryce Harper got two hits (singles) on Saturday.

Posted by: dougb3 | October 24, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

We must learn to accept the heroes from their past (Staub, Raines, Dawson, Carter) as a part of the team history and move on from there.

Posted by: BinM | October 24, 2010 1:30 PM
=============================================
Just the way Baltimore fans revere the memories of George Sisler and Harlond Clift...

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 24, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The Baltimore Orioles moved to New York in 1903.
The Philadelphia A's moved to Kansas City in 1952.
The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953.
The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954.
The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1958.
The Washington Senators moved to Minneapolis - St. Paul in 1961.
The Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966.
The Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968.
The Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
The Washington Senators moved to Dallas - Ft. Worth in 1972.
And that was the last franchise move until the Montreal Expos moved to D. C. in 2005.

49 years without a franchise move (1903 - 1952) were followed by 20 years with 10 franchise moves (1952 - 1972). Two of those franchises moved twice (A's and Braves). 33 more years elapsed before the next franchise move (1972 - 2005).

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 24, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Another interesting thing to note about the 12 franchise moves was that only two of them were distinctly from west-to-east (Baltimore, 1954; and Milwaukee, 1970) and only one was distinctly from south-to-north (Minneapolis - St. Paul, 1961). I don't want to split hairs over the moves to Baltimore, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, and Milwaukee (again). The move to New York in 1903 is a big deal only if you have a New Yorker Magazine's (or Washingtonian's) view of the world. :-)

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 24, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Nunof1: You are right, of course: there are only 3 things you have to do, and embracing Expos history isn't on the list.
You are, however, the poorer for never having seen these guys play, especially Andre Dawson.
******************************
I've lived here since 1960 and have no clue who Staub, Raines, Dawson and Carter are. I never saw them play either live or on TV.
Posted by: nunof1 | October 24, 2010 3:21 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 24, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Nexpos!

At this stage I'd be glad for a .500 season! Not holding my breath for a pennant any time soon.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | October 25, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

My post from yesterday afternoon might have come off as a little heavy-handed, but at least it prompted a little more discussion.

Posted by: BinM | October 25, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Adam, new post request.

All, the rumor that Vazquez is interested in the Nats is good news regardless whether they hire him or not. He should be interested in the Nats. He had a good 2009. He's not the #1 we need, but he's likely better than some of our #3, 4, 5's.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

While we wait for Nats news, here's one to ponder. In the last 22 years, three teams have made the World Series three or more times.

You surely guessed the Yankees. You probably got the Braves. The third team? Believe it or not, it's your San Francisco Giants.

Their three pennants -- in '89, '02, and '10 -- are more than any other team in that span, including the Sawx, the Phils, the Cards and the Jays.

That's one fine franchise that's under the radar.


Posted by: Drew8 | October 25, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch, there, Drew.
They take a lot of crap for some of their moves, but there they are, and here we are watching them.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Srsly, that's interesting, in that over that timespan, they've changed owners, ballparks, and GMs; it spans pre-, mid-, and post-Bonds.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 25, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

oh, and where's Bobo?
off beating his dog, probably.
This is for you, Bobo:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2WdcW0ZY4

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 25, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@bertbkatz
Great list of franchise moves, but you missed one: the 1901 AL had a Milwaukee team; in '02, that franchise became the St. Louis Browns.

A weird coincidence, both the MLB and NFL teams in Bal'mer used to be the Browns.

I, too, saw my first games at Griffith Stadium (check out www.griffithstadium.com to find out how hard it was to homer there before '56). What a toll it took on Goslin!

Yes, BinM, I'm with those who don't concern themselves with the Expos, but that doesn't mean I disrespect them. It's just not DC baseball. I doubt there are many Twins fans who think much about Walter Johnson, even though the film Little Big League took a stab at it.

The expansion Nats, by the way, did NOT suck for one year: 1969. Us old-timers will always have that.

Posted by: nats24 | October 26, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

10/26-----Thank you for your lack of coverage

Posted by: wellscats | October 26, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Always love when people complain they are not getting their money's worth on a free blog.

I'm torn on Willingham; a complementary piece but not a player you build a team, or an outfield, around. Still, assuming we lose Dunn, how many 'good guys' can a team lose without hurting the team mojo.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | October 26, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@nats24:
I was a Minnesota Twins fan for quite a while after the 1961 move, although the Senators did get my attention in 1969, the year they finished 10 games above .500.

(The Twins lost me when they traded Rod Carew to the Angels in the mid-1970's.)

Thanks for catching the Milwaukee-to-St. Louis move by the Browns in 1901.

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Drew8:

The Phillies had three pennants in that time span as well - '93, '08 and '09. They were trying to become the first NL team to go three years in a row since the Cardinals from '42 - '44.

Posted by: ResidentDC85 | October 26, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The A's move from Philadelphia to Kansas City was in 1955, not 1952. The Braves move was the first of the "modern" era.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | October 26, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Cosmo06 and and nats24. Here is the revised list of 20th century franchise moves:

The Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis in 1902.
The Baltimore Orioles moved to New York in 1903.
The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953.
The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954.
The Philadelphia A's moved to Kansas City in 1955.
The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1958.
The Washington Senators moved to Minneapolis - St. Paul in 1961.
The Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966.
The Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968.
The Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
The Washington Senators moved to Dallas - Ft. Worth in 1972.
And that was the last franchise move until the Montreal Expos moved to D. C. in 2005.

50 years without a franchise move (1903 - 1953) were followed by 19 years with 10 franchise moves (1953 - 1972). Two of those franchises moved twice (A's and Braves). 33 more years elapsed before the next franchise move (1972 - 2005).

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

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