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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 12/16/2010

UPDATED: Nationals agree to trade Josh Willingham to Athletics

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals have agreed to trade left fielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland A's for two young minor league players, a source familiar with the trade confirmed. In return for Willingham, the Nationals received reliever Henry Rodriguez, 23, and outfielder Corey Brown, 25. Rodriguez appeared in 29 major league games last season, while Brown reached Class AAA. The trade was first mentioned in a report by FoxSports.com.

The Nationals have been open to offers for Willingham all offseason. Willingham, 31, has one year remaining before becoming eligible for free agency for the first time. Willingham hoped to sign a multi-year extension and stay in Washington, but General Manager Mike Rizzo said in November the Nationals were not considering that.

In salary arbitration, Willingham will likely be granted a salary of roughly $6 million this season. Last year, Willingham earned $4.6 million in arbitration. The Nationals, in need of a first baseman and also looking to upgrade their rotation and bullpen, could divert Willingham's salary to other offseason needs. Willingham, a source said, would be open to an extension with the A's.

Last season, Willingham was a viable middle-of-the-order threat before a knee injury derailed his season. Willingham was hitting .281/.411/.502 (average/on-base/slugging) with 15 home runs in 281 at-bats. Shortly thereafter, he started feeling sharp pain in his left knee. He missed the final six weeks of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He has since fully healed.

In two years with the Nationals since arriving in an offseason trade from the Florida Marlins, Willingham hit .263 with a .377 on-base percentage and a .479 slugging percentage. Willingham blasted 40 home runs, surpassed among the Nationals only by Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn hit more for the Nationals over that time span.

With Willingham jettisoned, Roger Bernadina becomes the most likely candidate to play left field. Bernadina, 26, has tremendous raw ability and athleticism, but in his first full season last year he hit .246/.307/.384 with 11 home runs in 414 at-bats.

Three or four teams, including the Red Sox, called the Nationals during the winter meetings with interest in Willingham.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 16, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Salary dump = Phase 1.5

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If one of the prospects the Nats are trying to get is Chris Carter, the Nats could be set at 1B for years to come. Carter is a top 50 prospect, according to Baseball Americ, and projects to be solid at either First Base or the the outfield.

If the A's were willing to let him go in a deal for Willingham, along with say, a class A prospect, this could prove to be a really sweet deal.

Posted by: KenzAFan | December 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I predict two Double AA (Grabe B) pitchers, just like the Guzman trade.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Doubtful about Carter but he is an ex-Diamondback.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | December 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Grade B, that is.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Washington/Oakland have a deal in principal for Josh Willingham for two young players, one of whom has major league experience. Maybe it is Carter.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | December 16, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do we insist on giving away talent? Sorry Willingham you hit .281 and hit home runs. Didn't get into trouble (Nyjer Morgan & Elijah Dukes) , was a good locker room guy... SHIP HIM OUT!!! We can't possibly have an abundance of talent here... We need more prospects like we need more seating capacity at Nats Park.

Posted by: PNatsFan | December 16, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, now that they have Werth if they keep Willingham they'd be in danger of having too many OFs (2!) that can actually hit. This would be a great move, hopefully we can stock up on some more minor league pitchers.

Posted by: mike8 | December 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I would be stunned if it wasn't Tyson Ross. Got touched up during his cup of coffee (1-4, 5+ ERA) in 2010, but otherwise looks like a Rizzo guy:

6'-6", RHSP, 10.7k/9 at Sacramento last year, turns 24 in April.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I like Willingham but do check out his second half stats for the past 3 years...a decided drop-off in production. Rizzo has made it clear he's looking for multi-tool "athletes" so moving Willingham wouldn't be all that inconsistent with that plan. Let's see what's coming back before wringing all these hands if a deal for Willingham gets done.

Posted by: McKinley2 | December 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

A lot of possibilities.
beantown, Ross certainly does make sense.
If it's Chris Carter, I would think that they might pencil him into LF and not 1B.

Dealing away Willingham for pitching would indicate to me that Rizzo is confident in signing LaRoche. Speculating, he's got a solid 2 year offer out to LaRoche, and he's willing to up it if someone tops it, but he doesn't think he's gonna have to.

I like it when the hot stove heats up....

Posted by: Sunderland | December 16, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Carter would be an awesome addition. Could they be getting some prospects in order to bundle some players for a Greinke or Garza deal?

Posted by: mharman1 | December 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Why would they need to dump salary? At the moment they are around $25 million under their 2010 payroll even with Werth under contract. They could keep Willingham and add LaRoche and Pavano and still be in the same basic neighborhood as 2010 ... and we were led to believe they'd be increasing payroll.

Posted by: Bowdenball | December 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Blast Willy outta here! We finished in last place with him...we can finish in last place without him. I trust Riz to get younger and better in a hurry. Remember, gang, this is ALL ABOUT 2012.

Posted by: rdondero123 | December 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with PNatsFan: Nats have plenty of minor-league pitchers, most of whom are likely to be Lannan-types: good 4th starters. How about addressing the utter lack of 1 or 2 starters? This looks like a salary dump, to partially offset Werth. Why keep expensive, major league talent when you can get cheap, minor league potential!
As a fan, why am I supposed to be excited again? Oh, yeah, in '12 Nats might reach .500. Now THAT's cause for excitement!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

PNatsFan / nyskinsdiehard, it's odd to assume this is a salary dump and a bad deal. Wait until it materializes.
If, for example, we get Carter and a good prospect, that could be very nice. Salary controlled Carter for 6 years, who had a .994 OPS in AA in 2009 and a .894 OPS with 31 HR's in AAA in 2010. He plays both 1B and LF, could certainly be a better fielder and baserunner than Willingham.

Maybe Willingham is better in 2011.
But maybe Carter is better for a number of years.

It's a bit early to be ragging on this...

Posted by: Sunderland | December 16, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought the point of dealing Willingham was to get some immediate help in the form of starting pitching. If we're only getting minor leaguers and this is a cost-shaving measure then it's bs.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I hope Rizzo demanded genuine quality such as Carter and/or Cardenas. Cardenas is a near MLB ready middle infielder (SS). Just what the Royals reportedly want in exchange for Greinke. Stockpile a few guys, build a package of (Lannan/Detweiler, Norris, Cardenas, another A's prospect), and flip them to the royals. That way, you can keep Desmond and Espinosa out of the deal. If Rizzo can pull that off, its a big coup.

Posted by: gbr_huskers | December 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I second my old friend Bob. Rizzo is getting more and more questionable every day. What is the philosophy of this team? We used to know, it was get prospects, develop pitching.

Now it seems to have no reason at all.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Geez, such negativity. The Hot Stovers on this Nat's chat are in a bad mood. At least it's not scatology, homophobia, and bad grammar, as on the Redskins chat.

Willingham is the perfect piece to move, following the Rizzo Plan, Phase 2: Get faster, get better defensively. Home runs won't get you out of the basement (Bye-Bye Adam Dunn), but speed and pitching might. Wait and see what Santa puts under the Nats' tree before you start moaning about the 2011 lineup.

Posted by: eyestreet | December 16, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The positive take is to deal Willingham, pick up a prospect or two that may be included in a deal to Tampa for Garza.

That is the one outcome folks seem to ignore, that the prospects are merely ammunition for another deal.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

eyestreet is right, Geez Louise?

You don't even know who the two players are? I doubt that its Carter he is right handed and strikes out way too much. Goes for it all on every swing. Dropped from a top prospect down to 3 or 4 in the A's system. Marerro might be better offensively. Both are right handed hitters.

Look at their starting rotation last year and going into 2011. Mostly prospects they developed and unlike the Nats current crop with 1 exception actually thrived and did well!!! Even one of those guys would help the Nats dearth of SP!?

In that vein I do hope its all pitching and especially SP.

Rizzo plan is clear. NO soft tossers in the bullpen. Weren't you all griping about all the soft tossers just a year or so ago? Well Rizzo apparently agrees. He is building a bullpen full of nasty power arms. That's one part of your plan. If you don't like it why did you gripe so much about JD Martin et al because they are soft tossers?

The other part of the plan is building an athletic team with speed especially in the outfield and MI positions. Willingham doesn't fit that mold. Werth, Bernadina, and Harper do. Not sure Burgess fits either but Eury Perez certainly fits. Norris fits behind the plate.

Let the man do his job.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

It always amazes me how people can blast the trade before we know what we get.

I liked Hammer but his 2nd half injuries tended to bog him down; as anyone with a bad back knows you are just one sneeze away from weeks of pain.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 16, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Note to PnatsFan; I'd appreciate it if you would not compare Nyjer Morgan to Elijah Dukes Nyjer's only sin was going after a pitcher who took umbridge at Morgan's knocking their "all star" catcher out of the game the night before and decided to throw at Nyjer in retaliation. Elijah Dukes actually broke the law and was punished then he was a cut from this "talent laden" squad last spring training without so much as a reason. The only thing they have in common is their ethnicity and i don't think you want to go there.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't think they are "dumping" salary. They probably offered Cliff Lee more than Werth over five years. He made his choice for very different reasons than everyone expected. And so all should give the man his due for doing that. Right?

I think they are "dumping" players who aren't "athletic" at their positions. Or have too much of an injury history to be that effective in the field? Willingham was a catcher who had to change his position due to injury right from the get-go.

I am certain they would be happy to give a guy like Grienke or even a Garza a huge extension if they can prove they would be effective starters for the Nats. I am sure they will give Fielder a huge offer when he becomes a free agent next year.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Update says one with Major league experience. I hope it is Carter! This would be sweet.

Posted by: dorseylaw | December 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

i don't mind moving the hammer at this point (assuming we get good value here) but bernadina's sub .700 OPS would look a lot better in CF than LF.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | December 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Man, where's JayB when I'm finally getting blasted for being too cynical.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is a smart man. I've got to think there is more to this than meets the eye. Patience, this trade is probably only the beginning of whatever he has up his sleeve. Stay tuned!!

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who think this is a "salary dump" are stuck on stupid. Willingham doesn't fit the Rizzo philosophy.... He's somewhat of a liability in Left....put Bernadina there and our outfield defense is a lot better.... Willingham is a clog on the base paths as well.... If anyone paid attention to what Rizzo said at the meetings then it's obvious why they moved him....DUH!! If we get Carter in this? We have our first baseman for next 8-10 years.... Hit 34 homers last year.... since reports say one of the prospects played in the majors a bit last year then that tells me it's probably Carter.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How does a guy get $4.6 million in 2010 arbitration, have a sub par year, then potentially get $6 mill in salary arbitration for 2011. Sounds like a nice gig.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Looking at Carter's minor league stats and I see a lot of upside. BUT, I see very little proven ability, so I also see the accompanying downside. If we're into Phase 2, then why are we going back to a stockpiling prospects strategy?

Plus, defense, shmefense, you win a game by plating more runs than your opponent. Good fielding teams are easier to watch, because when they lose, you can't pin it all on one play. But that doesn't mean they're losing less.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There is no need for any negativity here. We don't even know who the players are.

Posted by: cr8oncsu | December 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@cokedispatch is right.

Let the man do his job. Didn't he warn you at the end of his letter that there would be more to come?

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

You can't look at this deal as a stand-alone. This is one of probably four or five major moves that will happen between now and Spring Training.

This allows the team to sign Adam LaRoche (or someone else if they got Carter).
Willingham had just one more year before free agency.

Mike Morse needs to be the new left-fielder. He hit 16 homers in 266 at-bats and looks a lot like Jayson Werth did four years ago. Morse and Werth could be the corner outfielders for the next five seasons.

Posted by: rushfari | December 16, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Carter is right handed and strikes out way too much right now. Can't see that happening in this trade.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Another 'band-aid removal' deal. Great guy, good numbers - but aging quickly (though he's not old) and injury prone. Need to get younger and tougher in the Hammer's place. Hurts for a second, but hopefully it's best for 2012, 2013 and on.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Can Morse play good defense? Debatable. They rave about Bernadina's range and arm. Morse reminds me of the typical Bowden guy.... Big, powerful, slow, suspect defense.... It's the same thing without all his guys - Wily Mo Pena, Dukes, Dunn, Willingham, Marrero, Milledge etc. All of ose guys have gaping holes in their game. Rizzo essentially slammed his fist on the table and said that's not the current philosophy

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

With Bernadina's bat in left you now have THREE left handed bats in the lineup with Espinosa and Morgan. The problem is Morgan and Bernadina can't hit left handed pitching.

If Morse ends up full time at first base (which he should looking at his 15 homers in 266 at bats which looks far better than Carter who is also right handed), and he hits for a higher average? In the majors right?

Its the full time left handed bat that they are missing. So, do you go with Bernadina and Morgan until Harper and Burgess are ready?

There are a lot of dependencies in this. One move allows the brain trust to consider other moves that were out of reach previously. And as the minor league season proceeds and players step it up and surpass their peers that becomes even more fluid.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Can Morse play good defense? Debatable.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 2:46 PM

It's left field

And I don't think this team has a first baseman or left fielder on the 25 man at the moment. More to come this winter, I'm sure...

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Periculum, since I call you out sometimes, I have to give you kudos here--your comments above are spot-on.

I'll repeat, I really think Rizzo is focusing on getting a few more guys that project as MLB #1 or #2 starting pitchers, and Oakland has several of those guys stockpiled. With Cahill and Anderson and others panning out, they can afford to move some of them. I really doubt it's Carter.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@Capitalist-1,

Morse as an ex-MLB shortstop who has played third base, second and first extensively in the minors? He might be gold glove at first base for all we know? He can't be that lacking in athleticism if he could play short stop for parts of 3 seasons. One can be fairly certain first base would be relatively easy for the guy?

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Salary dump! My God, why would anyone even vaguely think this is a salary dump. Willingham was with the Nats two years. The team didn't get much more than one year playing time from him. Good guy, sure. But it's time to move on. People are so negative, they begin complaining even before they know the results. It's not like Willingham (or Dunn) exactly led the Nats to greater things.
There is nothing in the approach Rizzo and the Lerners are taking now that indicate a salary dump. But there is an obvious trend towards more athletic, good defensive players and I believe that is the right way to go.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I am 100% willing to be patient but with the O's about to sign LaRoche, I just hope we find a 1B. And I hope we lost out to the O's on purpose.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | December 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If it's not Carter then it's probably Tyson Ross..... He has a load of talent.... Pitched a few games for the A's last year.... Big power arm ... Hits the mid 90s.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

mlbtr reporting that the Orioles are closing in on a deal with LaRoache...

Posted by: TimDz | December 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

blO's to sign LaRoche?

if so, we're down to Derrek Lee or misc scraps.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | December 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Could be a bidding war with Baltimore for LaRoche - juicy...

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'll miss the ole Hammer, layin down some smackum yackum~

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 16, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Capitalist-1: Agreed on Ross. Total Rizzo body type: 6'-6" and 225 lbs. I would consider this a positive trade if he's in the deal.

Since the LaRoche report came from AOL Fanhouse and is only "closing in on," we should probably read it with some healthy skepticism. It's practically a public offering for final bids.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

There is a rumor the player with major league experience is power arm pitcher Henry Rodriguez, 23 years old, 1-0, 4.55 ERA, 33 Ks in 27 innings last year.

Posted by: Natzfan | December 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Since the LaRoche report came from AOL Fanhouse and is only "closing in on," we should probably read it with some healthy skepticism. It's practically a public offering for final bids.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 16, 2010 3:12 PM

Yeah, no (even close to) reputable source on that yet

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

May be late to this: A's message boards say the two players are Corey Brown and Henry Rodriguez. I know nothing about Brown. HRod appears to be a hard-throwing bullpen option.

Posted by: trezmartin | December 16, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Loved to watch the Hammer (when he was healthy). Will never forget that double grand slam! Thanks Josh. You are a class act whom I wish well (except when you oppose us). That said, I am with those who say we need to wait and see what we get, and what it may bring in future trades, rather than go all negative on this.

But we still need a 1B and SP...

Posted by: NatsFly | December 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

That LaRoche to the Orioles report on MLBTR comes from AOL FanHouse. IIRC, those are the same guys who had Dunn imminently signing with the Tigers last month.

And oh, what a surprise. Look what I just found on MLBTR:

2:13pm: An Orioles source suggests to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that the sides aren't close to a deal (Twitter link).

Posted by: FeelWood | December 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

...and now Rosenthal is saying Rizzo is about to re-sign Wang. Crazy day!

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

LaRoche or give Morse a chance.

At least the Nats didn't go after Overbay - I thought there was a chance they could want him since Rizzo values defense so much.

Posted by: Pensfans | December 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Before anyone gets too dejected about LaRoche we need to remember that he struck out over 170 times last year. That's a glaring lack of contact - makes him a #6 hitter at best. Definitely NOT the long term answer...

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This Carter that is being tossed around, is it the same one who the Nats "had" for a second in that 3-way trade a couple years back?

Posted by: dclifer97 | December 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Brown and Rodriguez were the A's 12th and 13th-rated prospects going into 2010 as determined by Baseball America. Rodriguez is a reliever with a power arm that could be closer material if he can improve his control. Brown is a CF with some pop but some think he will end up in RF (sound familiar?). Possibly some attitude issues (laid back). Also, he just turned 25.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

natinbeantown: because we like the international press corps contingent? Crazy day indeed.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 16, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

This is not a stand-alone move, no matter who they get. If they don't get major league ready talent, it leaves the same questions unresolved.

Perhaps they are willing to go with a platoon of Morse and Bernadina in LF. But, assuming they add a free agent to play 1B (let's say LaRoche), so far they've added Werth and LaRoche in place of Dunn and Willingham. That's not really much of an improvement, if at all, perhaps only defensively.

This seems to set the stage for other moves: perhaps a trade featuring prospects to get an OF or 1B or a starting pitcher. Or it just frees up a spot for a free agent, either 1B or OF. The only thing I can read from this trade is that more moves are coming.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 16, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore Sun writer...
http://twitter.com/danconnollysun

"Orioles are still pursuing Adam LaRoche, but there's nothing imminent on that front right now"

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Answered my own question. A different Chris Carter.

Posted by: dclifer97 | December 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

According to Ladson: I was just informed that 1B Chris Carter is not part of the Willingham deal. I hope to get more later.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

A different Chris Carter.

Posted by: dclifer97 | December 16, 2010 3:32 PM

The wide receiver? ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Listed as top prospect #6. Corey Brown Left handed OF / Brown has a nice blend of power and speed. He is a solid defender, and his walk rate seems to get better each year, too. But his strikeout rate is worrisome, and he looked lost at times against Triple-A pitching last year.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

So no Carter, MLB rumours reports The Nationals get right-hander Henry Rodriguez and minor league outfielder Corey Brown, according to Rosenthal (on Twitter). Baseball America didn't rank either player among Oakland's top ten prospects earlier in the month. However, Brown and Rodriguez ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, when BA ranked the Athletics' prospects heading into the 2010 season.

Posted by: bromisky | December 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Good. Willingham was the answer to nothing. Neither is Morgan. Nor LaRoche. Each one a dime a dozen or in current baseball terms, only 30 - 40 million a dozen. Espinoza also unimpressive. The Nats need more than Zim and Werth. So, we're currently set at catcher, third, short, and right. We need first, two outfielders, and a second baseman.

Posted by: greendayer | December 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Corey Brown had 11 triples and 15 home runs between AA and AAA. Last year was his first year in AAA. Ended up batting only .193 in AAA. Might be a left handed Justin Maxwell? First round pick in 2007.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well if it's Rodriguez then we get a reliever who can crank it up to 100mph.... That should put the fear of God into the Phillies! On another note, in reading Riggleman's comments it seems that the Nats will platoon Morgan and Morse... With Werth moving to CF when Morse plays (he'll be in RF)... And Werth playing RF when Morgan plays. I hate that idea but it seems that's where we're headed. Morse could also spell Bernadina once and awhile against lefties. The problem with Morse is that he caves against tough pitching - almost useless.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Phase 0.9

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN

"Heard this: Adam LaRoche is looking for a three-year deal"

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I think its obvious that Rizzo is cashing in on Willingham while he is a hot commodity. What if we kept him one more year and he again has a 2nd half slump or gets injured again? That;s his MO so far in his career (happened in Florida as well). He won't be worth as much later in the year if that happens. Trade him now, get some young arms. For those of you who think we don't need anymore pitchers, wake up! You saw what has happened with Zimmermann, Detwiler and STRABURG! The more pitchers you have, the better chance you have of developing pitching from with in. That fills out your pitching staff and allows you to make trades for missing pieces when you are on the cusp.

BY the way...Can this Carter kid play good Defense?

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Corey Brown struck out 107 times in less than 350 ABs in the minors. Some prospect.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, we'll have to wait and see, but I'm not willing to give the Nats the benefit of the doubt on any trade they make. Oakland has proven through the years that they know what they are doing. The Nats have not.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry but trading a know commodity like Willingham for a couple of players not even name is crazy. Two years ago they got rid of Nick Johnson for players that nobody knows nothing about.

I think this is embarrassing getting nothing for a good player. Yes it's probably a way of saving his salary but he had a good two years as a National and shouldn't be treated like yesterday's newspaper.

This is sickening and makes no sense Mr. Rizzo.

Posted by: Golfersal | December 16, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Two years ago they got rid of Nick Johnson for players that nobody knows nothing about.

Posted by: Golfersal | December 16, 2010 3:46 PM

They took a deadline day flyer on a minor league pitcher (Aaron Thompson - former first round pick), who has not really panned out. Big deal - I love Nick Johnson but he played in 24 games last season.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone think the A's would give up their number one prospect for Willingham? That makes no sense whatsoever. Rodriquez and Brown make sense and sound like a pretty good deal as well.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Well Rodriguez has a very good shot of making the roster.... He's out of Venezuela and can Jack it up to 100mph but has learned to instead focus on command, sitting at 94-95 with late life up in the zone. Combine Rodriguez withe the Rodriguez we got in the Rule 5 draft and that's two studs who can really bring it into our bullpen. As for Brown he's a Rizzo guy.... 5 tool talent... Has potential to do it all. He can play all three outfield positions.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone think the A's would give up their number one prospect for Willingham?

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 16, 2010 3:53 PM

Fans always think that their players are worth way more than their actual value.

Unrelated to Hammer, fans also think that any of their poor performing players can be flipped for good players.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I love Nick Johnson but he played in 24 games last season.
Posted by: Kev29

Haha! I loved Nick as well, but he's a walking MASH unit. Glad we got something. You never know when former high pick pops up years later to have some worth.

And to those who are crying about how defense doesn't win games? Yeah, it does. Think of the innings that should have been over last year that were kept alive by errors. Then think about how many runs were scored after the innings were kept alive. Better defense means less runs scored. Look it up. Stop being a doofus.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals have agreed to trade left fielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland A's for two young minor league players, a source familiar with the trade confirmed. In return for Willingham, the Nationals received reliever Henry Rodriguez, 23, and outfielder Corey Brown, 25.
_____________________________________

I hate to break it to the Nationals, but 25 IS NOT YOUNG IN TERMS OF PROSPECTS. How many All-Stars didn't crack the Bigs until they were 25? There is a reason he is in fact a "minor league player".

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

After signing Jason Werth, this deal is about dollars.

Posted by: bstrauss0913 | December 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

...and no sense.

Posted by: JamWhitt | December 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Major leaguers who are 23 and 25 are young.

Minor leaguers who are 23 and 25 are NOT young.

Posted by: breth | December 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Major leaguers who are 23 and 25 are young.

Minor leaguers who are 23 and 25 are NOT young.

Posted by: breth | December 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. One less reason to go to Nats games next year.

Posted by: pirate1 | December 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Rizzo couldn't have gotten more from the Red Sox. But apparently they said he was aiming way too high.

Posted by: JamWhitt | December 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard didn't start until they were 25 or 26.Warren Spahn won his first game at age 25.

Posted by: seanmg | December 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This a good deal. Josh Willingham is easy to like on the surface but he is not the answer for a winning team. He's a poor defender, getting up there in age and injury prone. Happy the Nats were able to get what they got. With Dunn and Willingham gone I can't help but think the team ERA is going to drop by a half a run a game.

Posted by: ouvan59 | December 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't like this trade unless Rizzo has something else up his sleeve. We are losing hitters when we only had a few and were at the bottom of the league in scoring last year. No matter how much pitching we get, how many 2-1 games will we lose now.

Posted by: stephenwilson2003@yahoo.com | December 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't like this trade unless Rizzo has something else up his sleeve. We are losing hitters when we only had a few and were at the bottom of the league in scoring last year. No matter how much pitching we get, how many 2-1 games will we lose now.
------------------------------------
We will lose fewer as long as we don't make 3 errors a game and we have people that can run and catch the ball.

A number of teams in the playoffs last year couldn't hit and couldn't score.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | December 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Donk and Hammer gone, Werth in. Hey RZ, how's your dream 3-4-5 looking now?

The Nats will generate little offense in 2011. On the Stink-O-Meter, they just went from a 10 to a 15.

Good luck, Josh, you are a class act.

Posted by: howjensen | December 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The Shark will definitely help the Nats in left field. Bernadina is going to have a breakout season

Posted by: terrycalcium | December 22, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

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