OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - The Oakland Athletics suddenly have a lineup that could make them a contender in the AL West _ if the oft-injured A’s stay healthy, of course.
Oakland acquired outfielder Josh Willingham on Thursday from the Washington Nationals, who received a pair of prospects in the trade.
“I think this team is ready to win,” said Willingham, who expected to be dealt during the recent winter meetings. “And the organization, with the moves it has already made this offseason, proves it is ready to win also.”
Willingham batted .268 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs last season, his second with Washington after five years with Florida.
The A’s hit just 109 homers and scored 663 runs last season, their second-fewest in the last 28 non-strike seasons.
“We think we’re better,” Beane said. “If anything, it’s a deeper lineup with more balance, too.”
The 31-year-old Willingham finished last season on the 60-day disabled list as he recovered from surgery on his left knee. He was sidelined after Aug. 15 and played 114 games, 108 of those in left field.
While Oakland pursued Willingham earlier this offseason, trade talks took off in the 48 hours before the deal got done.
Willingham’s agent, Matt Sosnick, said his player would be “very open” to talking to Oakland about a contract extension. Beane said he would soon begin conversations with Sosnick regarding Willingham’s future but declined to elaborate.
Washington said the 23-year-old Rodriguez threw a pitch at 103.2 mph in 2010, when he went 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA in 29 appearances for Oakland. He had 11 saves and a 1.69 ERA in 20 appearances at Triple-A Sacramento. The 25-year-old Brown hit a combined .283 with 15 homers, 11 triples, 69 RBIs and 22 steals in 131 games at Sacramento and Double-A Midland.
It’s been a busy week for Beane to say the least.
The A’s formally introduced Matsui as their new designated hitter Tuesday and have agreed to terms on a contract with right-hander Rich Harden, pending a physical.View Entire Story
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