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Article: Josh Willingham Traded To Royals for Minor League Pitcher

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:29 PM

The Minnesota Twins have announced that they have traded Josh Willingham to the Kansas City Royals for 23-year-old minor league pitcher Jason Adam.

Adam was promoted to AAA last month after making 18 starts at AA, striking out 89 in 98.1 IP and walking 30 en route to a 5.03 ERA. In AAA, he has served solely as a reliever, posting a 2.35 ERA in 8 games, striking out 11 in 15 innings. He was a 5th round pick for the Royals in 2010. Prior to the season, the 6’4” right-hander still projected as a possible middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, albeit one who has struggled with his command, resulting in some very high hit rates. He was ranked as the 9th best prospect in the Royals system by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to the season. He will report to AA-New Britain with the Twins and will return to starting.Josh Willingham signed with the Twins prior to the 2012 season, ostensibly to fill the gap left by the departure of Michael Cuddyer. Initially, his 3 year/$21 million contract looked like a bargain. His right-handed pull swing seemed well-suited for Target Field as he slugged 35 home runs and won his first career Silver Slugger Award. But the next two years were plagued by injuries and sluggish performance. He hit just .208 last year with 14 home runs in 2013. This year, he has 12 home runs and a .210 batting average after a prolonged slump in late June and early July, albeit with a .345 on-base percentage. In his last game with the Twins, he hit a two-run home run, extending the Twins lead to 4-1 in a 6-1 win over the Athletics.

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#2 Thegrin

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:31 PM

Goodbye Hammer.  I am glad you got that last Home Run. :)

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#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:35 PM

MLBtraderumors on Adam:

The return for Willingham is not insignificant, which is a fair achievement for Minnesota given that the pending free agent was claimed (leaving the Twins without leverage to deal with multiple trade partners). Adam, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2010. He has scuffled somewhat in the upper minors as a starter (5.13 ERA in 242 1/3 Double-A innings), but has had some success at Triple-A this year in a relief role (2.35 ERA over 15 1/3 frames). Baseball America rated him Kansas City’s 9th-best prospect coming  into the year, saying he has a solid heater and average slider but will need to develop a go-to third offering (change or curve) in order to succeed against lefties at the next level. MLB.com also rated him in the ninth slot among KC prospects entering the year, but dropped him to 16th in its mid-season update. Ultimately, Adam represents a controllable depth piece for a Minnesota club that already picked up young starter Tommy Milone earlier this summer.

 

http://www.mlbtrader...willingham.html

 

Seems like a solid trade for us. 

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#4 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:35 PM

I was honestly warming to the idea of keeping Willingham. I mean the guys hitting a game winning HR every couple weeks or so.

#5 Dman

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:48 PM

It is a good depth pickup for KC and they didn't give up anything significant to get him. Also it takes away a homerun threat when they play the Twins. Twins get yet another bullpen arm. Maybe they can help him get his mojo back to start. It is a good trade for the Twins as they free up space for others to play and get someone with potential as well. I guess it's a win, win.
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#6 Thrylos

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:50 PM

MLBtraderumors on Adam:

The return for Willingham is not insignificant, which is a fair achievement for Minnesota given that the pending free agent was claimed (leaving the Twins without leverage to deal with multiple trade partners). Adam, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2010. He has scuffled somewhat in the upper minors as a starter (5.13 ERA in 242 1/3 Double-A innings), but has had some success at Triple-A this year in a relief role (2.35 ERA over 15 1/3 frames). Baseball America rated him Kansas City’s 9th-best prospect coming  into the year, saying he has a solid heater and average slider but will need to develop a go-to third offering (change or curve) in order to succeed against lefties at the next level. MLB.com also rated him in the ninth slot among KC prospects entering the year, but dropped him to 16th in its mid-season update. Ultimately, Adam represents a controllable depth piece for a Minnesota club that already picked up young starter Tommy Milone earlier this summer.

 

http://www.mlbtrader...willingham.html

 

Seems like a solid trade for us. 

 

Not sure where MLB Trade rumors got that bit about Adam, but he is not throwing a slider.  BA had some stuff from the AFL in 2013 on the topic too.  Mid 90s fastball (four seamer) as a starter, plus curve, average change.  Good control with all 3 pitches. Fly ball pitcher.  If he develops a decent change he might be a starter.  The other two pitches are fine for a pen. 

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#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:52 PM

Looks like they moved him to the pen with a promotion to AAA, so far so good on the experiment but nothing notable.  Just solid production.


#8 whosafraidofluigirussolo

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:53 PM

Getting Adam as the trade return at first glance looks a bit like getting Gilmartin for Doumit last offseason. A pitching prospect who's fallen off the map a bit and could be tweaked or coached back closer to his upside. Since Gilmartin is doing decently this year I'm interested to see the results of this one too.

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#9 stringer bell

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:54 PM

Here is a list of 2014 Twins no longer in the organization and their ages:

Kendrys Morales (31)
Sam Fuld (32)
Jason Kubel (32)
Darrin Mastroianni (28)
Jason Bartlett (34)
Kevin Correia (33)
Josh Willingham (35)

This is the right direction to go. It might be bumpy for a while, but the kids need to play. I would have appreciated such moves a year ago.

Edited by stringer bell, 11 August 2014 - 05:55 PM.

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#10 jokin

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:55 PM

 Twins get yet another bullpen arm.

 

Nope. The Twins are sending him right to New Britain and back into the starting rotation.  The kid is still very young, still a good chance to resume an SP career path.  Good trade for TR.

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#11 jokin

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:57 PM

Here is a list of 2014 Twins no longer in the organization and their ages:

Kendrys Morales (31)
Sam Fuld (32)
Jason Kubel (32)
Darrin Mastroianni (28)
Jason Bartlett (34)
Kevin Correia (33)
Josh Willingham (35)

This is the right direction to go. It might be bumpy for a while, but the kids need to play. I would have appreciated such moves a year ago.

 

 

Good moves, but miles to go before they sleep. You're right that this process should have started sooner, but I really like that the Twins acquired and flipped Morales and Fuld, well-played TR!.  Pryor seems to be shaping up in Rochester ("currently topping out at 95 MPH"), and Milone is a young and solid back-rotation guy that should project well at TF.  Still some more, older deadwood that needs thnning.  Let's see if TR has some more magic up his sleeve.

Edited by jokin, 11 August 2014 - 06:00 PM.

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#12 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:58 PM

One homerun every 18.7 at bats should come in handy for KC.


#13 Sconnie

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

Similar to KC, he adequately filled a void, but now I'm happy to go young.
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#14 Dman

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

Nope. The Twins are sending him right to New Britain and back into the starting rotation.  The kid is still very young, still a good chance to resume an SP career path.  Good trade for TR.


Cool, hope he does well. He is young so a little patience could go a long way. But I like the potential of a lot of the guys we have coming up better. Hopefully he figures it out with us.

#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:12 PM

Throws 95, could start, just 23 in AA... I'll take that any day. That's all I need to know. Good deal!

 

And, good for Willingham. I really do hope that he does great the rest of this season and gets to play in the playoffs. 

 

I remember at Twins Fest two years ago (after his big year), I was up in the clubhouse area where players were between signings, etc. I am sure I looked lost and Willingham came over to me, shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Josh Willingham." I think a couple of seconds later, I said, "I'm Seth Stohs." Inside, I was thinking, "Yeah you are!" Dude wasn't that tall, but he was huge, such huge arms. But, just a great impression for me. However, I saw that he would go up to all of the minor leaguers who were at Twins Fest to sign and introduce himself as well. Seems to be a great man with a great family. The injuries have really hurt him which is too bad. 

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#16 kab21

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:20 PM

Here is a list of 2014 Twins no longer in the organization and their ages:

Kendrys Morales (31)
Sam Fuld (32)
Jason Kubel (32)
Darrin Mastroianni (28)
Jason Bartlett (34)
Kevin Correia (33)
Josh Willingham (35)

This is the right direction to go. It might be bumpy for a while, but the kids need to play. I would have appreciated such moves a year ago.

 

Willy is different than the rest of the players on this list.  He is actually a decent MLB player.  KC isn't bad but the Twins have a few remotely interesting players to toss into the rotation for the last month. 

 

Trading Willy basically guarantees that Parmelee gets every day AB's.  Outside of 13 game hot month this year he has been decidedly mediocre in every opportunity as a Twin.  I don't have a problem trading Willy but I find it rather uninspiring if they are going to replace his AB's with more of Parmelee/Nunez/AAAA players.

 

Adam is at least interesting but he probably ends up in the bullpen next year.  I wouldn't be surprised if he is in the rotation because the Twins want to see him throw more 5 competitive innings before the season ends.  It's hard to get a read on a guy if he throws < 100 pitches competitively.

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I look forward to the day that a pitching prospect is truly blocked by good pitchers.


#17 John Bonnes

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:24 PM

This is a better return than I would have expected at the trade deadline, let alone in August. Ryan has cleared a lot of chaff and bolstered the pitching depth too. Really nice.
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#18 Brandon

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

So we have:

Millone

Pryor

Adams

PTBNL

and savings of 7-7.5 million plus opens some spots for young players. 

 

for

Morales

Fuld

Willingham

Corriea

 

With the Twins headed in a downward spiral thee moves makes sense.  If they would have been competitive and been around .500 then not necessarily. 

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#19 DocBauer

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:50 PM

A nice pickup to be sure. I don't care what team you are talking about, if you can aquire what is, or recently was, a top 10 listed prospect for an aging and decling player who is out of contract and doesn't fit in with your next season, you've done really well. Living in Omaha, I hear quite a bit about the Royals. They've actually had several pitching prospects, well regarded and rated, who have struggled to fulfill their potential. Who knows how this will turn out, but a great return. And a change of scenery could do wonders for him.

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#20 stringer bell

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

Willy is different than the rest of the players on this list.  He is actually a decent MLB player.  KC isn't bad but the Twins have a few remotely interesting players to toss into the rotation for the last month. 
 
Trading Willy basically guarantees that Parmelee gets every day AB's.  Outside of 13 game hot month this year he has been decidedly mediocre in every opportunity as a Twin.  I don't have a problem trading Willy but I find it rather uninspiring if they are going to replace his AB's with more of Parmelee/Nunez/AAAA players.
 
Adam is at least interesting but he probably ends up in the bullpen next year.  I wouldn't be surprised if he is in the rotation because the Twins want to see him throw more 5 competitive innings before the season ends.  It's hard to get a read on a guy if he throws < 100 pitches competitively.

It may be that Parm only gets at-bats for three weeks. It is possible that someone now in the minor leagues will get outfield at-bats. The team will need to determine whether they have to go outside the organization for next year.

#21 kab21

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:58 PM

It may be that Parm only gets at-bats for three weeks. It is possible that someone now in the minor leagues will get outfield at-bats. The team will need to determine whether they have to go outside the organization for next year.

Who?  Hicks?  Rosario?  Buxton?

 

Hicks is the only one that is even an option this year imo.

I look forward to the day that a pitching prospect is truly blocked by good pitchers.


#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:33 PM

Another nice pickup by Ryan. Damn, the dude can wheel and deal. I had given up hope on getting anything for Willingham.

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#23 Trov

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:34 PM

The moves TR is making is reminding me of the late 90's moves he made that helped bring a nice run of years, all be it no world series rings.  Trading away vets for young fringe prospects.  Remember trading Roberto Kelly for Mays, or Dave Hollins for Ortiz.  We are stock piling pitching prospects throughout the system, which can always be traded for position players in the future if needed, but really are needed for the depth because it seems no starter can go a year without missing at least a week here or there.

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#24 drjim

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:52 PM

Who? Hicks? Rosario? Buxton?

Hicks is the only one that is even an option this year imo.


I would assume Hicks is up as soon as Rochester is out of the playoffs.
Papers...business papers.

#25 drjim

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:57 PM

Here is a list of 2014 Twins no longer in the organization and their ages:

Kendrys Morales (31)
Sam Fuld (32)
Jason Kubel (32)
Darrin Mastroianni (28)
Jason Bartlett (34)
Kevin Correia (33)
Josh Willingham (35)

This is the right direction to go. It might be bumpy for a while, but the kids need to play. I would have appreciated such moves a year ago.


They didn't have the kids ready to make such moves possible last year.

Timing was finally right and depth was there to start moving on from the veterans.

I still think it is quite underrated how well Ryan has rebuilt the depth of the organization and these recent moves are the fruit of that. They can start being more strategic rather than constantly scrambling just to field a representative team. Obviously not there yet but moving in the right direction.
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Papers...business papers.

#26 mike wants wins

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:24 PM

Another nice trade. Doesn't fix the world, but a winning trade nonetheless. Impressed they got a player for him, frankly.
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What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#27 Shane Wahl

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:51 PM

This is exactly the kind of guy to be happy about in exchange for Willingham. Great job shedding some aging players this year!

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#28 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:18 PM

Willingham deserves a shot at the playoffs, hope he and the royals can make it.

Nice get in return, maybe he becomes the next Pino/Swarzak type for this team which does have some nice value at a minimum contract.
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#29 Monkeypaws

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:36 PM

This is a better return than I would have expected at the trade deadline, let alone in August. Ryan has cleared a lot of chaff and bolstered the pitching depth too. Really nice.

This sums up my thinking as well.

 

Who needs a stinking trade deadline when you can get real live prospecrts like this for guys that are on their final legs here.


#30 TKGuy

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:50 PM

As much as we are not seeing it at Target Field, the minor league system has really been built back to the normal TR standards
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