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Why we need to trade Josh Willingham this offseason.

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#1 Forever34

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

To the casual fan this probably seems crazy. But since there are clearly no casuals here my point should be understood. This is my first post so for all I know this conversation has already been had.

1. He's having a career year at the age of 33. It's unlikely that he can repeat or better the numbers he's putting up next year or in the future. Yes, you could have said the exact same thing when we signed him but in this case it is better for Terry Ryan to cash in his chips while he is ahead.

2. While this might technically be an extension of #1, his trade value has never and will never be higher. If we want to get something of good to great value (like a top of the rotation starter or competent middle infielder) in return now is our chance. We clearly have holes and he is one of our best pieces available to fill them.

3. Our minor league system is overflowing with OF talent. Half of our top 20 prospects at the beginning of this season where OF, then we went and drafted Buxton and traded for that Pinero guy. On top of that some of the premeir prospects are finally producing at a rate that warrants the hype (I'm looking at you Aaron Hicks). While the guys in Rochester aren't the most exciting group overall every level below looks like an All-Star team of OF talent. We have three good guys manning the big open space at Target Field now and I've liked what I've seen from Mastroianni in limited duty. Not only do we have the talent to potentially replace him, the longer we have no OF spots available in the big leagues the longer all those guys will have to wait to get a well deserved promotion.

4. He is a bit of a liability on defense. It's no secret that our starting rotation sucks. All the promising pieces we have and those in the minors that have a realistic chance of helping in 2013 are not strikeout pitchers. Therefore if we want to keep runs off the board we can't have holes in the field. 2 of the 3 current pieces can cover a ton of ground and most of the prospects seem to have that ability as well. Plus if we can move Revere to LF his weak arm won't be such an issue.

5. HRs and RBIs are great and all but he strikes out way too often. So far he's done a good job of protecting Mauer, but if he can't consistently get hits and walks how much protection will he be in the future? Say there are two outs and Revere gets a hit then steals 2nd. What's to keep teams from walking Joe just to get to Willingham? Keep in mind how unlikely it is for him to maintain his current HR, RBI, and OPS in the future.

6. We wouldn't have to listen to "Your Love" by The Outfield 2-3 times a game anymore. There have been three season at Target Field. In the first we ran away with the Central. In the second Danny Valencia chose that song for his walk-up music and we lost 99 games. This season Willingham rotates that with "Sweet Home Alabama" and we are potentially a 90 loss last place team again. I'm not saying it's the songs fault. Okay yes I am.

#2 Riverbrian

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:42 PM

To the casual fan this probably seems crazy. But since there are clearly no casuals here my point should be understood. This is my first post so for all I know this conversation has already been had.

1. He's having a career year at the age of 33. It's unlikely that he can repeat or better the numbers he's putting up next year or in the future. Yes, you could have said the exact same thing when we signed him but in this case it is better for Terry Ryan to cash in his chips while he is ahead.

2. While this might technically be an extension of #1, his trade value has never and will never be higher. If we want to get something of good to great value (like a top of the rotation starter or competent middle infielder) in return now is our chance. We clearly have holes and he is one of our best pieces available to fill them.

3. Our minor league system is overflowing with OF talent. Half of our top 20 prospects at the beginning of this season where OF, then we went and drafted Buxton and traded for that Pinero guy. On top of that some of the premeir prospects are finally producing at a rate that warrants the hype (I'm looking at you Aaron Hicks). While the guys in Rochester aren't the most exciting group overall every level below looks like an All-Star team of OF talent. We have three good guys manning the big open space at Target Field now and I've liked what I've seen from Mastroianni in limited duty. Not only do we have the talent to potentially replace him, the longer we have no OF spots available in the big leagues the longer all those guys will have to wait to get a well deserved promotion.

4. He is a bit of a liability on defense. It's no secret that our starting rotation sucks. All the promising pieces we have and those in the minors that have a realistic chance of helping in 2013 are not strikeout pitchers. Therefore if we want to keep runs off the board we can't have holes in the field. 2 of the 3 current pieces can cover a ton of ground and most of the prospects seem to have that ability as well. Plus if we can move Revere to LF his weak arm won't be such an issue.

5. HRs and RBIs are great and all but he strikes out way too often. So far he's done a good job of protecting Mauer, but if he can't consistently get hits and walks how much protection will he be in the future? Say there are two outs and Revere gets a hit then steals 2nd. What's to keep teams from walking Joe just to get to Willingham? Keep in mind how unlikely it is for him to maintain his current HR, RBI, and OPS in the future.

6. We wouldn't have to listen to "Your Love" by The Outfield 2-3 times a game anymore. There have been three season at Target Field. In the first we ran away with the Central. In the second Danny Valencia chose that song for his walk-up music and we lost 99 games. This season Willingham rotates that with "Sweet Home Alabama" and we are potentially a 90 loss last place team again. I'm not saying it's the songs fault. Okay yes I am.


Nice Post... I agree with you... If Willingham would fetch a top line pitcher. By All Means.

Seriously Did Valencia use Your Love as a walk up song. Another example of his cluelessness. Your Love is by a Group called "The Outfield" and Danny Valencia played a substandard Third Base.

#3 70charger

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:45 PM

Reason #6 is the best one.

Actually, since everything is a gamble anyway, I'd prefer to gamble on Willingham for at least one more season. Saying that his value will never be higher discounts the idea that he may stay healthy next year too. In 2011, he hit a career-high 29 home runs; in 2012 so far, he's at 30. Clearly, Target Field agrees with him. So not only would trading him now deprive us of his pop next year, it might also mean that we sold before the peak. Hell, trade deadline 2014 might be the best, who knows?

I understand not wanting to ride the Willingham rollercoaster back down to the bottom, but there's no guarantee he's going to get hurt or underperform next year. And if he does, I can at least look back on the decision to keep him and feel okay with it being the best choice at the time.

#4 nokomismod

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

I agree too. Try to trade Span and Willingham or go the other route and add 2 good free agent pitchers.

Yes, his two walkup songs are truly awful. I like Doumit's shout out to the devil with his choice of Danzig. Capp's the Final Countdown was truly awesome also.

#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

We do have some solid OF prospects but none are really set to replace his power RH bat. I think the Twins would trade Willingham but only if they are over whelmed - ML ready starter and top prospects kind of deal. Otherwise, go into 2013 and you can trade him at the deadline. Even if he isn't putting up the same numbers next year, he's salary would keep him appealing to most teams.

I still think Ryan will move Span this offseason and try to cobble together some starters and keep the middle of this lineup intact.

#6 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:02 PM

To the casual fan this probably seems crazy. But since there are clearly no casuals here my point should be understood. This is my first post so for all I know this conversation has already been had.

1. He's having a career year at the age of 33. It's unlikely that he can repeat or better the numbers he's putting up next year or in the future. Yes, you could have said the exact same thing when we signed him but in this case it is better for Terry Ryan to cash in his chips while he is ahead.

2. While this might technically be an extension of #1, his trade value has never and will never be higher. If we want to get something of good to great value (like a top of the rotation starter or competent middle infielder) in return now is our chance. We clearly have holes and he is one of our best pieces available to fill them.

3. Our minor league system is overflowing with OF talent. Half of our top 20 prospects at the beginning of this season where OF, then we went and drafted Buxton and traded for that Pinero guy. On top of that some of the premeir prospects are finally producing at a rate that warrants the hype (I'm looking at you Aaron Hicks). While the guys in Rochester aren't the most exciting group overall every level below looks like an All-Star team of OF talent. We have three good guys manning the big open space at Target Field now and I've liked what I've seen from Mastroianni in limited duty. Not only do we have the talent to potentially replace him, the longer we have no OF spots available in the big leagues the longer all those guys will have to wait to get a well deserved promotion.

4. He is a bit of a liability on defense. It's no secret that our starting rotation sucks. All the promising pieces we have and those in the minors that have a realistic chance of helping in 2013 are not strikeout pitchers. Therefore if we want to keep runs off the board we can't have holes in the field. 2 of the 3 current pieces can cover a ton of ground and most of the prospects seem to have that ability as well. Plus if we can move Revere to LF his weak arm won't be such an issue.

5. HRs and RBIs are great and all but he strikes out way too often. So far he's done a good job of protecting Mauer, but if he can't consistently get hits and walks how much protection will he be in the future? Say there are two outs and Revere gets a hit then steals 2nd. What's to keep teams from walking Joe just to get to Willingham? Keep in mind how unlikely it is for him to maintain his current HR, RBI, and OPS in the future.

6. We wouldn't have to listen to "Your Love" by The Outfield 2-3 times a game anymore. There have been three season at Target Field. In the first we ran away with the Central. In the second Danny Valencia chose that song for his walk-up music and we lost 99 games. This season Willingham rotates that with "Sweet Home Alabama" and we are potentially a 90 loss last place team again. I'm not saying it's the songs fault. Okay yes I am.


While I wouldn't gripe about Willingham being traded, I wouldn't like it at the moment. I'll try to go short and sweet and play DA.

1/2. It's not like he's going to jump off a cliff. I think other teams take into consideration more than one year of play. He's been a good player for a while now and trading him next deadline might be better if the Twins don't view themselves as contenders.

3. None of the Outfield prospects are ready yet and won't be at the start of next season. It would be too risky to play them now and count them (namely Hicks and Arcia) to be reliable. They are both age 22 and under. Willingham is on a 3 year contract. What's the rush?

4. This is a given, but he has the best arm in the Outfield right now. It certainly would be better if he played RF. As a RF this wouldn't be much of an issue.

5. Willingham has averaged 23HRs a season since 2006. Sure he might not get 30+, but it's crazy to think that he would stop hitting them altogether, or at least enough so to ruin his value. I think this point works in the Twins favor to keep him because not many other players hit for power. None of Twins have eclipsed 20 besides Willingham. Strikeouts come with big swings. The benefit greatly outweighs the negative.

6. ....Really? I reluctantly do agree though.

One last thought. Why should Twins fans go to games when they trade away their best player? To the more casual fan, unlike the forum members here, that could affect revenue. People want to see good players.

Edited by YourHouseIsMyHouse, 15 August 2012 - 02:05 PM.


#7 Paul

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:03 PM

I like the idea of selling high on Willy for all the reasons you gave. But, I think it's reasonable to expect that flipping him before the first year of his 3 year contract is even done will cost the team $ on future FA negotiations. With the greater revenue stream from the new stadium it seems likely that the team will be more active in FA pursuit, so that factor should be weighed carfully.

#8 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:10 PM

I'm quite convinced about this time next year we're going to be seriously regretting that we didn't deal him at his peak value. His track record and age just scream it.

#9 Danchat

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

Capp's the Final Countdown was truly awesome also.


Maybe the Twins thought Capps was good only because that song was playing, so then they traded for him.

I'm quite convinced about this time next year we're going to be seriously regretting that we didn't deal him at his peak value. His track record and age just scream it.


I'm sure the Twins will find a way to screw this situation up. At least we're getting one heck of a good year out of him.

#10 mnfireman

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

[TABLE="class: tablehead"]
[TR="class: colhead"]
[TD="align: left"]RK[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]TEAM[/TD]
GP
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
TB
RBI
AVG
OBP
SLG
OPS
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-9"]
[TD="align: left"]1[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Minnesota[/TD]
116
435
[TD="class: sortcell"]74[/TD]
121
29
1
30
242
87
.278
.369
.556
.925
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-3"]
[TD="align: left"]2[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]LA Angels[/TD]
117
461
[TD="class: sortcell"]73[/TD]
120
23
2
29
234
77
.260
.313
.508
.820
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-2"]
[TD="align: left"]3[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Boston[/TD]
117
432
[TD="class: sortcell"]72[/TD]
116
33
2
12
189
61
.269
.346
.438
.783
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-30"]
[TD="align: left"]4[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Tampa Bay[/TD]
116
443
[TD="class: sortcell"]71[/TD]
108
17
3
17
182
54
.244
.320
.411
.731
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-7"]
[TD="align: left"]5[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Kansas City[/TD]
115
469
[TD="class: sortcell"]69[/TD]
138
39
3
9
210
46
.294
.373
.448
.821
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-11"]
[TD="align: left"]6[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Oakland[/TD]
115
426
[TD="class: sortcell"]67[/TD]
124
20
3
20
210
64
.291
.374
.493
.867
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-13"]
[TD="align: left"]7[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Texas[/TD]
115
419
[TD="class: sortcell"]66[/TD]
127
24
0
25
226
85
.303
.380
.539
.919
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-6"]
[TD="align: left"]8[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Detroit[/TD]
117
463
[TD="class: sortcell"]58[/TD]
129
25
2
10
188
51
.279
.331
.406
.737
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-12"]
[TD="align: left"]9[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Seattle[/TD]
118
433
[TD="class: sortcell"]54[/TD]
86
17
3
16
157
53
.199
.269
.363
.632
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-4"]
[TD="align: left"]10[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Chicago Sox[/TD]
115
425
[TD="class: sortcell"]53[/TD]
108
13
1
20
183
63
.254
.303
.431
.733
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-10"]
[TD="align: left"]11[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]NY Yankees[/TD]
116
406
[TD="class: sortcell"]53[/TD]
95
21
2
18
174
53
.234
.304
.429
.732
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-1"]
[TD="align: left"]12[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Baltimore[/TD]
116
438
[TD="class: sortcell"]52[/TD]
97
24
1
13
162
39
.221
.279
.370
.649
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-14"]
[TD="align: left"]13[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Toronto[/TD]
116
425
[TD="class: sortcell"]52[/TD]
110
27
3
8
167
45
.259
.307
.393
.700
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-5"]
[TD="align: left"]14[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Cleveland[/TD]
117
423
[TD="class: sortcell"]47[/TD]
93
13
4
10
144
44
.220
.289
.340
.629
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

#11 mnfireman

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:32 PM

[TABLE="class: tablehead"]
[TR="class: colhead"]
[TD="align: left"]RK[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]TEAM[/TD]
GP
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
TB
RBI
AVG
OBP
SLG
OPS
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-26"]
[TD="align: left"]1[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]San Francisco[/TD]
117
481
[TD="class: sortcell"]85[/TD]
158
26
9
10
232
60
.328
.375
.482
.858
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-8"]
[TD="align: left"]2[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Milwaukee[/TD]
115
452
[TD="class: sortcell"]81[/TD]
135
22
2
29
248
77
.299
.379
.549
.927
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-24"]
[TD="align: left"]3[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]St. Louis[/TD]
116
462
[TD="class: sortcell"]78[/TD]
144
26
1
25
247
83
.312
.389
.535
.924
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-27"]
[TD="align: left"]4[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Colorado[/TD]
114
459
[TD="class: sortcell"]77[/TD]
144
27
5
22
247
84
.314
.378
.538
.916
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-29"]
[TD="align: left"]5[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Arizona[/TD]
116
440
[TD="class: sortcell"]66[/TD]
116
25
3
26
225
80
.264
.340
.511
.851
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-15"]
[TD="align: left"]6[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Atlanta[/TD]
116
457
[TD="class: sortcell"]62[/TD]
136
33
4
8
201
57
.298
.358
.440
.798
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-22"]
[TD="align: left"]7[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Philadelphia[/TD]
116
460
[TD="class: sortcell"]59[/TD]
129
19
5
8
182
49
.280
.326
.396
.722
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-21"]
[TD="align: left"]8[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]NY Mets[/TD]
116
441
[TD="class: sortcell"]58[/TD]
101
21
3
16
176
57
.229
.285
.399
.685
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-19"]
[TD="align: left"]9[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]LA Dodgers[/TD]
117
458
[TD="class: sortcell"]54[/TD]
118
24
2
5
161
42
.258
.325
.352
.677
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-25"]
[TD="align: left"]10[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]San Diego[/TD]
118
443
[TD="class: sortcell"]53[/TD]
114
29
1
15
190
56
.257
.337
.429
.766
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-23"]
[TD="align: left"]11[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Pittsburgh[/TD]
116
481
[TD="class: sortcell"]51[/TD]
100
19
7
11
166
35
.208
.251
.345
.597
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-17"]
[TD="align: left"]12[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Cincinnati[/TD]
116
443
[TD="class: sortcell"]49[/TD]
120
29
5
21
222
72
.271
.331
.501
.832
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-20"]
[TD="align: left"]13[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Washington[/TD]
117
458
[TD="class: sortcell"]49[/TD]
108
20
0
13
167
49
.236
.293
.365
.658
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-16"]
[TD="align: left"]14[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Chicago Cubs[/TD]
115
440
[TD="class: sortcell"]47[/TD]
110
26
2
18
194
67
.250
.307
.441
.748
[/TR]
[TR="class: oddrow team-10-18"]
[TD="align: left"]15[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Houston[/TD]
118
452
[TD="class: sortcell"]42[/TD]
102
15
2
14
163
66
.226
.299
.361
.659
[/TR]
[TR="class: evenrow team-10-28"]
[TD="align: left"]16[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Miami[/TD]
117
439
[TD="class: sortcell"]40[/TD]
106
20
2
9
157
51
.241
.304
.358
.662
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

#12 mnfireman

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:33 PM

The 2 previous posts show the LF production for every MLB team - why do the Twins trade Willingham and to who?

#13 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

yeah, I think willingham is more likely to be traded next year or the year after depending on how Arcia/Hicks/Benson are doing.

#14 cr9617

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:50 PM

The 2 previous posts show the LF production for every MLB team - why do the Twins trade Willingham and to who?


They trade him because they can lose 90-95 with or without him in the lineup. And, as has already been pointed out, his value will most likely never be higher. To whom? I'm not sure...

#15 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:43 PM

Trade him to Baltimore for Dylan Bundy!

#16 fatbeer

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:51 PM

You could trade him next year at the deadline, but I don't know what an over the hill guy hitting .252 with 13 HR's at the deadline gets you, and it isn't really safe to expect anything more from him. All we need is one team to think he can repeat this year that isn't the Twins and we should get an offer worth taking.

#17 fatbeer

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:55 PM

I like the idea of selling high on Willy for all the reasons you gave. But, I think it's reasonable to expect that flipping him before the first year of his 3 year contract is even done will cost the team $ on future FA negotiations. With the greater revenue stream from the new stadium it seems likely that the team will be more active in FA pursuit, so that factor should be weighed carfully.


I might not trade him to the Cubs because of that reason, but I would trade him to the Cardinals Yankees or Dodgers among others without worrying about that. The key is making the trade during the offseason when it really doesn't inconvenience him or his family. By the way are there any examples of teams that have traded a guy like this at the deadline in his first season of a contract?

Edited by fatbeer, 15 August 2012 - 03:59 PM.


#18 Obie

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:13 PM

If we trade him in the offseason, the buyer gets two years of his service at a reasonable cost. If we wait till trade deadline next summer, buyer only gets one and a half years. His value is higher now even if he produces at the same rate next year, which is questionable.

#19 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

I see the argument for trading Wiliingham, and I could be on board with it. It depends a lot on what happens with Morneau.

I'd be hesitant to trade both, because we'd be castrating the lineup. Those two have hit 46 of the Twins 105 home runs this year.

I'm probably in the minority here, but given the choice, I'd lean towards dealing Willingham. The Twins have gotten a lot of flack the last couple of years for selling low. So let's sell high for once. I know a lot of people would rather get Morneau's salary off the books and keep the cheaper Willingham. But for the same reason, Willingham is a more attractive trade target to a lot of teams.

#20 scottz

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

If they choose to deal him in the offseason because it is a significantly better return than for other possible trades (i.e., Span), then I'm OK with that. But I don't think it is a foregone conclusion that he will drop off the table in terms of production. He clearly is having a career year from a .SLG angle, but his .BA and .OBP are not outliers.

He might drop off from this year, but given that Target Field seems to play to right-handed pull hitters (subjective - I have no stats offhand to back me up), then I have zero problem with them hanging onto him and see where we are at next year's trade deadline. There would certainly be a market for a guy who was "only" hitting .252 (he's only hit for this low of an average once in his career - 2011 in OAK) and 13 HR after 100 games (on pace for 21 over 162 - a career low for non-injured seasons).

Also, I loves me The Outfield...so shaddup.