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Wolfson: Willingham interested in contract extension

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:34 PM

Darren Wolfson reports that Josh Willingham, who is signed through 2014, is opened to a one-year contract extension to give him a little more long-term security - he's even willing to accept below market value for that additional year.

He's 33 and coming off a career year that is seemingly hard to repeat. His home run-to-fly ball rate is a career-best 22% and compared to his career norm of 16%, it is likely some of those fly balls won't be reaching the seats next season. Then again, he is one of those few hitters who has had sustained success at Target Field.

Your thoughts?

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#2 nicksaviking


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

An extension with two years left on the deal seems pretty unique to me. I wonder what he and his agent consider "below market" seeing as his current deal is way below market. Perhaps an extra year is going to pay $12 million instead of the current $7 million? Surely one could argue $12 is still below market for Willingham.

#3 striker_86


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

Yeah, this guy is a keeper at that price! Doumit and Willingham both were great offseason pickups

#4 DPJ



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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:19 PM


Love what the guy has done, but who the hell extends players in there 30's coming off career years?

#5 Boom Boom

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:40 PM

TR to Willy's agent - "Get back to me mid-2014."

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:40 PM

Maybe next offseason. Certainly not now.

#7 Shane Wahl

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

No way should they do this now. The only reason I see it possibly good NEXT offseason is if two of Arcia, Hicks, and Benson flop bad in 2013.

I am glad that the Twins went out and got guys (Willingham and Doumit) who CLEARLY like playing for and in Minnesota (adding a year to this deal would significantly reduce his trade value).

#8 70charger


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:56 PM

I think it's premature, but I understand it from his perspective. From a guy who's on the wrong end of 30, he's really got to be pushing hard for job security. And below market is likely to mean something completely different to a 33 year old extending a three-year contract than it does to a 36 year old looking for a one-year deal.

#9 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

I love Willingham, but he IS 33, and we have a glut of outfield prospects coming up the ladder and coming up quickly. I would say that they should discuss it after next season if he has anywhere near the same production, although by 2014/2015, I would imagine he would be mostly living in the DH role and shouldn't be in the outfield if we have guys like Arcia, Hicks, Benson, and co. reaching the big leagues.

#10 JB_Iowa


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:08 PM

Well, from his perspective, now would be a time to look for an extension -- he would be dealing from a position of strength given his 2012 performance.

Question: Did HE and his agent push for the 3-year deal last off-season or was the impetus for the length of the deal on the Twins side?

Just curious because he would seemingly have more value as a free agent this off-season than last. Since he signed for 3 years last off-season, an extension seems to be the only way that they can capitalize on his career year.

#11 snepp


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:09 PM

It's a nice thought, but now's not the time (as far as the Twins are concerned anyway). Revisit the idea next offseason to see if it still makes sense. By the time 2015 rolls around he would/should be a full-time DH, if the Twins really need one during that offseason there are likely going to be plenty of guys floating around with trouble playing the field willing to take 1-year deals.

#12 SweetOne69


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:09 PM

While I agree that it is too early to be talking extension, but next offseason I would consider it. $7M is pretty reasonable even he is the full time DH by then.

#13 TheLeviathan


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:17 PM

If I were Willingham I'd be hoping to sucker the Twins for a few more million too after this season. So of course he's willing.

#14 Cody Christie

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:29 PM

An injury could hit him in the next couple years and make an extension worthless.

At this point, my vote is no.

#15 TK10



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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:37 PM

Get him to verbally agree to become the fulltime DH beginning next season and, sure, why not? If Thome can be an excellent DH into his late 30s, if not early 40s, why not this guy?

#16 Winston Smith

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

That would seem silly he'd be 36 entering that ext year.

#17 Thrylos


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

way past his prime by then and way too many OF/DH prospects in the system to extend him.
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#18 Ex-Iowegian


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:12 PM

I don't think there is that much risk to it. Anybody can get hurt, and the veteran work ethic might be something that the youger kids should be exposed to. He has earned it from my viewpoint. And it might make for a better trade prospect, too.

#19 Nick Nelson

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

He's 33, already signed for two more years, and the Twins have tons of OF depth in the minors. I love the guy, but this would make zero sense.

#20 IdahoPilgrim


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

I don't think there is that much risk to it. Anybody can get hurt, and the veteran work ethic might be something that the youger kids should be exposed to. He has earned it from my viewpoint. And it might make for a better trade prospect, too.

I would think the opposite would be true. It means an additional year an interested team would have to commit to, which would make it less likely someone making a pennant run and looking for short-term help would bite. Keep him around the next year or two (for the work ethic and depth argument you make, as well as he is playing well right now), but hold off on extending and see how things play out next year.