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Souhan: Keeping Willingham Makes Sense

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:58 PM

Jim Souhan lays out a very reasonable argument for signing Josh Willingham to an extension, while also acknowledging his faults.

• Willingham offers a unique skill: the ability to hit home runs at Target Field. He hit 35 of them in 2012. No other Twin has hit more than 25 home runs in a season since the team moved into its new ballpark.


http://www.startribu.../246267161.html

#2 twinsnorth49

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:10 PM

My ideal outfield does not include Arcia in RF. If the Twins decide to keep Willingham around for some added pop it should be as a bench bat and not at the expense of guys like Arcia, who ultimately needs to prove he can be the DH in the near future.

However if Willingham is having a year similar to 2012 by July it would be awfully hard to not try and get something for him.

#3 jokin

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:13 PM

Jim Souhan lays out a very reasonable argument for signing Josh Willingham to an extension, while also acknowledging his faults.



http://www.startribu.../246267161.html



Too bad. Souhan just missed the deadline for the 2013 Preposterous Statement Brackets.

Unless it's a heavily incentive-laden contract and Gardy is prohibited from playing him in LF, it's time to move on.

#4 Blackjack

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:54 AM

There are a lot of variables to consider before resigning Willingham. What if Plouffe really starts slugging the ball?? Then he'd be could be kept around as the DH and bench bat. Same for Parmalee. Can Willingham rebound? What kind of prospect would the Twins be able to get for him at the trade deadline? Can he become an elder statesman and bench bat like Thome was for a year or two?

My guess is that there is less than a 10% chance that Willingham is with the club next year, he'll either be traded or they'll let him walk.

#5 nicksaviking

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

If he wants to come back to Minnesota next year he can. But after he gets traded at the deadline and with the idea that his role will likely be reduced in 2015.

#6 ericchri

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

Is he willing to give up on LF and play DH? Cause it sounds like he really doesn't want to from stuff I've read. But he's really, really bad in the field at this point and it will just keep getting worse as he gets older. I like him, and I'd love to have the 2012 version of his bat in the lineup, but I really don't want that bat at the expense of him continuing to lumber around in LF.

#7 Boom Boom

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:55 AM

Thome was pretty good at hitting home runs at Target Field too, maybe we should bring him back.

But then again, he's old, and kept getting hurt.

#8 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:16 AM

Ugh Souhan.
Willingham is 35. Will be 37 in 2016. He is already a bad OF. Do we really want to jam up the DH spot and give Gardy chances to continue to run him out to LF?

Signing Willingham to an extension for cheap, would be the equivalent(but not as good) to having Jim Thome on the roster. Can't really play anywhere but DH and PH. We already have 3 OF that are better defensively and more are on the way. Arcia needs to be a 50/50 guy at best. 50% in OF & 50% at DH. I don't like the idea of bringing Willy back unless something odd happens. I hope he bounces back and we can trade him.

#9 Badsmerf

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

Plouffe>>Willingham

They posted the same OPS in 2013 and both had underwhelming seasons. Plouffe can also play a bunch of positions. Willingham was also 33 when he hit 35 HRs.... he is not Jim Thome.
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#10 Thrylos

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:41 AM

I suspect that Mr Sano will be able to hit a few out of Target Field as well. Arcia does too. Plouffe and Dozier have done it in the past as well. Not a great reason to keep him.

#11 TwinsThompson

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:04 AM

I'm a Willingham fan, but there is very little reason to keep him around. Even if he slugs before the all-star break I suspect the trade compensation would be minimal, being a half-season rental and all. Why not deal him now and clear room in the OF for guys like Parmelee, Arcia, and (eventually) Plouffe. Those guys need need the AB's.

#12 Boom Boom

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

Plouffe>>Willingham

They posted the same OPS in 2013 and both had underwhelming seasons. Plouffe can also play a bunch of positions. Willingham was also 33 when he hit 35 HRs.... he is not Jim Thome.


No, Willingham isn't Thome, but the reasons for not bringing them back are pretty much the same.

#13 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:56 AM

No, Willingham isn't Thome, but the reasons for not bringing them back are pretty much the same.


Thome was, at least in part, what Thome represented and his larger than life persona. Willingham doesn't provide any of that.

But if he wants to sign for a couple million to DH? Sure, I'd consider that. I just highly doubt he does.

#14 Boom Boom

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:01 AM

Thome was, at least in part, what Thome represented and his larger than life persona. Willingham doesn't provide any of that.

But if he wants to sign for a couple million to DH? Sure, I'd consider that. I just highly doubt he does.


Just making the point that being able to hit home runs at Target Field at one time doesn't mean the Twins should keep him around forever.

#15 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:19 AM

Regarding Jim Souhan's powers of speculation, this is strike two. He wants to extend Willingham. He wanted Gopher's football coach, Jerry Kill, to resign.

http://www.startribu.../223780401.html

Willing-ham = Logging-jam if he's in the Twins lineup much longer.

#16 thetank

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:23 AM

I am sure that there will better OFers available by next offseason.

#17 Badsmerf

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:15 PM

Regarding Jim Souhan's powers of speculation, this is strike two. He wants to extend Willingham. He wanted Gopher's football coach, Jerry Kill, to resign.

http://www.startribu.../223780401.html

Willing-ham = Logging-jam if he's in the Twins lineup much longer.

You must not have been reading Souhan for very long...
Do or do not. There is no try.

#18 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:50 PM

Regarding Jim Souhan's powers of speculation, this is strike two. He wants to extend Willingham. He wanted Gopher's football coach, Jerry Kill, to resign.

http://www.startribu.../223780401.html

Willing-ham = Logging-jam if he's in the Twins lineup much longer.


Souhan has been fouling off strike 3 for years, if only The Strib could find a way to punch him out.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 21 February 2014 - 04:22 PM.


#19 Shane Wahl

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:13 PM

There is no reasonable argument there. It's mind-boggling to consider clogging this roster with a terrible OF who doesn't seem willing to move to DH. Even as a DH, the Plouffe-Sano situation, the Arcia situation, and perhaps the emergence of Kennys Vargas or someone else seems to limit the desirable of bringing Willingham back. He's an aging veteran with a lot of negative defensive value. This is worthy of consideration how again?

#20 ashburyjohn

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:18 PM

Souhan has been fouling off strike 3 for years, if only The Strib could find a way to punch him out.


Moderator's note: Folks, Jim Souhan has written a lot over the years. In this thread, it's probably best if we stick to the "argument for signing Josh Willingham", as the OP phrased it, whether pro or con, and save the general critique of Souhan for a separate thread if somebody really feels motivated to begin one.

#21 DocBauer

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:08 PM

There is no reasonable argument there. It's mind-boggling to consider clogging this roster with a terrible OF who doesn't seem willing to move to DH. Even as a DH, the Plouffe-Sano situation, the Arcia situation, and perhaps the emergence of Kennys Vargas or someone else seems to limit the desirable of bringing Willingham back. He's an aging veteran with a lot of negative defensive value. This is worthy of consideration how again?


If Willingham were to embrace the DH role, probably with Molitor's assistance, and be healthy and productive, and the Twins not find any real trade value for him, then I can see bringing him back on a decent 1 year deal with an option. This would be based on his value as a veteran DH, and a bridge to the next wave of prospects down the line; Hicks, Vargas, Walker, etc. Not so sure Plouffe and someone else couldn't fill the same role, and still be able to play a position here and there, but would seem an acceptable option.

#22 Marta Shearing

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

Arcia's my future DH. If he cant hit lefty's, a Willy/Arcia platoon would be nice, but after 2014, I never want to see Willy in the OF again.

#23 kab21

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

Willingham's a fine guy to bring in 2015 on a one year contract if there is a need but there is no reason to decide that now. Everyone is quick to move Arcia to DH while forgetting that someone needs to play OF. Maybe everything works out great next season and Hicks, Buxton and Plouffe are a legitimately good OF but that involves a lot of wishing IMO. Maybe Vargas looks like he is playing himself onto the roster late in the summer but who knows. But this decision can be made next offseason.