The Baltimore Orioles have placed a waiver claim on Twins' outfielder Josh Willingham, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The two sides are trying to work out a deal that would send Willingham to Baltimore before the noon ET deadline on Friday, but the Twins could pull the 34-year old back off waivers if they are unable to reach a deal.
Willingham has hit only .212 with 12 HR and 45 RBI in 89 games for the Twins on the season, but still drew some interest from teams before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline due to his reputation as a talented offensive player. The Rangers were among the teams interested in Willingham in July, but arthroscopic knee surgery forced the Twins to hold onto him as the deadline passed.
Although Willingham has struggled this season, his previous performance may make him the ideal candidate for a rebound season in 2014. In 145 games with Minnesota in 2012, he hit .260 with 35 HR and 110 RBI en route to winning his first career Silver Slugger award. He is under team control through next season, and is owed $8.26 million over the next thirteen months.
The Orioles were active buyers on the pitching market in July, adding starters Bud Norris and Scott Feldman and reliever Francisco Rodriguez. They would likely use Willingham at designated hitter for the stretch run in an effort to upgrade over Danny Valencia and Steve Pearce, who have been manning the spot for the majority of the year.