Josh Willingham's agent, Matt Sosnick, said Thursday to Jane Lee of MLB.com that he "got a good amount of calls last night and this morning" from potential suitors. Sosnick added Willingham is looking to secure a three-year deal and one preferably closer to his home in Florence, Alabama. Sosnick added:
"We certainly expect it to be a long process, and I can't imagine anything happening before teams offer arbitration to players," Sosnick said. "I think Josh realizes the market is short on power this year, and it's certainly short on right-handed power. He hit a lot of home runs and drove in a lot of runs on a team that was very offensively challenged in a very difficult ballpark, and I think there are a lot of teams that could use a 3-4-5 hitter that's going to hit 30 home runs."
Willingham, 32, hit .246/.332/.477 for Oakland while clubbing a career-high 29 home runs. The outfielder is expected to leave Oakland, as the Athletics can cash in on a pair of draft picks in compensation for their Type-A free agent.
The team is waiting for an official ruling from the commissioner's office on a new stadium, a situation that has been on going for nearly three years, before pursuing any free agents. The Athletics are expected to lose all three of their 2011 starting outfielders in David DeJesus, Coco Crisp, and Josh Willingham.