The latest out of Oakland is that the Athletics and Pirates are in discussion about a trade involving outfielder Josh Willingham. Willingham has been a decent outfielder over the past few years, compiling a .263 average and .362 OBP over six full seasons with the Marlins, Nationals, and A's. He has show the ability to hit 15+ home runs on a consistent basis, but his averaged has fluctuated.
The Pirates are reportedly looking at left-handed reliever Craig Breslow as well, and it looks as if Garrett Jones would be out the door in any trade.
Are the Pirates, who are in first place by half a game, making the right move going after Willingham? Could they do better?
More after the jump.
Willingham is hitting .244 with 12 home runs and a .321 on-base percentage in 258 at-bats this season, and is only a .253 lifetime hitter in the second half of the season. However, playing for the streaking Pirates, who look to be this years Cinderella story, could certainly turn around his slow season.
The Pirates are in a situation where they are not looking to surrender too many prospects that could hinder on their future, and they do not have the payroll to support a high salary type player. Someone they could take a look at is Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome is hitting .269 this season with three home runs, but is in the last year of his deal making 13.5 million dollars.
Another option within the division, although it would be more costly, is the Astros' Hunter Pence. But the Stros willingness to deal to a first place rival in the division does not seem likely.
Either way, the Pirates are looking to deal.