The Royals have acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Twins in exchange for minor-league pitcher Jason Adam, as first reported by Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com.
Willingham, 35, was pursued by teams like the Yankees and Mariners in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline, but the Twins decided to hold onto him until today. The Royals have been looking for right-handed outfield power bats over the last couple of months, being linked to names like Marlon Byrd, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava before swinging today's deal.
Willingham will likely take over the Royals' designated hitter spot in place of Raul Ibanez, who has struggled since signing with the team after being released by the Angels. Willingham will also serve as a backup to Alex Gordon in left field, joining Kansas City with a .210/.345/.402 line with twelve home runs in 68 games. The Royals will pick up the remaining $1.8+ million on Willingham's salary, and he will become a free agent after the season.
Adam, 23, was the Royals' fifth round pick in the 2010 draft and was ranked by Baseball America as the organization's ninth best prospect before the season. The right-hander has split the season between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, posting a combined 5-9 record and 4.67 ERA in 27 appearances (18 starts). He was recently ranked by MLB.com as the Royals' sixteenth best prospect, and may profile as a reliever at the major league level.