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Report: Mets like Willingham for left field

Dec 6, 2009, 1:44 PM EDT

Josh Willingham headshot alt.jpgThe Mets are expected to bid on free
agent big fish like Matt Holliday and Jason Bay to play left field, but
according to Bill Ladson of, they have joined the Giants,
Mariners and Braves
among teams interested in Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham.

Willingham, 30, batted
.260/.367/.496 with 24 home runs, 61 RBI and a career-high .863 OPS in
While he possesses the thump the Mets covet, he ranks well below average on defense, according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). The Nats resisted parting with him before the trade deadline, but
under team control for two more seasons, he represents one of
the team’s best potential trade chips.

The Nationals would almost certainly
want pitching in return, meaning that major-league ready pitchers like
Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell would have to be discussed. Perhaps the best part of it all for
general manager Omar Minaya, Willingham is a former catcher. Zing.

In other Mets news, the team is reportedly interested in Rod Barajas, while Jon Heyman of thinks Bengie Molina may want a three-year contract.

Update: Jon Heyman of now believes the Mets may be waiting out Molina, as they have more money to work with than the Rangers and Royals.

  1. john pileggi - Dec 6, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    As a die hard Met fan, it pains me to say I have no idea what the strategy is. Assuming the stories that the non-Madoff losses are true, then perhaps the revenue reductions from the economy are having an impact. But, it would seem that this is a year where some players may be available at “bargain” rates. Figgins got less than would have been expected, and the pace of signings has been slow. Maybe Minaya and the Wilpons are laying low in the weeds and will eventually make a move on Lackey and Holliday. Maybe they have a different plan. Maybe Santa Claus will drop an unexpected signing under the tree.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 6, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    Before the economy forced my employer, Consolidated Coprolite (a wholly owned subsidiary of Amplexus Corporation), to give up our box seats in the last row of the upper deck at Joeprodolshark Stadium, I used to enjoy watching Josh Willingham through my telescope in left field as he favored his disintegrating lumbar vertebrae. I think that by now he must have more rods in his spine than Evel Knievel, whose funeral was delayed four times when his casket set of airport metal detectors and had to be opened for inspection. Each new cutting-edge technology teflon disc replacement is good for about 20-25 home runs, but when he reaches that threshold he usually has to put his season on hold and go in for an overhaul. After all those seasons of Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado wearing out their warranties, do the Mutts really need that kind of thing? That, and there’s no way to find out if he was flood damaged during Hurricane Wilma down here. They weren’t keeping records back then,

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