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Pirates interested in A’s outfielder Josh Willingham

Jul 17, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

willingham getty Getty Images

If the Pirates are going to maintain their position near the top of the National League Central standings down the stretch, most would agree that they’ll probably need to make a couple of notable additions before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Well, good news. That hunt for an injection of talent has already begun in Pittsburgh.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the surprising 48-44 Pirates have contacted the Oakland front office about corner outfielder Josh Willingham.

Willingham, an eight-year major league veteran, has posted an unremarkable .247/.322/.439 batting line in 286 plate appearances this season for the A’s. But he hit 16 home runs alongside an .848 OPS in 2010 for the Nationals and slugged 24 dingers in 2009.

The 32-year-old would join a Pirates outfield rotation that’s been without Jose Tabata (quad) since late June and short on consistent production outside of All-Star Andrew McCutchen and a hot start from 25-year-old Alex Presley. Garrett Jones has a .749 OPS.

  1. madhatternalice - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Don’t forget Alex Presley, who has been absolutely meast-ly since his callup, with an OPS of .900 and a VORP of 7.0.

    • Drew Silva - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      Yup, good point.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    The idea the Buccos would be willing to trade FOR talent instead of trading it away has got to be the best story in all of baseball this year.

  3. mgflolox - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    I think it’s time the A’s clear their roster of all thirty-something players and call up their best prospects to find out if they can play Major League ball or not. If they crash & burn, at least they’ll have a higher draft pick next spring. they sure as hell aren’t going anywhere with the way the team is currently constructed.

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