The Tampa Bay Rays are making a serious run at free agent OF Josh Willingham, BB source says
Willingham is not a new name on the Rays radar. He was targeted by the Rays at this year’s trade deadline, and at the trade deadline in 2010. But both times they were unable to make a deal.
However, acquiring Willingham certainly adds an interesting twist. It would seem the Rays are set in the outfield with Desmond Jennings, BJ Upton, and Matt Joyce. Signing Willingham would mean that the Rays are: 1) serious about trading Upton; 2) don’t believe Joyce can be an everyday player; or 3) the Rays are considering Joyce as a 1B/DH option.
Willingham, who will be 33 next season, hit .246 with 29 home runs and a .332 OBP this past season in a pitcher-friendly park. His .350 wOBA was strong, but was down from his typical range of .360-.380.