Twins To Sign Josh Willingham

The Twins announced that they have agreed to sign Josh Willingham to a three-year, $21MM deal. The contract provides Willingham with the chance to earn an additional $1MM through incentives, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Willingham, who has passed his physical, is represented by Sosnick Cobbe Sports.

Willingham, 33 in February, is a modified Type-A free agent under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Twins will not have to surrender a draft pick to sign him, but the Athletics will still receive two picks as compensation for the loss. One will be a supplemental first round pick, the other a pick one spot ahead of Minnesota's second rounder since their first rounder is protected.

The Twins hit an AL worst 103 home runs in 2011, so Willingham provides some much needed pop. He hit a career-best 29 homers for Oakland this past season, and has cleared the 20 homer plateau four times in the last six years. He's also shown a knack for drawing walks and getting hit by pitches, leading to a solid .361 career OBP despite a .262 batting average. The Twins figure to use him in left field, where UZR has consistently said he's below average defensively.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Willingham 24th on his list of the top 50 free agents, predicting he would sign with the Reds. Crasnick first reported the agreement, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal (on Twitter) and Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune added detail.


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