Willingham visits for medical tests

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2011 - 11:23 PM

The Twins moved closer to signing the free agent outfielder to a three-year, $21 million contract, bringing him to Minnesota for a physical, a person close to the situation said.

hide

Josh Willingham

Photo: Ray Chavez, McClatchy Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Twins moved closer to signing Josh Willingham to a three-year, $21 million contract Wednesday, bringing the free agent outfielder to Minnesota for a physical, a person close to the situation said.

The Twins typically put new players through two days of medical tests before signing their contracts. The team plans to announce this deal Thursday or Friday, assuming Willingham's health checks out and all other details are finalized.

Willingham, 32, played 136 games for Oakland this year. He had one stint on the 15-day disabled list in July because of a strained Achilles' tendon. In 2010, he played 110 games for Washington, missing the final six weeks after having surgery to fix a medial meniscus tear in his left knee.

In 2008, he missed 50 games for Florida with a lower-back strain, but beyond those injuries, he's been fairly healthy through his seven-year big league career.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said he had nothing official to announce and didn't rule out the possibility of Michael Cuddyer returning to Minnesota.

"I don't have a deal with anybody, so I guess I've got an open door," Ryan said. "I'm still looking for a corner outfielder."

But once Willingham's deal becomes official, it almost certainly will end the Cuddyer era in Minnesota. Ryan acknowledged that it would be "improbable" for the team to sign both Cuddyer and Willingham, saying other pieces would have to be shifted.

The Willingham signing alone will push the projected payroll to about $96 million; Ryan's Opening Day target is $100 million.

The Twins offered a three-year, $24 million deal to Cuddyer last week before turning their full attention to Willingham. They are similar players -- righthanded power hitters with limited range defensively in the outfield. Both will turn 33 before Opening Day.

Willingham batted .246 with 29 home runs and 98 RBI for Oakland last season. His OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) was .810, and Cuddyer's was .805.

Twins sign Burroughs

Three players signed minor-league deals with the Twins that include spring training invites: third baseman Sean Burroughs, catcher Rene Rivera and righthanded pitcher P.J. Walters.

Burroughs, 31, who pitched his Long Beach, Calif., team to the 1993 Little League World Series title, was a first-round pick by the Padres in 1998 but never lived up to the hype.

After a long battle with substance abuse, he resurfaced last year with the Diamondbacks and batted .273 with one homer and eight RBI in 78 games.

Rivera impressed the Twins with his defense last year but batted only .144 in 45 games.

In five combined appearances for the Cardinals and Blue Jays last year, Walters posted a 7.20 ERA.

Etc.

• The Twins did not make a posting bid on Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish before Wednesday's deadline. Ryan said he expected the winning bid to be much higher than the Twins wanted to spend.

• The Twins continue to discuss a new position for former General Manager Bill Smith, one that would let him report to both Ryan and team president Dave St. Peter. Nothing has been finalized, but Smith has been spotted at Target Field on multiple occasions since Ryan replaced him Nov. 7.

  • TWINS NOTES

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Detroit2200000004110
Minnesota «30000302X8130
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Gibson(12-11) L:D.Price(14-12)
HR: DET- None MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - N. Martinez 2:35 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close