Today the Twins confirmed what had been widely reported for several days. Josh Willingham passed the physical and signed a three-year agreement for $21 million with a $1 million incentive clause that increased the salary from by that amount if he has 525 plate appearances in 2013.
He will play a corner outfield position to be determined later as rumors are still rampant that Michael Cuddyer may yet return to the Twins to play right field. Officials have also been reported as saying the Twins have not closed the door completely on bringing Jason Kubel back either.
This signing fills an important hole left by the trade of Delmon Young – that of a right handed power bat. From all reports of his hitting style – dead pull hitter – he should do fine in Target Field. If Cuddyer is not re-signed, Willingham will most likely be in right field, but it is too soon to tell. Spring training will be the ultimate test of whether or not Plouffe and/or Revere will crack the starting lineup and who plays where.
I’ve been mulling over the outfield options and how they might play out, but am going to delay posting those ideas at least until the Cuddyer situation is resolved. If rumors heat up about Kubel, I may wait until he is declared gone.