Word has come out today that Billy Beane has acquired Josh Willingham in a trade. Willingham will now be Oakland's starting left fielder and, though he has injury concerns, will play pretty much every day. They have Coco Crisp coming off a solid year in center field, and they just traded for David DeJesus to play right field. They signed Hideki Matsui to be their designated hitter yesterday, and they have two excellent corner OF prospects who are close to the Majors in Michael Taylor and Chris Carter. Conor Jackson is going to make over 3M to be their fifth outfielder, as things stand now.
This brings me to the player of consequence here, Ryan Sweeney. He was worth 4 WAR just two years ago before having an injury-shortened disaster of a campaign in 2010. Still, he's just 25, has a 19.5 career UZR in right field, and is a good bet for a .330 wOBA.
Oakland has a huge surplus, and it's likely Sweeney will be the odd man out in the outfield (no pun).
The Pirates are set to give the majority of their RF time to Matt Diaz and Garrett Jones. Both of them are okay players who can contribute in a platoon, but Sweeney is a potential stud who's really stock-down at the moment.
I don't know what Beane wants for him, but there's no way Sweeney's not on the market.
I'd like to imagine Huntington's on the phone with him right now.
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