According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Oakland A's are in "serious discussions" to acquire Josh Willingham from the Washington Nationals in exchange for two minor league players.
Willingham stands to earn a raise from $4.6 million in his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent. The Nationals, seeking to clear payroll for other moves, would receive two minor leaguers from the A’s.
No word yet on who those minor league players would be, but we'll update you on that as soon as that information becomes available.
Willingham will be a free agent after the upcoming season, so the Nationals had to decide between moving him in a trade, extending his contract, or letting him go for nothing at the end of the season. It seems like they have chosen to capitalize on his value while they still have him under control.
The fact that Rosenthal says that the Nationals are seeking to clear payroll doesn't bode well for the quality of player coming back to the Nationals. It means the move is more of a salary dump then a trade for value. But again, we don't know what the Nationals would be receiving yet. More on this trade as it develops.