• Update: 3:30 pm EST- FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal started this talk and completes it with the following Tweets from (@Ken_Rosenthal):
"Done deal: #Nationals get RHP Henry Rodriguez and minor-league OF Corey Brown in deal for Willingham."
"Rodriguez, 23, split time between AAA and majors last season. Brown, 25, had .916 OPS at AA, .631 OPS at AAA."
• Also, reports this afternoon have the Nats close to a deal to bring Chien-Ming Wang back after he spent the last year rehabbing on a 1-year/$2M dollar deal with the Nats. More on that when it's official. What will Rizzo do next?
• NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman on Twitter (@MarkZuckerman) and MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling (@MASNBen) are confirming the deal is in place.
• According to reports on Twitter and elsewhere, the Washington Nationals and Oakland A's are working out the details of a trade that will send Josh Willingham to the AL West. As of 1:52 pm EST nothing is official. Will update when it is...
After the Oakland A's acquired outfielder David DeJesus from Kansas City in early November, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote in an article entitled, "A's Strike First In MLB Offseason", that the A's had inquired about Nats' outfielder Josh Willingham before making the deal with the Royals. Willingham's name had been brought up time and again in trade rumors, with several writers predicting he'd be dealt before the 2011 season began. "'[A's GM Billy] Beane in recent days also was after Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham, according to a major-league source," Mr. Rosenthal wrote at the time. This morning, Mr. Rosenthal reported on Twitter (@Ken_Rosenthal) that the talks had heated up again:
@Ken_Rosenthal: "#A's in serious discussions to get Willingham from #Nationals."
In an article which followed the intial report entitled, "A's in talks with Nats for Willingham", the FOXSports.com reporter speculated that the Nats were making the deal with Oakland in order, "...to clear payroll for other moves, would receive two minor leaguers from the A’s." In a blog post that followed entitled, "Numerous possibilities for Nationals", Mr. Rosenthal speculated that the Nats could be clearing money so that the move might be a precursor to a move to add pitching with Zack Greinke, Matt Garza and Carl Pavano mentioned as possibilities. The Nats are also pursuing first baseman as Mr. Rosenthal notes, with both Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche having been discussed often, and with Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman (among others) suggesting that the Nats could use an arm in the pen, Mr. Rosenthal speculates that a closer like free agent Rafael Soriano could be a target.
In his latest tweet, (@Ken_Rosenthal) the FOXSports.com reporter writes that, "#A's, #Nationals in agreement on Willingham. Just completing final exchange of medical information," though the D.C. beat writers following the story say there's been no official announcement as of the moment I write this.
More news to follow...