I got an email from Brandon C. of the SB Nation's New York Yankees site Pinstripe Alley asking about the rumors surrounding Josh Wilingham's availability and answered a few questions on Yankee fans' minds for a post of his entitled, "Willingham in Pinstripes?" As I predicted, the idea that Washington would ask for a Phil Hughes-type player in return should the Nationals trade Willingham was a non-starter in the Pinestrip Alley writer's opinion, and he emailed afterwards asking if I (were I the Nats' GM) would consider a package including right-handed pitchers Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre and infielder Reegie Corona in return for Willingham, and rather than offer my opinion alone, I figured I'd put it to the DC Faithful and see what you expect in return for Willingham should the Nationals decide to deal the player who's expected to be their Opening Day left fielder...
To be clear, my response to the question of what it would take to convince the Nationals to part with the Hammer was as follows:
"I imagine everyone asks about Phil Hughes first. There's no way Willingham brings back Hughes in my mind. If NY hadn't traded Arodys Vizcaino and Mike Dunn to Atlanta, I'd bet (DC GM Mike) Rizzo would have taken either of them off the Yanks' hands...so it would basically look like Willingham and a Craig Stammen or a J.D. Martin for Hughes and/or the equivalent prospects for Vizcaino and Dunn. Sorry, you guys go through prospects too quick for me to keep up with the Yankees' system."
• My logic in asking for a Phil Hughes, or the equivalent of the two minor league pitchers included in the package New York sent to Atlanta to reacquire Javier Vazquez was based solely on Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell's assertion that the Nationals are looking for a Jordan Zimemmerman-esque prospect in return for Willingham and Arodyz Vizcaino was the highest rated pitching prospect in the Yankees' system entering the 2009 season. Michael Dunn was a combined (4-3) with a 3.31 ERA in 38 games in which he averaged 12.2 K/9 at two stops (AA and AAA) in the Yankees' system before he made his MLB debut in September '09. What would you expect in return for the Hammer?
• Here are the three players Brandon C. from Pinstripe Alley suggested as a package:
Sergio Mitre - RHP - 29yo in Feb. 2010 - Career Stats - (13-26), 5.56 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 90 G, 61 GS, 362.1 IP, 443 H, 224 ER, 121 BB (3.0 BB/9), 220 K's (5.5 K/9).
Ivan Nova - RHP - 23 yo - '09 Stats - AA, AAA - (6-8), 3.68 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 24 GS, 139.1 IP, 137 H, 57 ER, 59 BB (3.8 BB/9), 90 K's, (5.8 K/9). (Note: Received Honorable Mention in Minor League Ball's John Sickels' Top 20 Prospects List for 2010.)
Reegie Corona - IF - 23 yo - '09 Stats - AA, AAA - .257 AVG, .347 OBP, .364 SLG, .711 OPS, 27 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 39 RBI's, 24 SB, 4 CS. (Note: Recognized by Baseball America's John Manuel as having the "Best Strikezone Discipline in the 12/16/09 Prospect rankings.)
• If you were Mike Rizzo would you accept the Pinstripe Alley writer's hypothetical offer? I know some object to hypothetical discussions, just thought it might be interesting to see what the DC Faithful want in return if Willingham is dealt...