Twins trade Willingham to Kansas City for Triple-A pitcher


The Minnesota Twins have traded outfielder Josh Willingham to the Kansas City Royals for a minor league pitching prospect. In the deal, Minnesota acquired right-handed pitcher Jason Adam.

Adam, 23, has worked as a starter and a reliever in the Royals organization. In eight games at Triple-A Omaha, Adam was 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA. Earlier in the season he went 4-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 18 starts at the Royals' Double A affiliate in Northwest Arkansas.

Kansas City selected him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.

According to the Bleacher Report, the Royals are hoping Willingham can help bolster their lineup as the team heads towards the post season. Kansas City is currently holding the American League's second wildcard spot by a half-game.

Willingham was hitting .210 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs in 68 games for the Twins, but it wasn't that long ago the now 35-year-old posted career-highs for the Twins.

In 2012, Willingham hit 35 home runs and drove in 110 runs. He won the A.L. Silver Slugger Award for left fielders.

But the Twins were never able to reach the post season with Willingham, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season. After the trade, Willingham told reporters that he is hoping that's something he can do with the Royals.

"The goal was to get there with the Twins, but unfortunately we weren't," said Willingham. "So now I get to go and help another ball club win and hopefully reach the playoffs."

Willingham said he had mixed emotions about the trade but he thinks its a good move professionally.

"From the business part of it, it's a good move for me. I get a chance to win and maybe experience the playoffs, something I haven't been able to do in my career."

Joe Mauer was activated from the disabled list to take Willingham's spot on the roster.

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