It’s always interesting to look back and see how trades and signings that happened years ago panned out for ball clubs. The most recent trade between the Washington Nationals and the Oakland Athletics that sent Corey Brown to the A’s for cash considerations gives us all a chance to reflect on a deal both clubs made back in 2010.
The Nationals had Josh Willingham back then, and Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane came to an agreement that sent Willingham to the Athletics in exchange for Brown and Henry Rodriguez. While none of the players are with their ball clubs anymore, at least the Athletics got something out of Willingham.
For the year that they had him, Willingham batted .246 with 98 RBIs and 26 doubles. After that year, he was granted free agency and signed with the Minnesota Twins. This past November, Willingham agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Twins.
Washington didn’t get nearly the fair trade value that they hoped they would get. Rodriguez was a basket case as a closer and is no longer with the team, and they just dumped Brown for some cold, hard cash. After seeing what Willingham has moved on to, it doesn’t seem like such a fair trade in the end.
Fortunately, the Nationals were able to recover. They have Bryce Harper currently manning left field (Willingham’s position), with Denard Span and Jayson Werth joining him in the outfield. Would Willingham be a better option? Probably not. Looking back, however, the Nationals certainly came out the losers in that 2010 trade.