I've included Josh Willingham on this list (we're looking at various right-handed bat possibilities for the Rangers on the blog this week), but how available he is and what the price is may determine if he goes anywhere this weekend. Still, he's an interesting option. A quick look at him:
Willingham, 31, is an outfielder by trade. He's played left field all season for the Nationals. But this is where Ron Washington would come in. He could certainly work with Willingham and get him up to speed enough to play some games at first base. Willingham started as a catcher in 2004 and 2005. My bet is he could make the transition to first base.
The thing I like about him is that he's a consistent hitter who can hit the ball out of the ballpark too. He's hitting .274 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs so far this season and has a .879 OPS. And he feeds off left-handed pitching. Willingham is batting .295 with six homers and 15 RBIs in 78 at-bats. Willingham has more strikeouts than walks against left-handers (18 walks and 16 Ks).
His 2010 salary is $4.6 million, so he's not quite as affordable as some of the other options the Rangers have discussed, like Ty Wigginton, but his salary is less than Jorge Cantu. The question is what the Nationals would want for Willingham, who is having a solid season. Again, I can't see the Rangers giving up a high prospects for a platoon first baseman. I think they'd trade a mid-tier prospect, but it could depend on which one.
Do you think the Rangers can take a chance on a guy who hasn't played first base? Do you have any interest in Willingham?