One of the biggest items on the Oakland A's offseason docket is trying to keep free agent outfielder Josh WIllingham in the Green and Gold for the foreseeable future, which Willingham discussed in detail with The Rise Guys on 95.7 The Game Wednesday morning.
Is it frustrating from your position to not be sure what the [A's] organization's future direction is?
Well it is, and that's one thing Billy has always done is been honest with me and been open with players in general and he told me at the end of the season what the organization was thinking as a whole and what their uncertainties were. As far as I'm concerned, I just kind of worry about what's best for me and my family and go from there.
When a team says they needs to figure out what city they should be playing in before trying to re-sign any players. That usually isn't a good sign, especially not for Willingham returning to Oakland.
On a possible return to Oakland:
I would think it's a possibility you know, we're hopefully entertaining several authors here pretty soon, I can't give you a percentage or anything, it's definitely something we'll take into consideration for sure.
Do you expect tomorrow [Thursday, November 3rd] to be a big day for you because it's the first day you can talk to other teams?
I really have no idea what to expect...I think the best case scenario when you become a free agent is you just have multiple places and opportunities to choose from and do what's best for yourself and your family. I think this is the time you have to trust your agent and just kind of let him handle it and keep you informed.
Willingham hit 29 dingers and 98 RBI for a club that finished 14 games under .500 that's chocked full of financial problems. Think he's due for a pay raise? Couple that with the fact that the Willingham's have two young children and another on the way, and they spend the offseason down in Alabama, Oakland isn't exactly the perfect situation for him and his family, regardless of how much he may or may not like it out here.
If you did leave Oakland would you consider a stay in the Bay Area, would you potentially be interested in the Giants?
If that's an offer that comes on the table, for sure, it's one of those things you don't know who is going to offer, you don't know how many offers you're going to get, and you got to just play it by ear as they come.
If I were a betting man, I'd bet that Willingham will be somewhere out East next season, though I'm sure the Giants wouldn't mind picking him up if Carlos Beltran doesn't return to San Francisco. Any way you slice it though, it's starting to look like we've seen the last of Josh Willingham in the East Bay.
For more on the A's offseason, head over to Athletics Nation to get your fix.