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Pirates Rumors Continue for Willingham and now Jackson

July 18, 2011

The rumor mill saying that the Pirates are interested in Josh Willingham continue, but we can add another Athletic bat they have interest in as well: Conor Jackson. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted yesterday that,

“The #Pirates, trolling for bats, have checked in with the #Athletics on Conor Jackson as well as Josh Willingham.”

Conor Jackson has been even less productive than Willingham and despite yesterday’s grand slam rolls into this week’s series against the Tigers with a .249/.323/.330 slash line with three home runs, and an anemic .298 wOBA and 89 wRC+. Jackson who can play the outfield, and has recently been getting most of the starts at first base following Daric Barton‘s demotion. CoJax is earning $3.2M this season to put up those numbers that add up to a 0.7 WAR so he at least is close to his worth with him having been worth $3.1M so far he ought to cross the $3.2M threshold shortly.

I didn’t think that Jackson would have any trade value, so getting anything for him would be a great thing for Billy Beane and the A’s.

Given that Willingham has often been rumored to be dealt to Pennsylvania’s other team, the Phillies, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer talked to several scouts about him. They said of our left fielder:

“AL scout: “I think they [the A’s] will be looking for a good prospect who is two years away or maybe a lesser-ceiling guy if he’s pretty close right now. I think they’d at least want a good double-A prospect.”

NL scout: “He’s an offensive player that you can play periodically against lefthanded pitchers. He’s also a bat that can help you off the bench in the later innings. I don’t think you have to give up a top-tier prospect because he’s not an everyday player. Maybe a guy like [double-A Reading shortstop] Freddy Galvis or [triple-A Lehigh Valley reliever] Michael Schwimer.”

Is it funny or sad that both Philadelphia and (from what I am reading on Pirates blogs) Pittsburgh don’t see our unquestioned best hitter as an everyday player?

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