Most of you already know that Josh Willingham has been traded to the A’s for two prospects. After an eternity in Internet time (a couple of hours), the news is out on who they are. The Nats will receive RHP Henry Rodriguez and OF Corey Brown from Oakland.
Rodriguez fits a rather familiar description — short and stout (6′ and 220lbs), fastball approaching 100mph, hard slider with some tilt, and control problems. The 24-year-old-in-February posted a 4.55ERA in 29 games for Oakland after saving 11 games with AAA Sacramento and struck out more than a batter per inning at both levels. He is, however, one year removed from a 5.77ERA/1.740WHIP at AAA and two years removed from 7.46/2.317 campaign at AA. As you might imagine, scouts are intrigued with his power and believe he’ll be a force if he can learn to stop overthrowing and tame the wildness. Baseball America named him the #17 Prospect out of the Pacific League for 2010.
Brown split time between AA and AAA in 2010, posting a .320/.415/.502 line at the former but just .193/.253/.378 at the latter. Sickels described him in ’09 as a cross between Jeromy Burnitz and Kirk Gibson… on a good day, but when he’s bad, he’s horrible. He’s struggled with strikeouts (443 in 390G) but draws a fair amount of walks (185) and has good speed and a strong throwing arm. He just turned 25 in late November.