The Yankees are doing some window shopping in Minnesota before the trade deadline.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.
Willingham, 35, is due the pro-rated remainder of $7 million in 2014 and is a free agent after the season.
The outfielder is batting just .215, but has a .357 on-base percentage and 10 home runs in 181 at-bats. He’s been worse lately, batting .159 in July with 25 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances and just four extra-base hits. He missed most of April and May with a fractured left wrist.
One of Willingham’s home runs came against David Robertson and the Yankees in the ninth inning on June 1 during an epic blown save in which Robertson allowed five runs.
It’s unclear where Willingham would play defensively. Carlos Beltran has been unable to play much in the field, so Willingham could slot into right field over Ichiro Suzuki, despite mostly being a left-fielder during his career. Willingham has been subpar defender in his career. He has a defensive WAR over 0.0 just once in his entire career and it was six years ago.
But it wasn't long ago Willingham was a powerful addition to any lineup. He won a Silver Slugger in 2012 when he hit 35 homers and drove in 110 runs in his first season in Minnesota. He had 29 homers and 98 RBIs the previous year, his only year with the A's.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.