Nov 19, 2010, 3:35 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Josh Willingham is eligible to become a free agent after next season.
Sounds like a movie title, doesn't it? Or maybe a complex physics theory.
In actuality, "The Willingham Conundrum" is the dilemma facing the Nationals over the next 12 months with regards to their veteran left fielder. If Adam Dunn's future was the biggest question mark looming over 2010, Josh Willingham's future might well become a comparable storyline in 2011.
The dilemma: Willingham is entering his final season of arbitration. He stands to make about $6 million next year through that process. He's then eligible to become a free agent next fall. Thus, the Nationals would appear to have three options with The Hammer moving forward…
1. Sign him to a contract extension.
2. Let him walk as a free agent and receive draft-pick compensation.
3. Trade him, either this winter or next summer, to perhaps get more in return.
Which option makes the most sense for the Nats? I'm not sure anyone really knows at this point. I do know there's no chance of a long-term extension this winter. It just wouldn't behoove the Nationals to makeRead more »
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