Josh Willingham will sign within the next 48 hours, agent Matt Sosnick told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Sosnick indicated that Willingham has narrowed his choices down to three teams, two of which are believed to be the Twins and Indians.
Minnesota has had a three-year, $25 million offer on the table to Michael Cuddyer for a week now and has stayed in touch with Willingham as a potential fallback plan, but they may be forced to make a choice if Cuddyer doesn’t come to a decision today or tomorrow.
Willingham hit .246 with 29 homers in 136 games for the A’s this year, topping an .800 OPS for the sixth straight season.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says the Indians are now “out” on Willingham, leaving the Twins and perhaps the Rockies in the mix.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.