Willingham believes he will not be traded
Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham acknowledged Monday that he doesn’t pay attention to trade rumors — even the latest one which has him linked to the Braves.
However, Willingham made it known that he would like to stay with the Nationals because of the people he has met in the organization since he was acquired from the Marlins in November of 2008.
“I have really gotten comfortable with the people in the organization — the ownership all the way down to every employee,” said Willingham, who is hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs entering Monday’s action against the Reds. “That means a lot when you talk about being comfortable in baseball. I feel very comfortable here. I like everybody in the organization.”
Asked if he would be traded after general manager Mike Rizzo said Willingham “is part of the family. We want him around long-term,” the right-handed hitting slugger believes he would remain a member of the Nationals. It’s not a secret that Willingham is one of Rizzo’s favorite players on the team.
“Rizzo has never told me something that was not true and that started last year in Miami when I wasn’t playing,” Willingham said. “We had breakfast together and laid it out on the table. I told him how I felt and he told me how he felt.
“He told me how it was going to happen and it’s exactly how it happened. He has been as honest with me as anybody. So I absolutely believe [I will not be traded].”
Willingham ended up being the everyday left fielder by June and hit .260 with 24 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2009.