KANSAS CITY, Kan.(mlb.com) The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Jason Adam. In a corresponding 40-man roster move, the Royals have requested unconditional release waivers on right-handed pitcher Wilking Rodriguez. The team is planning to make a move to add Willingham to the 25-man roster when he reports to Kansas City on Tuesday.
Willingham, 35, was hitting .210 with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and a .345 on-base percentage in 68 games for Minnesota this season. He's walked 42 times in 278 plate appearances, with his walk rate (15.1 percent) ranking sixth in the American League. His isolated power (.128) ranks 28th among American League players with 250 or more plate appearances. He's spent the last three seasons with the Twins, setting career-highs in homers (35), RBI (110), slugging (.524) and OPS (.890) in 2012, earning the A.L. Silver Slugger Award as a left fielder. The right-handed hitting outfielder is in his 11th season in the big leagues, having spent time in Florida (2004-08), Washington (2009-10), Oakland (2011) and Minnesota (2012-14).
Adam, 23, was the Royals fifth-round selection in 2010 and has split the 2014 season between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). He's a graduate of nearby Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan.