On Wednesday night, Clint and I were honored to have Major League Baseball agent Matt Sosnick, of Sosnick Cobbe Sports, as a guest on The Baseball Show. We discussed a little bit of everything including the rise and fall of Dontrelle Willis, sports agency as a profession, Matt’s experiences in Major League Baseball, stories about his clients, Josh Willingham and Ricky Nolasco’s off-season contract negotiations, why Adam Dunn can’t find a permanent home, and a lot of interesting stuff in between.
In our discussion on Josh Willingham, Sosnick mentioned that the 31-year old outfielder’s next contract is contingent on both his ability to stay healthy, as well as whether the Nationals ultimately decide to re-sign slugger Adam Dunn.
After earning $4.6MM in 2010, Sosnick stated that Willingham would be happy to accept a one-year deal. Entering the third and final year of his current contract with the Nationals, he will be eligible for arbitration during the offseason and it is possible that his 2011 salary could approach $7MM.
Sosnick also indicated that Willingham would gladly sign a multi-year extension prior to the start of the 2011 season if the Nationals offered it. Considering that Willingham has posted an .841 OPS over his 7-year career, he believes that his client could receive a deal worth as much as $10MM/year.
Furthermore, a large part of the Nationals’ decision to offer Willingham an extension will ultimately be based on whether they offer free agent Adam Dunn a new contract. Sosnick suggested that if the Nationals decide to sign Dunn to a multi-year deal, then it is unlikely that they would offer the same to Willingham.
In 2010, he ranked 5th among MLB outfielders (min. 400 PAs) in on base percentage (.389) and tenth in OPS (.848) while playing in 114 games.
Willingham, who missed the last six weeks of the season to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, is already at “100%” and will be ready to go come Spring Training, according to Sosnick.
He also noted that prior to his season ending injury, the San Francisco Giants had made a serious push for the outfielder and that the Nationals had asked for either Madison Bumgarner or Jonathon Sanchez in return.
You can listen to our whole interview with Matt here