There may or may not be much to this rumor, but according to Jon Paul Morosi, the Tigers are among a group of teams to have checked in with the Nationals concerning the availability of OF Josh Willingham.
Willingham has spent the past two season with the Nats, compiling an OPS of .856 in his time there. He is arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter and could draw a salary of better than $6 million for 2011. He made $4.6 million last season.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Nats are said to have set their asking price for the left fielder quite high, so I don’t expect anything will come of this from the Tigers perspective.
With Magglio Ordonez remaining as a possibility for Detroit, I don’t see Dave Dombrowski parting with prospects to sign an outfielder with defensive limitations. Ordonez, while he would likely be slightly more expensive in terms of dollars, could provide at least the same amount of production as Willingham and he won’t cost prospects to acquire.
More likely, this was Dombrowski doing his diligence and asking about the player. Once he was informed that Washington is in no hurry to unload Willingham, Dombrowski likely moved on.