Willingham was placed on waivers Monday, and Minnesota has until noon ET on Friday to work out a deal with Baltimore or pull him back off waivers. If the Twins pull Willingham off waivers, they can't trade him this season.
The Twins could also let the O's take Willingham and the rest of his contract, but that scenario is not likely, as Minnesota would want something in return. The 34-year-old is due roughly $1.25 million the rest of this year and $7 million next year.
A trade could make sense for both teams, as the Orioles are on the lookout for a right-handed power bat and remain in the thick of the American League Wild Card race. The Twins are on the lookout for pitching, but they would most likely have to eat some of Willingham's salary to get a good return.
After winning an AL Silver Slugger Award last year, when he hit .260/.366/.524 with 35 homers and 110 RBIs in a career-high 145 games, Willingham has battled through a knee injury and has mostly struggled this season. He has hit .212/.343/.386 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 89 games, and he missed 33 games after having arthroscopic knee surgery in early July.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune was the first to report Willingham was claimed on waivers by an unknown team Wednesday, with the Baltimore Sun naming the O's as the club.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.