Nationals Reportedly Get Olsen, Willingham From Marlins

Bonifacio headed to Florida

The agent for starting pitcher Scott Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham said Monday they are being traded from the Florida Marlins to the Washington Nationals.

Agent Matt Sosnick said a news conference in the Washington area was being planned for Tuesday.

"They've both voiced they're excited for a fresh start. Neither of them has really played for anybody else except the Marlins," Sosnick said in a telephone interview. "They're both trying to process the information." reported, citing sources, that the Marlins would receive second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers in the deal.

"We have nothing to say," Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, said while courtside watching the Miami Heat play the New Jersey Nets. "If that changes, I'll let you know. We're not planning on doing anything tonight."

Beinfest said he was aware of the reports of the trade, but declined any further comment.

Nationals general manager Jim Bowden and spokesmen for Florida and Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The trade signals the start of the Nationals' efforts to reshape their roster after a worst-in-the-majors 59-102 season.

Willingham hit .254 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs last season, when he missed 50 games with a herniated disk in his back. He was a 20-homer player in 2006 and 2007.

The left-handed Olsen went 8-11 with a 4.20 ERA in 2008, his third consecutive season with at least 31 starts. He is 31-37 with a 4.63 ERA in the major leagues.

Bonifacio has hit .240 with zero homers and 16 RBIs in 60 big league games. Washington acquired him in July in a trade that sent reliever Jon Rauch to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

How the deal with Washington will affect the Marlins' plans wasn't immediately clear.

Bonifacio could become an option at second base if Florida moves arbitration-eligible All-Star Dan Uggla, who reportedly could be available. The Marlins have already shipped first baseman Mike Jacobs to Kansas City this offseason, and still have plenty of decisions to make about other players who were part of Florida's surprising 84-77 run this season.

Most around the team have long figured that either Willingham or right fielder Jeremy Hermida wouldn't be back with cost-conscious Florida in 2009, even though the team is planning to increase its spending a bit in the coming season.

"I think Olsen knew he would probably get traded, and Willingham knew there was a chance, given the constraints the Marlins have," Sosnick said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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