Adam Dunn: What Now?

So the trade deadline came and went this past weekend, and in that time Adam Dunn remained a Washington National. The discussion about whether or not this move in and of itself was wise has been had at length, with most people comparing it to when the Nats didn’t trade Alfonso Soriano during the 2006 season. With Soriano, this move seems to have worked out. Washington used the draft picks from the Cubs, who signed Soriano to a long-term deal, to select pitchers Josh Smoker and Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who is coming off an injury that has prevented him from pitching thus far in 2010, was great in his rookie ’09 season with a 3.39 xFIP in ~91 innings. At twenty-one years old, Josh Smoker has stagnated with a rough season in A-ball. Still, that’s probably around what you’d expect to get from a few months of Soriano at the trade deadline.

However, the results don’t justify the process, and Adam Dunn isn’t Alfonso Soriano. The trade market was hugely underwhelming this year, and Dunn seemed to be the sexiest name on the block. Our own Matt Klaassen looked at Dunn’s value a few weeks ago:

ZiPS Rest-of-Season projections see Dunn as about a +18 hitter over the remainder of the season; let’s call him 2 WAR overall for the rest of 2010. He is probably owed between five and six million dollars for the rest of his contract, so unless Washington eats a substantial portion of his contract, there’s probably only three million dollars worth of projected surplus here — not bad, but probably not worth much more than a decent “C” prospect or two with some upside. However, because Dunn will likely be a Type A free agent in the offseason, draft pick compensation for the team offering him arbitration (assuming he turns it down) bumps the total projected surplus up to around nine million dollars, which means “B” prospects (plus filler) should definitely be in play.

According to Mike Rizzo, the offers for Dunn were just entirely below what they perceived his value to be. So there are a few outcomes that could come out of Washington’s passivity:

1) Dunn gets through waivers and gets traded to a contender (most likely San Francisco)

This one is possible, and Buster Olney thinks it can happen, but why would Mike Rizzo limit his trading pool, essentially lowering his expected returned value, by doing this? Also, the Nationals seemed to have made a strong PR move by keeping their franchise position player, making a potential waiver deal more unlikely.

2) The Nationals offer Dunn arbitration and he accepts it

This one would be bad. Baseball arbitrators like homers, RBI, and hometown guys a lot more than they like WAR, positional scarcity, or anything else of the ilk. Dunn could be looking at a big payday if he goes to arbitration, and Washington would probably be looking at getting a negative ROI via the contract.

3) The Nationals offer Dunn arbitration and he rejects it, signing elsewhere

This seems to be what the Nationals are hoping for (again similar to the Soriano situation). With Strasburg and Bryce Harper, the Nats are poised to build a strong team in the near future, and good prospects can either surround those guys later on or become trade bait for MLB-ready players. Still, a late first round draft pick can fizzle out before you can say “Harrisburg.”

4) The Nationals re-sign Dunn either during the rest of the season or during the offseason

If this happens during the latter timeframe then the Nats will be competing with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox, ballclubs with much bigger payrolls. If it happens during the season, then Washington is probably overpaying considering people have said Dunn will not give a home discount and wants to test the free agent waters.

Mike Rizzo made a strong stand for the Nationals franchise by not trading Adam Dunn. However, the question still remains if Washington is better off for it.




Print This Post



Pat Andriola is an Analyst at Bloomberg Sports who formerly worked in Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department. You can contact him at Patrick.Andriola@tufts.edu or follow him on Twitter @tuftspat

63 Responses to “Adam Dunn: What Now?”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. MikeS says:

    No way Dunn gets through waivers. The White Sox would probably still be interested and could use the leverage of being the only eligible trading partner to offer even less than they did before. They picked up Rios last eyar without giving up any players, just assumed a much bigger contract so I don’t see why they wouldn’t risk this. Rizzo couldn’t accept less than what was previously rumored without losing face and maybe his job.

    As it stands right now, the Giants have a better record than the White Sox so I don’t think SF would get a shot. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I completely understood the waiver process. Correct me if I’m wrong – a team requests waivers on a player. Teams get a chance to claim him in reverse order of the standings (worst to first). If somebody claims him, the team that requested waivers can withdraw the waivers (keep the player, unable to move him), let him go (claiming team assumes the contract like Rios), or work out a deal with the claiming team only. If nobody claims that player they can trade him anywhere or send him down and keep his rights.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bo Summers says:

      Hey Mike just a heads up teams in the National league get first chance at him, that’s why the Giants are the best shot to land him. Nothing against the White Sox but there is no way he goes there considering he would have to get past all the National League before any AL team would have a chance.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Mr. Sanchez says:

    Not every player wants to be a Red Sox or Yankee, particularly with Adam Dunn considering his quoted desire to never DH. That might limit any AL team out of the market when he hits free agency.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Omar says:

      Not to mention that if the Yankees don’t find a trade partner that will give them what they want for Montero, they might end up DHing him; futhermore the Red Sox will likely pick up Ortiz’s option solving their DH option for only one year, there’s plenty of NL teams willing to offer him multiple years that need a first basemen.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. bisonaudit says:

    Dunn is not the Nationals “franchise position player.” Zimmermann is.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Todd Boss says:

    I completely disagree with any comparison of Dunn to Soriano w.r.t the trade deadline deal that the Nats “failed” to make. Soriano was a moping self-centered player who didn’t want to make a positional change for the betterment of the ballclub and who was OBVIOUSLY going to go to free agency after the year. Dunn is a great clubhouse guy, has stated over and again he wants to stay in DC and embraced a positional change and has improved his defense.

    The ridiculous hype about Dunn and the trading deadline failed to take the player and his statements about wanting to stay into consideration. All sportswriters noted was that he is a free-agent to be, the Nats are in last place, ergo we HAD to trade him or else our GM is a complete failure. Wrong! Dunn is the centerpiece of a 3-4-5 batting order heart on this team that is among the strongest in the league and a player that the Nats want and need to resign for the next 3-4 years (by which time we *should* start to become more competitive now that the incompetent Bowden no longer runs the show).

    Dunn won’t leave in FA to go to New York or Boston. You know why? Because he has stated time and again that he is not going to be a full time DH. And that’s what he’d be on either team (behind Teixeira in NY and behind Youklis in Boston).

    Prediction: Nats offer him 3yrs $42M ($14M per to give him a nice raise) and perhaps a mutual option for the 4th year or something that vests based on production. And in 2013 he’s part of a playoff team.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      No idea why they would give him a 40% raise in a weak, declining market, when his production hasn’t been any better than what it was when they signed him for an average of $10 million per year. Granted it hasn’t been worse than expected, but he’s exactly the same player that they were willing to pay an average of $10M per season for prior to the ’09 season. Contracts, in length and dollars, are down since then – particularly for players with a DH-skill set, whether he envisions himself being a DH or not.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        He seems to be more valuable at the trade deadline this year than he was last time around. Would Hudson plus a secondary player been a better haul for Dunn than when the Reds traded him in 2008? I don’t know where he fit in that trade market, but it seems like Dunn is getting more hype now than he was then and, real or imagined, he will have real suitors this time around in the free agent market

        He is not the same player that they were willing to pay for in 2008. Some were concerned that his numbers might have been inflated by the Great American Small Park. His numbers have been pretty consistent and he seems to be hitting a peak. I believe it was somewhere in this space where writers mentioned that Dunn compares favorably to Ryan Howard and the 4 years 60Mil the Dunn camp wants is still much, much better than the 125M the Phillies have tossed to Ryan Howard. Likewise, when they got him they were asking him to play his “natural” position in the OF where they hoped his clunky glove would not totally kill his runs added. This year, he has worked hard and shown he can be an approaching average 1B. For the Nationals, this is very, very good. They don’t have anything on the farm besides Marrero of the .800OPS in the Eastern League or a position switching from catcher power outaged Derek Norris in the Carolina League to fill in. So if they don’t pay Dunn, they are going to have to pay someone else to play 1B.

        A lot of good stuff in this article, but I take Dunn and Rizzo at his word and I believe they will make every opportunity to work things out. Soriano came against his will and was dragged kicking and screaming out to LF by Frank Robinson. He owes Frank a big apology every time he cashes one of his paychecks. Dunn came here by choice and willingly embraced a move to 1B to increase his value and his free agency marketability given that he genuinely doesn’t want to DH. You hope both sides can come to an agreement that will be a deadline success story that will encourage more teams to hold onto their valuable pieces and maintain their fanbases while maintaining the best product possible on the field.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Todd Boss says:

        Was there a “weak declining” market over the past 2 weeks for him? It seemed like every sportswriter in the country was talking about how teams were foaming at the mouth for him.

        Check out his Uzr/150 ratings for the year; last time i checked he was middle of the road. Perhaps a DH skillset on an AL team with a DH but not in the NL. And not on a Nats team that would have a massive hole in their lineup were he to leave.

        My prediction on his contract amt and years is based on possible AL suitors bidding up his services. I don’t think hes 40% better now than 2 years ago but i think he has improved. His average is up, he’s hitting to all fields and he’s acting the role as rbi-man at the expense of his traditionally high OBP.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Griggs says:

        I agree with Todd Boss and Souldrummer. Dunn is gonna get paid! Several things have changed. There is the fact he has shown he can hit away from the Red’s launching pad and that he can also play 1B when given the chance to do so everyday. Also great power hitters have become rarer since his last contract. If Rizzo doesn’t pay, someone will.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jamie says:

        Their offense being equal, an average defensive 1B is probably worth 40% more than the worst defensive OF in baseball. Dunn’s WAR has jumped 2 games this year, despite the fact that his wOBA is almost exactly the same.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        We don’t know how strong or weak the market actually was in the past two weeks for his services. Just because there was a lot of chatter around these here internets that he would be a great addition to team X or team Y doesn’t mean that all of those teams were actually interested in his services, or had any sort of meaningful negotiations with the Nats. Sportswriters have to fill columns somehow, and a lot of it around the trading deadline is based on the “Gee, shouldn’t we go get that guy?!?” premise.

        I still maintain that in an environment where teams have gotten smarter about factoring defensive contributions (or detractions) into a player’s total value, coupled with the weakish market over the last couple of years, that there’s a very slim chance he gets $14M per year. I would say, perhaps, 5-10%. If he does I’ll give a profuse and public mea culpa.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • William says:

      Dunn could go to Boston. Beltre might not return and Youkilis can play a Gold Glove third base. The fact that Dunn’s improved his defense at 1B actually makes him a pretty attractive signing for Boston to make.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DavidCEisen says:

      I love how Soriano is selfish even though he made the position switch, but Dunn is a team player even though he would be better off switching to DH. Funny how that works.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Art Deco says:

    Mike:

    Dunn would have to clear the entire National League before the White Sox could get a crack at claiming him. It is based on reverse standings order, but within the NL first, and then the AL. The opposite applies, of course, to AL players put on waivers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      Thanks (and to @natepro too). I don’t think I’m the only one who has a hard time keeping it straight. Don’t even get me started on options or Rule 5. Even though Buster Olney knows much more about baseball than me, I still don’t see how Dunn clears waivers. My argument still applies to the White Sox and every other team that was interested can probably make the same case. It seems that the Nats just were asking a price that no GM would meet, not that nobody wanted him or was afraid of the contract like might be the case with say, Carlos Zambrano.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        Buster Olney does not know more about baseball than you do. At least you enough to accept that you need to know more and go about trying to learn about it. Buster seems to have limited resources of time for research and really seems ignorant of the Nationals organization in declaring them losers at the trade deadline. Kurtjian is from the DC area and a bit more aware of some of PR reasons that they kept Dunn which cannot be overlooked in a market starving for season ticket holders. You have to realize that in DC, Dunn is the offensive heir to the Senators legacy in part. For old time Senators fans, Strasburg is their Walter Johnson and Dunn is their Frank Howard. Shoot, the Nats themselves even played into this last year with a two part bobblehead set matching Frank Howard and then Dunn to read Nats and then Town to make Natstown. They like marketing Dunn. Not sure if it should matter, but I think businesses care about stuff like this and it can help explain why DeJesus might not have been moved as well had he stayed healthy. On Royals boards, he seemed to be the one position player they could unite behind as being a positive fan favorite with production.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        If you make moves based on PR considerations, you’ve lost.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        “If you make moves based on PR considerations you’ve lost.” I agree with this for the most part. If you’re stuck between apparently equal offers, PR might be a tiebreaker. I know that the season ticket holders trend towards hold Dunn and the Nats have been bleeding ticket holders pretty much every season since 2005, methinks. PR considerations shouldn’t matter but so much but perceived impact on season tickets in baseball ignorant DC media does effect the bottom line that the Lerners care deeply about.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve Balboni says:

      If you make moves based on PR considerations, you’ve lost.

      Unless successful PR increases gate, shared advertising, and media revenues that allow you to build up international scouting, sign draftees over scale and retain free agents.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Please indicate where successful PR counteracts bad baseball. I’m open to the idea that keeping Dunn was alright for the Nats, though I’m not sure I agree with it. Keeping Dunn for PR reasons, and not because doing so provides more value on the field to the franchise than trading him, is stupid.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        I anticipate that Derek Jeter will be worth every penny of his next contract based solely on his on field play.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Please quantify how Jeter provides additional financial value to the team beyond his play on the field. He’s been around long enough that anybody buying his merch because it’s Jeter (as opposed to just getting his/her next favorite Yankee if Jeter wasn’t there) probably already has it, and the Yankees have so much star power anyway that Jeter isn’t going to personally move the attendance or ratings needles.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        I can’t quantify it because it’s a hypothetical deal. I guess basically what I’m implying here is that there is a scale for WAR and how much you should pay for it. Others here can certainly quantify that better than me. I’m saying that Derek Jeter is likely to make more money than that scale for WAR on his next contract because he’s The Yankee Captain and there is some loyalty/PR to him because of his prior service. I’m not an economist; I’m not in marketing. I’m just trying to brainstorm some ideas of cases where players appear overpaid from a SABR perspective and see some of the off the field reasons why they do that. It would be very hard to quantify Dunn’s direct impact on all of the economic factors that affect the club. Frankly, I don’t think he adds but so much direct value. I do, however, think that he may offer some indirect value by increasing confidence of season ticket holders and strongly asserting amongst the next free agent class that “DC is a worthwhile place to play! We’re trying to contend now!” DC’s had to overpay and take second tier free agents to this point (see Marquis and Pudge Rodriguez). Being able to resign a somewhat higher tier Dunn helps the self-esteem of the franchise.

        I realize I’m heading into territory that goes beyond the logic of a SABR site and if they are stuck between overpaying for Dunn at 4yr/60M he wants and taking the picks, Rizzo deserves the lambasting he’ll get around baseball and I hope he learns from it. But if they reach a little for 2yr/32M or 3yr/40-45 (probably where I think they’ll end up), I’ll understand and hope that they’ll contend within the window of the contract, barring the evil deeds of Mr. Boras below.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        ‘I anticipate that Derek Jeter will be worth every penny of his next contract based solely on his on field play.”

        I will gladly take the other side of that wager. The Yankees and their boundless resources, not overpaying for their franchise player in his twilight years? I’d give it about the same odds as Dunn getting $14M per (5-10%). Maybe less. Probably less.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. natepro says:

    Since the Nats are in the NL, the Giants would get first crack at him on the wavier wire, and only after the NL teams had their chance would the AL get a chance. So, the Giants could block the White Sox, but not the other way around.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Danya says:

    MikeS

    I think what Pat was implying might happen would not be that Dunn would clear waivers, but that the Giants would put in the first claim for him, thus giving them the opportunity to negotiate a trade with the Nationals.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Otter says:

    One thing was totally over looked in this piece: The damage the Nationals did to themselves with the other 29 MLB teams. It seems pretty clear that Edwin Jackson was a must in any deal for Dunn, so a bunch of MLB teams went out to get him, the White Sox did, and then when they called the Nats to say, “Okay, Jackson…” the Nats said, “Well on second thought.” If this is true, and I’ve read it in enough places to believe that it is, then they’ve created a ton of damage with their relationship and the other 29 MLB teams. The cost of doing business for the Nats is probably “higher” than it was a few weeks ago. If other GMs can’t trust Rizzo, that adversely effects that Nationals as an organization.

    Dunn won’t get to the Sox, the Tigers and/or Twins would block him (assuming the Twins are still in 2nd). It’s pretty clear that the Nats won’t let him walk, so they’d pull him off waivers and a trade would not be worked out. And someone from the NL would put a claim in first.

    Finally, I’m not sure what Todd Boss is thinking, but there is nothing in the Nats past that make me believe that they are going to be a playoff team anytime soon. The team doesn’t spend money, they’re poorly run (they’ve been in DC for five years and still stink), play in a tough division (if the Mets ever get rid of Omar, that’s four very well run teams) and it appears that Strasburg is a shoulder injury waiting to happen. Basically the Nats are the O’s only with a fan base that only turns out when the Mets, Cubs, Phillies, or Braves are in town.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Souldrummer says:

      What team do you root for? Just curious. I’m a Nationals fan and I won’t claim to be unbiased. I would never want my GM to raise the cost of doing business with shady and dishonest tactics. Bowden probably did this with the Majeski trade to the Reds way back when (Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Nats for a package of relievers centered on Gary Majeski). Majeski gets to the Reds and gets injured pretty quickly and the Reds hate the Nats and vow never to do business with Bowden again.

      But the jury is still out on whether Rizzo has hurt the cost of doing business with the Nats. Personally, I think that he hurt himself on the national perception scale a little bit with all of his open “painful” comments. It will be “painful” to get this guy or that guy or the other guy got to be a bit grating at times for me. But in the end, the Capps for Ramos deal was kind of painful for the Twins and as a Nats fan if that posturing helped convince GMs that he’s not a naive man who won’t make trades to make trades (see Diamondbacks and Dan Haren), I don’t care about that. Rizzo makes a deal with the Twins. No leaks, much quiet deal done that helps both teams. Rizzo makes a deal with the Rangers. No leaks, much quiet, deal done that helps both teams. Rizzo does a deal with the Cuban defector Yunesky Maya that several teams desire. No leaks, much quiet deal done. Rizzo enters conversations with MLB Network TV Star Kenny Williams, one of the most media savvy guys and a communication error or something leads to Williams feeling hurt and abused and telling the whole world about it. What on earth prevented Kenny Williams from just making a three team trade if that’s what he wanted to do and can’t live with Jackson?

      I will say that this year has provided much fuel for a potential ChiSox vs. Nats World Series in my great dreamworld. From the Obama first pitch with ChiSox hat, to the punking we received at Nats Park with Obama watching a Strasburg start defeat, to the no love lost trading deadline you’ve certainly go the seeds for rivalry. Hope that GM’s are mad enough at Rizzo not to invite him to the GM golf outing but smart enough not to refuse to answer his calls. Rizzo seems to prefer scouting anyways.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Otter says:

        I’m a Sox fan. I have no problem with Rizzo attempting to maximize Dunn’s value in a trade. That is his goal as a GM. I get that.

        But if, and I still consider it an if despite the numerous reports, he did sort of pull one over on the Sox, then all the other GMs will know and remember this in the back of their mind. Going forward, that would be very bad for the Nats as long as Rizzo is the GM.

        It’s a big difference to change one’s mind on the players being exchanged… but the White Sox went out and got a pitcher that the Nationals wanted (by all accounts) taking on salary… and then the Nats changed their mind? It seems fishy on a few levels, but again, too many different people have reported that Rizzo pulled one over on the Sox.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. It’s Rizzo’s first rodeo and it seems like he wants a reputation as a tough negotiator who never makes a trade just to make a trade. Don’t have a problem with that. Why couldn’t Kenny Williams make a three team trade, though? There were other three team trades? Perhaps because he felt that even if he was stuck with Jackson that would still be a move that improves his team? I can understand the man’s frustration becasue it seems like Williams spent a lot of time wooing Rizzo and got nothing for his efforts and possibly less than nothing. On the other hand, Rizzo was pretty clear that he wanted Beckham, which the Sox justifably laughed at, and noone was tieing Kenny Williams to a tree to get the deal done. Last I heard, Berkmann could have worked out too but he evoked his no-trade clause so that he could go to the Yanks. No love for Kenny Williams right now, I guess.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        I don’t think Berkman had anything against the White Sox, per se. He is just extremely comfortable in Houston, and probably wouldn’t have waived his NTC for anyone if he weren’t BFF’s with Pettitte. Pettitte was the wildcard here.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BX says:

      I’m sure other GMs don’t want to trade with Andrew Friedman, or Jack Zdurencik, or another GM that will take you for a ride on a trade then?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • PhD Brian says:

      Not sure keeping Dunn helps much, but the Nats are much closer to contending than you realize. Nearly all their pitching woes can be explained by either a lack of experience and/or a dreadful defense behind a bunch of ground ball pitchers with outstanding control. Give them a year or two to fix the defense and the pitching staff will be among the leagues best. I am not sure Dunn is any help in this plan though, so I hope they do not resign him.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      The Red Sox did this same thing in a trade with the Rockies in 2005. I am a little hazy on the details, but from my memory they asked the Rockies to get Larry Bigbie from the Orioles, whom they had agreed to trade for Kelly Shoppach.

      The Rockies did their part and the Sox reneged.

      I don’t remember if it was Bigbie or Eric Byrnes that the Sox asked for, but the basic premise was the same. They backed out of their third of a “3 way trade” after the other 2 teams made a trade.

      As far as I can tell, there were no repercussions from this.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JCA says:

        I think it came out that it was Jed Hoyer who worked on the Rockies deal as a new assistant GM who I think had a relationship with the Rockies GM. This did dampen future Red Sox / Rox deals, but no other long term effects.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. NM says:

    I’d call Zimmerman their franchise position player, actually. I still understand the point being made though, so I guess I’m just nitpicking.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Souldrummer says:

      I’m Scott Boras, and I disapprove of this message. BRYCE HARPER IS THEIR FRANCHISE POSITION PLAYER!!!! Bwahahahahahahahhahahaha. Ah, the middle of August will be so much fun for Nats as we do another waltz with Boras.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott Boras says:

        I can make Zimmerman the franchise position player again. Yes, I can.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        Rizzo unveils his CBA sword and says “You shall eat Crow, Boras! You shall eat Crow! Save your grandstanding until Fight Night in August. Float like a butterfuly sting like a bee, you’ll screw the Yankees but you won’t screw me!”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott Boras says:

        I can just send lil Bryce to indy ball for a year, then he can be drafted by the Yankees next year…

        The current CBA doesn’t expire until December 2011. I still have my time to get him hooked up with the Yankees.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Souldrummer says:

        As always, negotiating in public with Boras is no fun and would be a mistake for Rizzo. We’ll see you at 11:50 PM deadline day Boras.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Matt P says:

    If you trade him to the Yankees or the Rays, he may decide he’s just fine with being a DH next year. If so, the White Sox may be interested.

    I think the only other team in the NL that would possibly be interested in paying 15 million to Dunn is the Braves and possibly the Giants or Cubs. The Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Cubs and Astros are trying to cut down their payroll and rebuild. The Phillies, Padres, Rockies, Cards, Reds, and Brewers already have good first basemen. The Mets have a promising prospect at 1B so I can’t imagine they’d be interested in Dunn. I highly doubt the Pirates or Marlins will spend $15 million on a first baseman that can’t field well. The Braves and Giants are more likely to spend $15 mill on Dunn, but even they aren’t guarantees.

    If the Nats offer Dunn two years and twenty-five million, and Dunn isn’t willing to DH, does he have any leverage?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      They don’t use 1Bmen in the AL?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      I don’t think the Cubs are interested in taking on a contract that big unless they can shed some of the Zambrano/Fukodome/Soriano money. The days of them having an open check book ended when they were sold. I heard the other day they have $109M committed to only 8 or 9 players already next year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin S. says:

      While I like Dunn for the Braves next year, they don’t exactly strike me as the kind of team that’s going to shell out big money for a TTO guy. From their perspective, he probably doesn’t drive in enough runs to justify playing his career .250 BA (obviously I don’t agree with that).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt P says:

        I don’t think the Cubs would be interested either. I do think it’s possible.

        I’m not sure the Braves would spend 15 million on a guy like Dunn either, but I think they could offer 3 years and 42 million without breaking their budget. If the Braves won’t, then Dunn is in trouble.

        They do use 1B men in the AL, but Dunn is known for being a bad fielder. I would think that all AL teams would want him to play primarily at DH. Certainly if he wants to be sure that he’ll play in the field, he’d need to go to the NL.

        But supposing that AL teams decided he’s improved enough defensively to play 1B(and to promise him the position) his choices would still be limited. The Yankees, Red Sox, Detroit, Kansas City, Twins and the Angels don’t have an opening at 1B. Oakland, Texas and Cleveland can’t afford him. Toronto can’t really afford him and already has Bautista. The White Sox potentially would be interested but in that case they may as well resign Konerko. Seattle has Smoak in AAA and so I’d be surprised if they offered Dunn a contract.

        The only team in the AL that would possibly be interested in letting him play at 1B is Baltimore.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • KJ says:

        The Braves would likely not be interested in Dunn for next year. Freddie Freeman is raking at AAA and possibly will be called up later this season if Glaus continues to falter.

        However, I think the Braves will put in a waiver claim on Dunn. If the price decreases from the ridiculous trade deadline asking price of Tommy Hanson then they possibly could make a deal.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Bunk says:

        Wait, why can’t the Jays afford Dunn?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ned Colletti says:

      Since when are we rebuilding? We are still buyers!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt P says:

        I’m wrong about the Blue Jays, they could afford Dunn. I thought that Batista played 1B and not RF. If that was the case, I’d question whether they could afford to spend that much of their budget on a position where they already have a good player. The only thing about the Blue Jays is that they have a bunch of FAs after this year and they’ll need to fill holes at 1B, C and the bullpen.

        @KJ— good point about Freeman. I think you’re right that the Braves wouldn’t be interested in signing Dunn for four years.

        Maybe Dunn will accept arbitration.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Will says:

    As a DC resident and Braves fan who pulls for the Nats when they aren’t playing the Braves (and people like me make up a huge chunk of Nats ticket-buyers given the turnover in this gov’t/military town), I think Souldrummer makes some great points.

    While I generally agree with the other commenter’s statement that “If you make moves based on PR considerations, you’ve lost” . . . DC might be an exception to that rule. As a new team in a town full of transplants, the Nats have to deal not with 1) being a mediocre team during a recession, but also 2) lacking the long-term local support base that other mediocre teams like the Royals or Indians have.

    Here are the reasons people like me go to Nats games: 1) Strasburg, 2) to see the Nats play my favorite team (fortunately for the Nats, there are a ton of us Braves, Mets, and Phillies fans here), and 3) to see the Nats play our team’s rivals, or other good teams or exciting players (for example, I will go pull for them vs. the Mets and Phillies wearing my Braves gear). That said, I’ve gone to a lot more games since the addition of Dunn.

    And for the budding fanbase of real Nats fans, Dunn is even more of a draw. I think losing him (without replacing him with another huge bat) would be a horrible idea. Pre-Dunn, the Nats just didn’t feel like a team that was a threat to come back in the 8th or 9th, which is one of the things that makes baseball an exciting game.

    My question is, if they do lose Dunn, who on earth are they going to be able to sign during the next 3-4 years who brings that kind of bat? In the abstract, it’s easy to talk about who is replaceable or how replaceable a player is. I’m not trashing the stats approach. But I don’t see a long list of .900+ OPS guys lining up to sign with the Nats over NY, Boston, etc.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nik says:

      True, but not as severe as the PR implications on the Jeter talk above. Dunn is not Zimmerman or Strasburg.

      Also, just because they lose a huge bat does not mean they have to get another huge bat. They can make up for Dunn’s WAR with acquiring pitching or defense on the market within the next 3 years when they shoot for contending.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Brian says:

    Can Dunn still play for the Nats while he is on waivers? Or is he in baseball purgatory?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. CircleChange11 says:

    Look at fielding runs leaderboards by position. The difference between the best and worst fielder at that position is the smallest of any position. It’s just not that important.

    I recall one year that Dunn’s positive batting runs were almost entirel wiped out by his negative fielding runs in the OF. I’ll have to look that up.

    As someone else pointed out, the batting production one gets from a 3 or 4 WAR 1B is Huge.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. ABravesFan says:

    I can see the Braves claiming Dunn, which would at the very least block SF which would be the slightest silver lining for the Braves having a 3-6 road trip (dropping behind SF in the standings).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Lance W says:

    “If this happens during the latter timeframe then the Nats will be competing with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox, ballclubs with much bigger payrolls.”

    With all due respect to Dunn, I sort of doubt that. Between Posada and Montero for the Yankees and Ortiz probably resigning out of Red Sox sentimentality, I don’t really see why either team would be overly interested in a DH with his stock at its highest.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. rudedogg says:

    I’m a Sox fan, but here’s my thoughts: first, I do agree that Kenny Williams should have done a 3 way trade w/ AZ. If he got burned its his fault. That being said, all accounts from other GMs is Rizzo wanted Jackson and them renegged. Other GMs are soured by this. Not good for the Nats.

    The thing I’ve heard KW complain about is Rizzo’s unwillingness to negotiate. He wanted Beckham and Viciedo for a rental. That is just ludicrous. Yes, he ripped off Minn in the Capps deal, but since the Twins have a guy named Joe Mauer they were able to make this trade. I’m not saying Rizzo should have traded with the Sox, but he should’ve been realistic with his demands. When Dunn leaves via FA, the Nats will regret this process. Just because they got a good pitcher with the Soriano pick, the likelihood of that happening again is slim. Personally I think TB would’ve been a good suitor since they have a lot of prospects to give, but from what I read Rizzo was unrealistic with them too.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. yajeflow says:

    this is in response to Jason B’s misunderstanding of baseball markets, payroll, economy, etc.

    ryan howard just signed a 5/$125m deal ($25m/yr)
    the economy and market seemed to be there for howard just a few months ago. your point was off the mark.

    ryan howard is the same age as dunn.

    ryan howard is not as good of a hitter as dunn (at least not since 2007).
    “what have you done for me lately?”
    dunn is a 146 OPS+ guy the last two seasons, and howard is a 136 guy. no one is paying anyone *now* for MVP awards they won in 2006. howard has shown a decline in performance. dunn has shown an increase.

    yes, we can discuss ‘defense’, but the results are in: dunn at 1B is no longer a dog defensively like he was in LF.

    dunn is more valuable than ryan howard as a baseball player. whether or not teams see that is another question.

    i do know that the red sox were interested in dunn two years ago, but i’m not sure now. if he goes to a big market team – watch out. he will finally get some pitches near the plate…and RBI. and press.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      ryan howard is not as good of a hitter as dunn (at least not since 2007).

      This all depends on what you want out of your cleanup hitter (big bat). I’m not saying Howard is as good of a hitter as Dunn, but I’m not saying he isn’t either. They’re actually pretty close. What Dunn gains in walks, Howard makes for in BA and HR.

      Better Stats over the last 4 years …

      BA: Howard — 4 years to zero
      HR: Howard — 3-1
      ISO: Howard — 3-1
      OBP: Dunn — 3-1
      SLG: Howard — 3-1
      wOBA: Dunn — 2-0-2 (I called 07 and 09 a tie)
      wRC+: Dunn 2-0-2 (Again, 07 and 09 were a tie, IMO)

      I think a case could be made that Howard IS as good of a hitter as Dunn, or even the other way around. One gets more hits and homers, the other gets more walks and hits almost as many homers.

      The interesting thing to me is that Howard just signed his mammoth contract, and Dunn is having his career year at the same age (basically) as Howard. The only thing is Dunn hasn;t led his current team to 2 world series, so there’s not a sentimental or “past history” component that would incline WAS to give him such a deal, but the man can hit.

      An interesting aspect, to me, are the RBIs. I know the standard statement would be that Howard gets more chances, he’s on a better team, etc. But, I wonder if that is the case?

      From 08-10, Howard has 66 more hits and 8 more home runs than Dunn, while Dunn has 98 more walks … resulting in Howard having 86 more RBIs. (If someone can show me where to look up “RBI chances”, I can get the answer myself).

      What I am asking is if Dunn may be better off as a cleanup hitter, hitting the ball more often as opposed to taking a walk?

      Before anyone jumps down my throat, check out 2010. Dunn is having the best year of his career … and it will be the first time in his career where he will NOT walk 100 times. His BB% is 11, with a career % of 16.4. Wonder if it being a contract year played into it, or whether Dunn is just not getting pitched around as much, or if he’s just being more aggressive, etc?

      I’m moving more and more towards the opinion, that for cleanup hitters (perhaps cleanup hitters only), walks are not as important as they are for other batting positions.

      This is similar to the Williams (take a walk) versus Musial (swing away) discussion, and is not a new debate.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Max says:

    Someone probably pointed this out already, but Jordan Zimmermann has two N’s. You linked to the wrong player.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *