Contract CrowdSourcing: Adam Dunn

Same concept as yesterday, just with Carl Crawford‘s polar opposite – Adam Dunn. Rather than being a speed and defense guy, Dunn is all about the power, swinging for the fences on every pitch. It works for him, as he’s having his normal season – .265/.358/.556, good for a .386 wOBA. His career wOBA? .385. He’s a pretty easy offensive player to project.

Defense has always been his bugaboo, but after agreeing to move to first base full time, he’s been passable with the glove now that he doesn’t have to run around the outfield anymore, but he’s still far from an asset defensively. How much will teams hold his history of butchery against him, or will they assume that playing first base full time has made him a guy that can carry a glove and be a valuable contributor?

Dunn turns 31 this winter, and there are some pretty scary comparable players that have had their careers veer over the cliff after their 30th birthday. Richie Sexson posted a .385 wOBA at age 30, then went .355, .305, .314, out of baseball. Mo Vaughn put up a .421 wOBA at age 30, then went .370, .369, .349, .291, out of baseball. These guys were paid handsomely for a skillset that is very similar to Dunn’s, and teams have become a bit nervous about giving long term deals to guys with old player skills. However, there are guys like Jim Thome that have remained highly productive, so we can’t assume that Dunn is certainly headed for steep decline.

Will Dunn find the market to be more friendly than the last time he was a free agent? He was essentially the same player two years ago when he had to settle for just $20 million over two years. Have teams become bigger fans of his since then, or is Dunn in line for another rude awakening when he asks for a long term contract? Let your voice be heard below, and we’ll talk about the results tomorrow.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


59 Responses to “Contract CrowdSourcing: Adam Dunn”

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  1. Kevin S. says:

    Last time around, he was inexplicably unwanted property. He done well on his make-good contract – 4 years, $50 million.

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  2. Adam says:

    The fact that his walk rate is the lowest of his career (11.4% in 2010, never less than 15.9% since 2002) is a little worrisome.

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    • Lintyfresh says:

      Not really. Eckstein, the Nats hitting coach is making him swing early in the count to get pitches to drive.

      They both admit he changed his approach… if he wanted to, he could go back to walking all the time any day.

      He, and Eckstein decided it was better for him to have a higher SLG than OBP. I don’t know if I agree with it… but it was planned, not a result of a failing strike zone judgement.

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      • RO says:

        Even if the swing earlier approach is in place, does that account for an O-Swing that is almost 12% (30.1 vs 18.4) higher than his career numbers?

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  3. Chris88 says:

    4 years, 60. I think the Angels will pay more than he deserves.

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    • BX says:

      I would LOVELOVELOVE this, especially if the Angels ended up with an unprotected 1st rounder, which ended up in the Nats’ claws.

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  4. Brandon says:

    I’m going with 4 years/$13M. I think his talents are better appreciated now than they were a couple of years ago, for whatever reason.

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  5. Chris says:

    He could be the DH that NY wanted out of Johnson but never got, and then some. Dunn has more power, takes a ton of walks and could really benefit from playing in a Yankees lineup.

    Conversely, if Boston still wants to get rid of Lowell (which they will) they could sign Dunn to play 1B and move Youkilis to 3B.

    Either way a 2 – 3 year deal would be pretty solid for a guy of his skill set to see how he’ll age. And front load the hell out of any contract you give him too, that way if he ages poorly you’re not paying him a ton to be hurt or slumping on a bench.

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  6. Big Oil says:

    4/52 (13 per yr) for the record. seems like others think this as well.

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  7. Lintyfresh says:

    Dunn refuses to DH. He wants to play everday.

    He’s said in the past he’s ‘too A.D.D.’ to sit the bench until its his turn to bat.

    Plus, his glove is not AWFUL anymore, and he’s got his uses at 1B.

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  8. bender says:

    2/14. No way he gets more than 3 years or more than 50 million dollars with guys like Carlos Pena, Paul Konerko and David Ortiz available at 1st base

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    • bender says:

      When I say 14 here, I mean 14 total, not 14 per.

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    • Temo says:

      Yea, I said 2/20 myself.

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    • Steve says:

      David Ortiz is “available at 1st base” the same way that I am available at 1st base. Both of us own a baseball glove.

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      • NEPP says:

        Are you sure Ortiz still owns a glove? I mean, on the rare times he actually plays the field, he could very well be borrowing Youk’s 1B mitt.

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    • Socrates says:

      In what world are Pena, Ortiz, and Konerko better than Dunn? Looking at that last two years gives Dunn the edge. Ortiz has hit the decline and Pena clearly an inferior hitter. Konerko might be besting Dunn this year, but he is older and his hasnt outproduced him in recent years until this one.

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      • Socrates says:

        I did 3 years, $13m per.

        I think that probably gets you two good years and a third year where he will be playing for another contract (if he has anything less). I do think that Dunn is likely to be retired by 35 or 36 though.

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      • Steve says:

        To be fair, he didn’t say those guys were better than Dunn. He merely pointed out that the market will be flooded with 1B bats, which should drive down the price through the laws of supply and demand.

        Now, as I said earlier, Ortiz is NOT a 1Bman by any definition, and $14M/2 is of course way too low, but let’s not put words in his mouth either.

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      • Socrates says:

        … and I didnt say that he said those players were better. I was simply stating that they are not.

        I should have included the rest of my thought though. The best player doesnt normally see a decline (take Holliday for example), the lower teir ones might though (take Vlad). Ortiz will be lucky to get more than a year. Pena and Konerko are interesting free agents but will in all likelyhood suffer from the fact that they are the inferior 1B available and unless they are willing to take fewer years, and going to have a difficult time matching Dunn’s salary.

        When criticizing some for putting words in “someone’s” mouth, make sure attributed those words to the “someone”.

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  9. Phantom Stranger says:

    Are the people who claim his glove is not awful anymore watching him on an everyday basis? I have watched him closely at first, and he simply is one of the worst fielding firstbaggers in the game. There is a reason the Nats’ infielders have so many throwing errors to first. Of course he hurts you less playing first since he can’t hurt you in the outfield anymore, but the man is simply not a passable fielder at any position. His real position is DH, which is what makes his ridiculous notion he does not want to be a DH the real contract-killer. He simply has less value to a team if he is not willing to DH for an AL team.

    I would not touch him if he continued to play the field, which rules out all the NL teams. A great fit would be Texas. He could put up some amazing numbers in that stadium and possibly go to the HOF.

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  10. Gina says:

    I’d be shocked if he got more than 2 years. I don’t see why he’d be anymore of a wanted commodity than in 09. Especially on a market that will be flooded with 1b option. I imagine something like 1/8-10 2/16 at the most.

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    • Brian says:

      I don’t mean to troll this comment section but are you Gina from Amazin Avenue? I don’t mean to stalk, just wondering.

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  11. William says:

    3 years, 14 per. He wants 4/15, but however better at first, first is not very valuable and he refuses to DH, so I think if the Nat’s add a year and 40% more per to a 2nd contract he’ll eventually take it.

    Fans like him, plus they’ll have a good shot at being competitive for two-thirds of the contract what with a wicked one-two starting rotation, a very strong bullpen … as long as they add another bat (DeJesus would be a great fit). That’ll appeal to both the club and to him, in addition to them probably being one if not the only happy to have him in the field.

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    • Souldrummer says:

      I believe that’s what I said as well. 3 years 14 is what I hope and what I think that he’s worth. 3 years 45 or 4 year 50 is the absolute max I’d give to Dunn. If one of those big market AL teams can buy him into a DH position, then the Nats will likely end up getting outbid.

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  12. The Decider says:

    I went with my gut….

    and it said 3/11

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    • pele says:

      3 and 11 was my guess also. i have always liked him because traditional baseball writers/fans always moaned about the batting average and K’s so i wish he would just DH so i he could actually have some 3.5 or so WAR years. perhaps he is passable at 1B though (or can be with a year under his belt) and can provide that type of value there.

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      • TCQ says:

        Huh, 3/11 here too. Slight bump from his last contract seems reasonable, since he’s improved his defensive value but carries more age risk.

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      • NEPP says:

        I dont know…there’s something to be said about a cleanup hitter that actually bats above .250. Getting walks is a valuable skill but all things being equal, would you rather have the cleanup hitter that gives you a .300 AVG/.400 OBP or the one giving you a .250 AVG/.400 OBP?

        Add in that he’s a career .232 hitter with RISP (but has his BB rate soar) and you understand why he’s never been a big RBI guy (career high is 106)

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      • batpig says:

        um, all things being equal of COURSE you want 300/400 over 250/400! problem is, guys who hit 300/400 AVG/OBP cost more money ;-)

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      • NEPP says:

        That’s my point though…AVG does matter even if the overall OBP is about the same. This is even more true in a cleanup hitter with poor speed/baserunning skills.

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    • The Decider says:

      And apparently Dave’s agrees….

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  13. JohnnyK says:

    I see another 2 years/10 per contract unless he is willing to go to the AL and DH regularly or the Giants lose Aubrey Huff.

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  14. bonestock94 says:

    I guessed 3/36

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  15. BX says:

    I say 2/25.

    Dunn’s demands will come WAY down when the Nats offer him arbitration (which they will, since they WANT to resign him anyway, and have a ton to gain if he declines, including either their choice of two picks in a loaded 2011 draft, one pretty likely to be in the first round.

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    • BX says:

      or a much cheaper Adam Dunn, since the draft comp will destroy the market for Dunn thanks to the loaded 2011 draft and teams flipping out over giving up their draft picks more so than increased contract value (see: Orlando Hudson)

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  16. TFINY says:

    I forgot about the draft comp. and the deep draft this year. I said 4 years @ $12M a year, but I bet it will be less.

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    • Luke in MN says:

      Yeah, that’s a pretty important part of the calculus (although it’s probably going to be the same for almost everyone in this series, right?). Also, Dunn just reeks of a guy who’d kill you in a long-term contract, especially if you didn’t have a DH spot to offer him. I went with 2 years, 13 each.

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  17. AJP says:

    I think 3/39 with a possible (13M) 4th year option could get it done.

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  18. marik7772003 says:

    I said 3/$12. I don’t think that things will be too much different from last time, given the obvious troubles with paying a batter with Dunn’s body type.

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  19. Pat says:

    Yeah the draft compensation will more than likely kill his value…probably looking at another 2yr/10mil deal. That’s what I voted for…

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  20. mowill says:

    Pretty much agree with a lot of others. 4/52 the same contract Sexson got five years ago but with much better results. I see the increase in years and dollars coming from how rare home run power has actually become in the last couple years.

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  21. Milner says:

    I think the Cubs will end up getting him for 4/12 per.

    Dunn wanted to play in Chicago when he signed his last contract, but Hendry shied away from the awful OF defense since 1B was occupied. Now that Lee’s gone, and the Cubs FO has to answer for such a terrible season, I could see them overpaying for Dunn pretty easily.

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  22. Socrates says:

    when do we get to see the numbers? I assume it would have running averages for us like an online poll.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      They did a wrap-up column on Carl Crawford with the numbers a day after it first went live. I’d imagine they’re waiting for a certain number of responses, too.

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    • Bill says:

      I’m guessing that they are worried about tainting the results by showing running averages. People have a tendency to support the consensus.

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  23. NEPP says:

    I always hate when people try to compare Adam Dunn to Jim Thome. Dunn isn’t close to the hitter that Jim Thome was. Its a terrible comparison. Thome is a HoF caliber 1B while Dunn is a nice guy to have around. Dunn will typically give you an OPS around .900 whereas Thome was well over 1.000 several times in his peak years.

    Thome was a much much better and complete hitter than Dunn.

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  24. NEPP says:

    Oh, and my guess is 3 years, $14 M per…with a probable 4th year option.

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  25. Mike in MN says:

    Well, assuming Justin is done in MN, I’d love to have Dunn here to replace him. But, that draft compensation concept will kill that. The Twins would rather draft a guy 25th, that is years away, than have talent around Mauer while he’s in his prime. But, if they don’t fix 1B (Cuddeyer is nigh unwatchable, both AB and in the field), and they don’t fix the OF D, I’m pretty sure Mauer’s prime will be wasted. Dunn fixes 1B.

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  26. Sox27 says:

    I think someone will go 3 years at $14 mil per year. I think anything longer and you’re really taking a gamble. I think in the post-steroid world, we’re going to go back to the days of most sluggers beginning the decline phase at age 33. I don’t know where the money would come from and how you convince him to DH but I would love to see him in a White Sox uniform (of course I’ve said this for 3 years now). With our luck, Kenny will acquire him at age 36 in August of 2016 when he’s in decline..cough cough Griffey, Ramirez

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