Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Adam Dunn

The results of our second contract crowdsourcing are in, and while those who commented on the original post seemed willing to pony up for Dunn, they were a vocal minority. If Dunn is expecting a big paycheck this winter, the crowd think he’s in for a disappointment.

Average years: 3.18 years
Average salary: $12.40 million

Median years: 3 years
Median salary: $12 million

Standard deviation, years: 0.81 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.73 million

As you can see, there was less agreement with Dunn than with Crawford, as people clearly have very different perceptions of his value. The standard deviation in salary is almost as high as it was with Crawford even though the average salary is 25 percent lower. Almost as many people voted that he’d have to settle for $7 million per season as the ones who thought he’d hit the jackpot and get $20 million per year. A whopping 52 people gave him an annual average salary of $20-plus million. Seriously.

I think those folks, and perhaps Dunn and his agent, are in for another rude awakening this winter. I had him at 3/33 before the community voted, putting him very close to that mark. While he’s a productive player, he faces some challenges, as follows.

1. His refusal to DH will scare off most AL clubs, limiting the number of teams that will seriously pursue him.
2. There are a glut of free agent 1B/DH types on the market this winter.
3. He’s going to be a Type A free agent, and the Nationals are almost certainly going to offer arbitration.

Given those three factors, you’re looking at just a few clubs that will be in the bidding. Rebuilders will not want to lose a good draft pick in a loaded class. Most contenders already have a good first baseman, or may be looking to leverage all the available options against each other to come up with a cheaper option. It’s just going to be very difficult for Dunn to find multiple teams that want to pay him a lot of money, and one heavily interested team won’t be enough, as he learned two years ago.

I’ll stick with my original thought of 3 years and $33 million, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if his eventual deal was less than that, or even if he ended up accepting the Nationals arbitration offer.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Will
Guest
Will
6 years 28 days ago

Dunn has said he’d be willing to DH for an AL team if he were traded. I’m not sure if that meant “only for two months until my contract ends” or “I’m open to new positions”, but either way, I’m not sure argument #1 holds as much weight as it had in the past.

Lintyfresh
Guest
6 years 28 days ago

Will, the quote was that he was willing to DH for two months, but not any longer than that.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie
6 years 27 days ago

If there’s an extra 10-20 million in DHing, I suspect he’d be willing to give it the old college try.

Matt K
Guest
Matt K
6 years 28 days ago

I was going back and forth between 2/24 and 3/36.

surprised that the variation was that high… i guess he was due for a raise from his previous contract, but I didn’t think it would be that huge of a raise….

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
6 years 28 days ago

Mariners are gonna be drafting in the top 15, thus protecting their first round pick. I’d be more than willing to sign the guy for 3/30, 3/33…somewhere around there, to DH since our pick is protected.

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 27 days ago

The Mariners invented defense. They will not sign Dunn to play 1B.

MetsFan
Guest
6 years 28 days ago

Hmm, I don’t get the math. If 52% gave him 20+. then the remaining 48% would have to average 4.16 per year. Which seems silly and would lead to a bimodal distribution / an enormous standard deviation. I’m guessing the 52% is off or I completely misinterpreted something.

Chris
Guest
Chris
6 years 28 days ago

52 people total gave him 20+ not 52%.

MetsFan
Guest
6 years 28 days ago

I’m a fool. Thanks for the clarification.

Neil S
Guest
Neil S
6 years 27 days ago

It’s an easy mistake – the previous sentence said “25 percent”, and Dave Cameron doesn’t tell us how many votes were collected, which one would expect if we’re going to be given raw totals and they’re supposed to be meaningful. So we’re both primed to read ‘percentage’ and not prepared for a decontextualized number – it’s a bit sloppy. (I thought it was 52 percent on my first read, too.)

JCA
Guest
JCA
6 years 28 days ago

So, within a little over 1 SD from the median, we get a range of 2 years, $18 MM, to 4 years, $59 MM.

Since Dunn will be auctioning his services to the highest bidder, do you think the “winner” of his services will be above the median estimate? The winner of an auction values the auctioned item more than everyone else.

robbbbbb
Guest
robbbbbb
6 years 28 days ago

I was thinking much the same as this commenter. Doesn’t the Winner’s Curse have something to say about this? After all, we’re average folks thinking about value. The high bidder is going to overbid for Dunn’s services.

JMS
Guest
JMS
6 years 28 days ago

Isn’t the exercise though to guess what Dunn will receive, not what he is actually worth? Winner’s curse only matters if people have been doing the latter.

bender
Member
bender
6 years 28 days ago

Look at what guys like Thome, Vlad, etc. got this past off-season. A guy with Dunn’s skillset is no longer a lock for a huge contract.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 28 days ago

Vlad was coming off years of injury, and Thome had to give the old-man discount.

Omar
Guest
Omar
6 years 28 days ago

I think he’ll sign long term with the nationals…I’d love to see him play for a contender so he can rack up a shitload of RBIs. Adam Dunn in the HR derby would be unquantifiably awesome, Colorado would be a really fun place to see him land.

Omar
Guest
Omar
6 years 28 days ago

Oh I think the extension with the Nats will be three years anywhere from 35-40 million

pele
Guest
6 years 28 days ago

i find it hard to believe 52 people think he will get 20m a year. not that you’re lying, its just amazing that many people are so far removed from reality.

Rich
Guest
Rich
6 years 28 days ago

Didn’t Ryan Howard just get 25M per? Dunn is a better player than Howard.

batpig
Guest
batpig
6 years 28 days ago

while that point is debatable…. it’s sort of irrelevant because what matters is the PERCEPTION of the two players, which isn’t that close…

Rich
Guest
Rich
6 years 28 days ago

The claim that managers of professional teams are working on perception and ignorant of actual value is huge one. Care to back it up?

batpig
Guest
batpig
6 years 28 days ago

Ruben Amaro just gave Ryan Howard a 5-year, $125M extension.

POINT PROVEN! :-)

I also dispute the assertion that Dunn is a better player than Howard…. but I don’t think it’s particularly controversial that the league-wide perception is that Howard is a much better player than Howard. I think you only have to look as far as Dunn’s last free-agent deal with the Nats for evidence.

batpig
Guest
batpig
6 years 28 days ago

I also think you’d have a much tougher time backing up the counter-claim that ALL managers of professional teams are rational assessors of actual value. Many of them are, but at least a few demonstrably aren’t…

batpig
Guest
batpig
6 years 28 days ago

duh, I mean the perception is that Howard is a better player than DUNN….

pele
Guest
6 years 28 days ago

yeah if Dunn is comparable to Howard at 1B they are very close in value but like many have pointed out its close irrelevant when two years ago dude signed for 2/20 with no injury worries or anything. i would give very nice odds on a bet as to whether Dunn even get a 1yr 20m deal, nevermind a multi year contract at that rate, its just not happening in this world.

Rich
Guest
Rich
6 years 27 days ago

“I also think you’d have a much tougher time backing up the counter-claim that ALL managers of professional teams are rational assessors of actual value”

Exactly where did I make that claim?

I said SOME are, which means Dunn will get paid his value. All it takes is 1.

batpig
Guest
batpig
6 years 28 days ago

I wonder if the people who put 20M+ thought that the survey was asking for total contract value, not average annual value….

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
6 years 28 days ago

Yeah, 20M per year is just insanity. The guy “settled” for 10M per a couple of years ago (I’d love to settle for that!), and did *exactly what he was expected to do by everyone*. When only one team is willing to pony up 10M and he puts up the same numbers over and over, how exactly does that magically translate to him doubling his value exactly? A 10M per year player + a known, easily projectable skill set + 2 years of age + economy still in the crapper does NOT = 20M per year. What do you think, Prof. Frink?

Prof Frink
Guest
Prof Frink
6 years 28 days ago

GOOD GLAVIN!! I um…forget to carry the one there.

B N
Guest
B N
6 years 25 days ago

I also wonder if people were misreading things. I have trouble imagining anyone thinking Dunn would get paid $20m annually. It strains the imagination to have that many people saying that, unless people are misunderstanding or stuffing the ballot box.

Though I don’t doubt he could get a raise. He was underpaid in his last contract and he’s actually improved defensively at 1B. If he can be passable at 1B or accept a DH position, you’d have to think that would add 2m or more to his value annually.

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 28 days ago

A guy like Dunn, near his prime, who consistently hits 35-40 homers will surely get more than Thome, Vlad and Matsui. There might be a lot of 1B/DH types on the market but objectively Dunn is clearly, and by far, the best hitter available at any position. Contemplating the standard deviation, the community basically concludes that any contract from 2/20 all the way up to 4/64 is likely. While I could imagine a scenario where Dunn signs a similar contract to the one he signed in 2008, I don’t find it likely. 2010 is not 2008 in economic terms and the scarcity of power becomes more pronounced every year beyond the steroid era. I see him signing with Boston for 4/52 to replace big Papi at DH, I also see 4/64 as far more likely than 3/33 and almost infinitely more likely than 2/20.

Jake R
Guest
Jake R
6 years 28 days ago

He won’t sign as a DH. 4/52 might change his mind, but it would be an insane overpay for a team that already has Ortiz locked in at 1/12.5 for next year. Ortiz is just as good a hitter as Dunn, is happy as a DH, and we know can hit as a DH (see Pat Burrell for an example of a player who just couldn’t). Ortiz is also a Boston icon, so it would be a terrible PR move, a highly questionable financial move, and a move that only treads water in terms of performance.

I say all of this as a Red Sox fan who thinks that Dunn at 1B is a solid backup plan if Beltre cannot be extended. But, I think that assuming something along the lines of a 2/24 or 3/33 contract. At 4/52 for Dunn, I’d rather just pay Beltre whatever it takes to keep him.

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 28 days ago

At this point David Ortiz is nowhere near the hitter that Adam Dunn is.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=319&position=OF

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=745&position=DH

From 2003 until 2007 Ortiz was clearly better, no more. Ortiz is not worth his 12.5 million contract, which is an option not set in stone. Imagine a heart of the order that goes Pedroia, Dunn, Youkilis, Drew and Beltre. I think the Red Sox would rightly rather spend 25-28 million next year on Dunn and Beltre instead of on Ortiz and VMart.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
6 years 28 days ago

This White Sox fan would take him for that money. If Konerko leaves he can play first like he wants and he seems to be servicable there. They get back the picks by losing Konerko. Overall he’s a younger, cheaper, left handed, more patient, better hitting version of Konerko who’s not bad in his own right. Flowers and Viciedo don’t seem ready yet even if one is slotted in at first for the future.

I don’t think he’ll go that cheap though. Plenty of people here estimated he’d make more and if just one GM agrees, guys like Scott Boras know that’s all it takes.

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 28 days ago

Very good points. If it comes down to a bidding war between White Sox and Red Sox he may actually get 16 million annually. But the more I think about it the more teams I see getting involved. Possibly the Rays if Pena and Crawford both leave. Possibly the Tigers. Perhaps even the Orioles or Mariners. I honestly don’t see him signing with an NL team unless he resigns with the Nationals though.

Having said that, all in all I’d put it at 90% that he signs with the either the Red or White Sox in the end.

TFINY
Member
TFINY
6 years 28 days ago

Not the Rays–they are cutting payroll down to around $50M a year.

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 28 days ago

Lets say the Rays lose Pena, Crawford and Soriano. Lets also say they trade Garza and trade or non tender Bartlett. If all Dunn can get is another 2/20 deal, wouldn’t he rather sign that deal with the Rays than with the Nats. In that scenario he would fit the Rays budget. I don’t think it will happen but I won’t call it impossible either.

OkBlueJays
Member
OkBlueJays
6 years 28 days ago

I went with 3/36mil

daryl0
Guest
daryl0
6 years 28 days ago

I see no way that he accepts arb from the Nats. Remember, he only has 1 week to decide to accept or decline. He’s almost certainly to get enough inquiries from other teams in that week (although unlikely to get any concrete proposals) for him to think that the demand for his services is considerable.

Also, I can’t believe that no commenter has mentioned the Yankees as possible suitors. Dunn would be a huge upgrade over Nick Johnson (I realize he was injured all year) and the assorted DHs they’ve used this year, and the Yankees will almost certainly want to keep Dunn away from signing with the BoSox.

daryl0
Guest
daryl0
6 years 28 days ago

BTW, my guess would be that Dunn gets something in the 4/$50M range, probably with the 4th year being a team option with a $2-3M buyout. As several commenters have posted above, it only takes 1 dumb GM to create a bad contract.

Jake R
Guest
Jake R
6 years 28 days ago

Jesus Montero is next in line at the DH position in NY. And, the Yankees are not going to lock in a long term DH with both he and ARod looking like they will end up at that position in the short to medium term.

Phantom Stranger
Guest
Phantom Stranger
6 years 28 days ago

I believe the rumor is he turned down a 3-years/$42M extension from the Nats, who do want him but are unwilling to go much higher. Apparently the sticking point was a guaranteed fourth year, where Dunn thinks his value is closer to 4/60M.

Sophist
Guest
Sophist
6 years 28 days ago

While I have some doubts that the Nats will offer him arby . . . it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen, see him play about 90 games for them and then get dealt to the White Sox. It won’t be for Edwin Jackson, though.

JCA
Guest
JCA
6 years 27 days ago

I don’t see the Nats letting him for no compensation. They did offer Soriano arbitration, which turned in to Jordan Zimmermann I think with the compensatory draft pick.

Arbitration would not be such a bad thing for Dunn if he is willing to gamble year to year on his health. There is a chance he’d accept it and get the $15MM he wants. I think the Nats would tolerate that risk given the lack of options behind him.

Greg
Guest
Greg
6 years 28 days ago

Crap … I did a long post and my window crashed.

I’ll try again … shorter but more pointed

Dunn needs to accept that he’s a DH for AL teams.

He’s a 10-13 per player

Insisting on 1B will cost him $ or opportunity.

Does he care if he can WIN somewhere (so far … no)

The Red Sox would be better off with Dunn as a DH than Ortiz (who’s a 12 million or so CLUB option for 2011) … Ortiz is much more likely to fall off a cliff in 2011 or even the next few years than Dunn … Fans reactions be dammed. Take that with the knowledge that Adrian Gonzales and Prince Fielder are both FA in 2012 … or deadline trades in 2011 … and the Sox have the prospect to make that happen. Lars Anderson also looms if they want to save some money … even if Lars won’t be comparable … at least initially. Phat Albert *could* be a FA in 2012. Just saying all that makes me sick being a Reds fan … if only they had 1/2 the financial muscle. (They had better pay Votto)

Seattle would be stupid to sign Dunn given they ARE rebuilding and they have Smoak and Carp

Texas has to be interested even at 1B given losing Smoak. (Assuming they don’t resign Lee or some other expensive SP but all there move seem to be 2010 oriented and they have a ton of good young arms)

Yanks are better off financially with Montero and ?? … and yes Arod ( or god forbid for them Posada ) are headed that way … but since when do finances control the Yanks. (Personally I think they are better off buys the best SP they can get year to year … Like Lee in 2011)

Detroit might work if they think they can content in 2011 (which is in doubt … but if things break right and they bring back the greybeards it could happen)

Atlanta needs a bopper at 1B. Dunn trumps Lee or Glaus though Freeman is an option if they want to go young cheap < production.

SF/LAD/Rockies all need a 1B … SF sometimes hands out silly contracts. Same for LAD. I'm not sure the Rockies have anyone in the minors to step up. They could content in 2011.

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 27 days ago

I like your logic.

It seems to me that all the clubs with a lot of money to spend are in the AL this year. You have Detroit, White Sox, Angels all able to offer substantial contracts along with the usual Yankees and Red Sox and then you have teams like the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays and Mariners that have let it be known they will spend under the right circumstances.

Who in the NL has payroll to offer a big contract? The Mets do but have no room for Dunn. The Dodgers don’t because of the whole divorce deal. The Cubs could but I think they want to shed an albatross or two or three first. The Nats can bring him back. But really every other team is locked into an amount of payroll or certain players that make Dunn unattractive.

To me it is the Nats or it is an AL team and then let the bidding begin because Dunn could be the next dominant DH, heir to the Edgar and Big Papi legacy.

Greg
Guest
Greg
6 years 28 days ago

Man … if Edwin Jackson was the centerpiece for a Dunn trade … I want to know who else was in.

If I were the Nats I would have rather had Hudson (plus more I’m sure) … but Hudson is GOOD … and CHEAP.

Can’t see the Sox putting Beckham in as was reported. Good move by the Sox … but why didn’t they just sit tight with Hudson?

gilly
Guest
gilly
6 years 27 days ago

I had 3/45, but is it possible Dunn will agree to a 1 yr contract with the Nats including an agreement that the Nats will not offer him arb next year?

Trev
Guest
Trev
6 years 26 days ago

Do Adrian Beltre next!

FYI, Boston gave a 34 year old Mike Lowell 3/37 after a 5.2 WAR season in 2007. Beltre’s at 6.0 WAR and he’ll be 32 next year.

Put me down for 4/50

Arlie Sherles
Guest
6 years 24 days ago

I’ve read over some of your blog entries and I had been curious if you were interesting in swapping webpage links? I am constantly hunting to swap links with blogs about related themes! I look forward to hearing back from you shortly.

Reds Stats Nut
Member
Reds Stats Nut
6 years 23 days ago

I think these are great. I’d like to request a few more:
Derek Jeter
Bronson Arroyo

Thanks!

JoeIQ
Guest
JoeIQ
6 years 22 days ago

There is less agreement with Dunn? His yearly salary has less standard deviation that crawford’s.

Though Crawfords is a deviation from a higher average, so the percent deviation might be less.

It seems overall there is about equal levels of agreement with the two players.

Alyson Cragun
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

Straight to the point and well crafted, thanks to you for this write-up

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