Discussion: Adam Dunn

The free agent market is no longer kind to lumbering, defensively challenged players, as guys like Jermaine Dye and Hank Blalock sit here unemployed during the last week of February. Next year's free agent class naturally features a few players like that, one of whom is Adam Dunn.

The king of the three true outcomes, the 30-year-old Dunn leads all of baseball in walks (673) and strikeouts (1,063) while hitting the second most homers (244) over the last six years. As productive as he was offensively, Dunn gave a lot of it back with his outfield defense (-66.9 UZR since 2007). That's not much of a problem anymore, because he moved to first base full-time following Washington's trade of Nick Johnson.

Dunn is in the second year of the two-year, $20MM deal he signed last February, however GM Mike Rizzo has already made it known that he'd like to lock him up with a contract extension. What kind of extension do you think is fair for Dunn and the team? Perhaps something in the neighborhood of three-years, $39MM?


58 Responses to Discussion: Adam Dunn Leave a Reply

  1. riverahammerofgod 5 years ago

    bos or sea should sign him to dh or chi white sox.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    This guy needs to throw in the towel and be a DH.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Okay, but he if had to play 1B, I’d give him 3/42. Especially if he continues his 2009 form. He’s really done a great job trying to cut down on the K’s and his OPS+ is getting higher and higher.

  3. EarlyMorningBoxscore 5 years ago

    I really wish boston would trade for him and use him over ortiz. or atleast sign him at the end of the year.

  4. csg 5 years ago

    if I was an AL GM, Id make it a priority for him to be my DH

  5. bjsguess 5 years ago

    It’s hard for me to imagine any DH getting more than $10m/year in this market. I love Dunn but that’s an awful lot of money.

  6. MrMurphyRoops 5 years ago

    Wow, part of that knockout line-up and defense that they say will put Washington over the Mets.

    • All Day Réy 5 years ago

      who did they add that is so good that puts them over the mets, just getting reyes,bay,wright, and beltran(after a month or two) back in the same lineup is a bigger boost than say wang,marquis,capps, and pudge. Even with all the injuries the mets still finished 11 games above the nats in the standings. I know your being sarcastic here too so this isn’t really directed towards you, but i have been hearing a lot of this also and this its stupid!

      • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

        Well, I’ve seen a lot of projections put the Mets in the WC and behind the Phils in the East. I think that is the NY bias, but the Mets are probably the team that has changed the most from 1 year, due to injuries. Still, there are a lot of questions. Rotation, BP, heath. Beltran played for half a season last year and now he may miss the first 2 months? It may not effect this year but Bay’s legs and the Mets doctors wont mix well.

        • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

          Nothing about the Mets says playoff contender.

  7. Guest 5 years ago

    Seattle would be a ideal fit.

  8. monroe_says
    monroe_says 5 years ago

    3 yrs/39 million sure seems mighty generous for a guy averaging 1.8 WAR over the last three years and -17.9 UZR/150 at first (through 194 games). Dunn simply has no business being anything but a DH. 3 yrs/27 seems about right for such a one-dimensional, albeit valuable, player. He’d be a fine slab of meat for the Fenway faithful.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      If moved to DH, that WAR becomes completely irrelevant.

  9. You’re kidding right? 3/39 for Dunn? That suggestion is absolutely ridiculous, no way he comes anywhere close to that

    • losingfaithinmightymelvin 5 years ago

      I came on this board to specifically say that. Well said!

  10. jphenix2002 5 years ago

    I would like to see detroit go after him if/when he becomes a free agent.

  11. philpbarnes 5 years ago

    Would be an excellent replacement for Papi after this year. Hopefully that’ll be the case.

    • DarthVader87 5 years ago

      I think that will depend on what happens with possible trades before the trade deadline.

  12. secretagentbojangles 5 years ago

    i dont see why people are trashing the 3 year 39 mm. the guys been consisten of his whole career. 38 homeruns was a down year for and he improved his average. i think a lot of teams will be looking at him and if there is a bidding war (most likely) he could get around the 39 million.

    • Last year’s .269 BA was a career high. Let that sink in a little.

      I can’t imagine anybody giving him more than the 2 year/$20 mil deal he had to wait for from Washington last time he was a free agent.

      The market has changed dramatically. If there was 3yr/$39M desire for him out there he would have been traded for last deadline. Problem was nobody wanted him for the next season and a half at the $10M per season rate.

      I see him signing 1-2 years, $10M per if he’s lucky. Expect it to come after New Years.

  13. meddler 5 years ago

    Ahem, his defense even more of a problem now that he’s a first baseman, not less. He’s been a worse first baseman than outfielder in his career. And even though he was a slightly better first baseman in 2009, the negative positional adjustment to first base is larger than LF. A 0 UZR LF has the same value as a +5 UZR 1B assuming their offensive production is identical. He’s much more useful in LF than 1B, but he’s one of the few players who actually would be more valuable at DH than in the field. In 2009, he cost his team 36.3 defensive runs. That’s a much greater loss than if he were a DH, when he would have cost his team a bit more than -17.5 runs (it would have been -17.5 per 600 PAs). He’d have been nearly two wins better as a DH.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      How would he have still cost them 17.5 as a DH?

      • meddler 5 years ago

        I just meant the positional adjustment for DH is -17.5. The value for defense is obviously 0 for a DH, but its the largest negative positional adjustment you’ll find. Its -12.5 for 1B and -7.5 for LF/RF. So a -5 UZR first baseman with an identical offensive line to a DH in the same number of PAs will have the same total value as that DH. Same for a -10 UZR corner OFer.

  14. Suzysman 5 years ago

    I did it in the other thread so I’ll do it here too; This is the 2011 Free Agent market for 1B/DH

    Derrek Lee, Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche, Carlos Pena, Garrett Atkins, Russell Branyan, Troy Glaus, Aubrey Huff, Nick Johnson, Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez, Lyle Overbay, Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Andrew Jones, Jose Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, Pat Burrell, Jason Giambi, Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui, David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Jorge Cantu, Frank Catalantotto, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Mike Jacobs, Doug Mientkiewicz, Fernando Tatis, Chad Tracy, Ty Wiggington, David DeJesus, Brian Giles, Ken Griffey Jr, Brad Hawpe, Austin Kearns, Mark Kotsay, Jason Kubel, Xavier Nady, Matt Stairs, Mike Sweeney and Marcus Thames. Then you have the non-tender candidates like Jack Cust, Josh Fields, Ryan Garko, Jonny Gomes, Casey Kotchman, James Loney and probably a couple more. Plus you have the trade market that will at least be sporting Adrian Gonzalez

    Massive amount of talent on the free-agent market for 1B/DH is an understatement. It will likely be hard for any of them to get 10 a year over multiple seasons with so many options out there. They better be taking the first offer they get as holding out will just lead to teams moving onto the next option and eventually their having to settle for whatever they can find. I might expect the top producers of the bunch (which includes Dunn) to get around 2-3 at about 7-8 a year. I dont expect anyone will really get more then that though, so many options means no bidding wars means zero reason to put your bid much higher then that.

    • alxn 5 years ago

      All that means is that there are a bunch of openings on teams to fill as well. Players in the top tier are going to get payed regardless. There is no way that a player like Berkman is going to get $7M.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        “All that means is that there are a bunch of openings on teams to fill as well.”

        Yeah, on a bunch of teams with next to no money to spend who, for the most-part, have internal options waiting for the chance to play.

        “There is no way that a player like Berkman is going to get $7M.”

        Because 35 year olds have been doing fantastic on the FA market when up against some 3-4 options instead of the expected 50 or so alternatives, right?

        With so many alternatives and so many clubs with their back against the salary walls it would be overly optimistic to expect a couple 35 year olds to get enough leverage to request 10+ million over multiple years.

        • alxn 5 years ago

          I don’t know, maybe you should ask Bobby Abreu.

          I don’t think you realize how good Lance Berkman is. Check the numbers and get back to me. I’d be shocked if he got under $10M.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            Abreu? You mean the guy who nearly had to buy a job off the FA after posting a .296/.371/.471 line for the Yanks in 2008? Yeah, good call there…

            Anyway, people seem to have the biggest problem grasping the concept of supply and demand. A while back I had everyone telling me how the Braves were so stupid to release Kelly Johnson, how there was no way he wasnt worth the 4 MM he would make in arbitration and how he would definitely sign a deal worth that or more because he was that good and it didnt matter if there were 20 or so middle infielders on the market. What did he end up getting, about half that? Does that help you understand supply and demand a bit better? When the market outweighs the demand there is no need for teams to bid against eachother – there is more then enough to go around. So instead of players getting exactly what they want they will instead be forced to take what teams can afford and are willing to allot to (in this case) a 35+ year old First Baseman (again, not exactly the hottest commodity going, ya know)

          • alxn 5 years ago

            I know plenty about supply and demand, you don’t need to patronize me like a tool.

            You make the huge mistake of grouping all the 1st basemen/DH together. In reality there are only a handful of starters in there, and Berkman is definitely the cream of the crop. No team is going to weigh signing Berkman in comparison to signing someone like Lyle Overbay.

            The best players always get payed, period. There will always be demand for a perennial all-star like Berkman.

  15. mattinglyfan 5 years ago

    Adam Dunn is one of the few guys where he would be better off serving as a DH and abandoning any and all Rawlings products, his bat is that good.

  16. Jay Johnson 5 years ago

    I’m fairly confident that the Nats are going to sign Dunn for something around 3/$39, maybe a little bit more, just before the season starts. Rizzo has praised him effusively in recent days, and I doubt he’d be doing that if he wasn’t relatively sure they would reach an agreement. The only thing that needs to be proved is that Dunn is something better than a -17 UZR at first, which I think he will show during spring training.

    This is the first year that Dunn has been at first full time, and he recognizes how much money it will cost if he can’t play the field. So his motivation is there. And having watched him play for a full year, I see no reason why he can’t succeed at first. If Ryan Howard can become adequate there, so can Dunn.

  17. dire straits 5 years ago

    No idea why he would want to stay with a perennial last place club, much less why the Nationals would want to hang onto a prototypical DH.

  18. wayne_gomes 5 years ago

    Yeah he’s just as much of an adventure, if not more at 1B than he is in LF. I’d be worried about the prospect of him being involved in so many more plays there

  19. crazynatsfan 5 years ago

    i hope rizzo sign him for 3/36 mill i think its a fair amount for a guy that can only produce points but cant play defense to save his life even when he is playing at first and 12 mill a year is a good amount so take it or get the f••k in the AL and be a DH

  20. the_show 5 years ago

    Kenny Williams should trade for him

    • chetkincaid 5 years ago

      Trade who? He’s expensive and strikes out an awful lot…

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        But just think of Adam dunn in US cellular park..50+ HR is definitly a posibility

      • atg26 5 years ago

        sox should defiently get him. hes a free agent after this year so you wouldnt have to give up flowers, mitchell, or hudson. Maybe viciedo or morel, than torres and someone else maybe jordan danks. three of those guys would probably do it but we should defiently sign dunn to an extension after we make the trade.

  21. Bravoboy10 5 years ago

    Adam Dunn + Pesky Pole= 50HR’s a year the next 5 or so? Maybe even he could reclaim his speed and go for 20sb like he did in one of his first years if he isn’t worrying about defense. (sarcasm)

  22. osfan3000 5 years ago

    i personally would love to keep dunn because i love the power. im willing to risk him playing 1B because if u actually watched a Nats game, he got beter as the year went on. He was able to snag balls in the dirt, have longer stretches then N. Johnson and Zimmerman’s errors went down(in the 2nd half) and i think that was due to throwing at a bigger target (maybe haha). I believe that if he gets enough time there dring spring training he can become realiable at 1B. If he proves to me he can become a stellar defenseman at 1B this year, l would sign him to 3/45. BUT if he is terrible at first base then id lower the offer to 3/36.

    • gonats4411 5 years ago

      You bring up a good point with Zimmerman. Last year, the key to Zimmerman’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger was Adam Dunn (not to take away from Zimmerman’s accomplishments). I agree with you that Zimmerman reduced his errors because of the big target he throws to in Dunn. A vast a majority of Z’s errors were due to throwing and guys like Dimitri Young and Nick Johnson simply couldn’t stretch for the wild throws (especially Young). However, with the amount of ground ball out pitchers that the Nat’s have in their rotation, Dunn could quickly become a liability. I am an optimist that Dunn could improve. One has to be an optimist to be a Nat’s fan, haha…

  23. Janish_is_Lemke_in_disguise 5 years ago

    Adam Dunn is a legend!

  24. Guest 5 years ago

    If only he liked baseball.

  25. ctownboy 5 years ago

    When Dunn was at the University of Texas they wanted him to change positions (from Quaterback to Tight End) but he refused. When they signed Chris Simms and said he was going to be the starting QB, Dunn quit the University of Texas and signed with the Reds.

    When Dunn was in the Minor Leagues, he could hit to all fields and do so with power. His first two years with the Reds he also did this. Once Great American Small Park opened, Dunn became a strictly pull hitter.

    After the 2005 season, the Reds planned on having Dunn move to First Base so that they could get Wily Mo Pena’s bat in the lineup. During Spring Training of 2006, Dunn was HORRIBLE defensively at First Base and didn’t seem to want to get better. Because of that, the Reds moved Dunn back to the outfield, traded Wily Mo for Bronson Arroyo and picked up Scott Hatteberg to play First Base.

    After he was moved back to the outfield, Dunn was quoted as saying he didn’t like to play First Base and didn’t want to play First Base and that is why the Reds NEVER moved him back there again and put up with his HORRIBLE outfield defense.

    After the 2008 season, Dunn was quoted as saying he didn’t want to go to the American League and be a DH. Guess what? No AL team signed him.

    My guess is that Dunn sees the ONLY way he can make more money is if he tries to be a First Baseman. The problem is, he is 30 years old and time is going against him. He should have moved to First back in 2006 and thus he might have been average defensively by now.

    No, I think Major League executives have seen the pattern that Dunn has followed; they have seen him take the path of least resistance and do as little as possible to get paid. They have seen him resist changes that would have helped the team and ONLY made the change when it SERVES HIM BEST.

    That is why I think the Red Sox in 2008 said they were more interested in going after Josh Willingham than Dunn when Big Papi was struggling. Willingham switched from being a Catcher to an Outfielder in the Minor Leagues and didn’t resist that change. He also puts up about 80% of Dunn’s offense for about 1/3 the cost. That is also why the Red Sox traded Manny and received Jason Bay.

    In both instances Dunn was available (also as a Free Agent) but the Red Sox did NOT go after him. Why?

    I don’t think 2010 or after will be any different. The Red Sox will NOT go after Dunn if they need a power hitter but will find somebody else (Adrian Gonzalez?). Same with the Yankees ESPECIALLY if Carl Crawford is available.

    No, I see Dunn signing with the Royals. Why? Because they will spend crazy money to get some offense in that lineup AND because in Kansas City, Dunn will have NO pressure to perform. That is one OTHER thing Dunn has shown. He chokes under pressure and offensively tanks in September. BOTH of which are NOT good habits to have if he were playing in Boston, New York or a team that is trying to make the Post Season.

  26. The Red Sox offered Bay $15 million a year and he’s not much better defensively than Dunn.

  27. blackandorangepride 5 years ago

    to be honest despite the defense I wouldn’t mind him with the Giants and he supposedly wouldn’t mind coming to SF.

  28. epicphalanx 5 years ago

    Adam Dunn may be best served as a DH, but he’s still worth plenty as a first baseman, especially for a team like the Nats who don’t have any ML-ready power prospects. Anyone who watches games rather than quoting UZR saw that Dunn saved at least a dozen throwing errors when he moved to first base. He just has to work on getting to balls off the bat, but he’s already a better first baseman than outfielder and should get better with more practice. My prediction: Nats sign him to a 2 year/ $28M deal that kicks in after this year, with a mutual option at the end.

  29. 2011 FA has a tone to offer and the Nats have money. Is this the year we finally see them put together a legit “full” lineup? They have the prospects in place to grow and mature, and the team really only needs 1-2 more years of short contracts to make a go of it. That being said. I do not see Dunn resigning with Nats. Nats got him for a discount in the worst contract economy possible, and that will not happen again. 3/33-36 is perfect for Dunn, eve 4/46-49. I have predicted the BoSox because he would cruch Fenway and most likely Agonz is coming to fenway. Back to Back 50hr guys would be nice in that lineup with tons of OBP. Seattle is also a great fit, and they are looking for a lefty big bat. Det is always a possibility since Mags is coming off the books, but I see Manny signing with either DET or SEA. I guess I wonder why the Nats would invest everything in Dunn when there are so many options. Kansas City was a great suggestion by ctownboy, it makes sense. Oakland? Pitt is also another low pressure situation. Let’s go out on a limb here, Tampa Bay? I mean, why not? Low BA and high power and walks to replace Pena? San Diego due to AGonz getting moved? So many possibilities.

  30. monroe_says
    monroe_says 5 years ago

    Well, they lost 103 games with him last year. Somehow, I imagine they would muddle through with an extra 10 million to spend.

  31. Guest 5 years ago

    It would. Considering Dunn and Zimm were the bulk of our offense last year (at least before we got Nijer), I wouldn’t see them letting him go without getting significant prospects in return. That complicates things because, as other commenters have pointed out his defensive shortcomings and strikeouts, I don’t see any team giving up top-tier prospects for him. Maybe, if they were desperate down the stretch, but I doubt it.

  32. bjsguess 5 years ago

    No one is going to assume $12m (which is higher than market value) AND give you prospects. Just isn’t going to happen.

  33. j6takish 5 years ago

    There will always be those freaks (Bonds) who can hit for power without the K’s…but for the rest of the world…Thome is the #2 all-time strikeout leader, Manny and A-Rod are both in the top 20. If you can strikeout 200 times a year and still get on base like Dunn does, you’re doing something right.

  34. bomberj11 5 years ago

    No team, except the Mets maybe, would sign him to play in the field. He is a natural DH and should get $10 million with the numbers he’d put up DH’ing.

  35. the_show 5 years ago

    He isn’t going to the Royals, they would not have the money to resign him after this year….More likely a battle between in no order the White Sox, Boston and Seattle

  36. the_show 5 years ago

    I agree with your point on Chapman and respect your train of thought, I just don’t see with all the holes the royals have how the move would make any sense for them. However the Royals are prone to making moves that make no sense.

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