Adam Dunn: Type B Free Agent?

As I mentioned earlier, Eddie Bajek's reverse-engineered Elias rankings are subject to change if we find errors.  However, the current end-of-season iteration presents an interesting possibility: Adam Dunn may be a Type B free agent.

We have Dunn at 74.166 points in the NL 1B/OF group, tied with Derrek Lee and just shy of Angel Pagan's 74.353 Type A status.  If Dunn is a Type B, here are the implications:

  • The Nationals would only be able to receive one compensation pick for losing Dunn, not two.  This would make the decision not to trade Dunn in July look worse, and could serve as extra motivation to extend him.
  • The Nationals might be more inclined to offer Dunn arbitration if he's a Type B rather than A.  Dunn's agent at Legacy Sports knows that his client's market will improve if he's a Type B, since the signing team would not have to surrender a draft pick.  An increase in Dunn's free agent stock makes him more likely to decline an arbitration offer from the Nationals in search of a multiyear deal.  The Nationals, knowing Dunn is less likely to accept as a B, might be more likely to offer him arbitration.
  • The market for Dunn will improve.  For example: at #19, the Tigers have the best unprotected draft pick for 2011.  If Dunn is a Type B who turned down an arbitration offer, they can sign him without giving up that prized pick or any others.


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42 Comments on "Adam Dunn: Type B Free Agent?"


The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Its comical how the Nats have now potentially botched 2 big name trade deadline deals. First they held onto Soriano as they foolishly thought they could resign him. Now they held onto Dunn to get draft picks instead of trading him, and now that is in jeopardy. They’ll say they want to resign him but have done nothing but send him mixed messages about their interest. Its just humorous.

bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t wish anything bad on the Nats – they have enough problems as it is. However, this was just an idiotic decision. Dunn should have been moved in the off-season. They had plenty of chances throughout the season. Now the prospect of getting nothing for him but a sandwich pick is just icing on the cake.

A great reminder that those picks aren’t all that guaranteed after all. I get so sick of people saying, “We shouldn’t trade player ‘x’ because he will net us 2 1st round picks”. There is just so much that can happen to thwart that optimal solution. This is a great reminder of one of those types of scenarios.

TradeYouk
4 years 10 months ago

The only confirmed offer that was reported for Dunn was for Edwin Jackson, which the Nats correctly turned down. If the only options for the Nats were Jackson or a sandwich pick, I would take the pick everytime, especially factoring that Jackson is scheduled to make 8.75 mil in 2011 then is a free agent after the season.

If the Nats truly turned down offers for quality cost-controlled talent then yes, that is a mistake. But re-signing Dunn or taking the Sandwich pick are much better options than acquiring 1.5 years of Edwin Jackson at this past trade deadline for a team a couple of years from contending.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

It’s not a botched situation yet, but this whole Dunn thing is not looking promising for Rizzo and the Nationals.

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

So they hung on to him to do nothing and will get one pick back when he signs with another team…

Great thinking.

Feel_Wood
4 years 10 months ago

According to Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post (perhaps you’ve heard of him, he’s in Ken Burns’s new Tenth Inning show) the Nats have a three year offer on the table for Dunn. Nothing mixed about that message. He wants four years. If there’s some other team out there that really wants to sign him for four years, I doubt that the fact that they no longer also have to give up a draft pick as well is going to matter. The value of a draft pick pales in comparison to another year of salary they’ll still have to pay to get Dunn.

$1742854
4 years 10 months ago

Now I’m a numbers/sabremetrics fan, but it’s comical to see that Dunn will make out better in the Elias system for free agency while players like O Hudson got kind of hosed.

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

Doesn’t Hudson have a clause in his contract stating that he cannot be offered arbitration if he ends up as a Type A? It was a smart thing to do and it will probably pay off for him.

melonis_rex
4 years 10 months ago

Dunn’s one of the best pure hitters in the game right now— this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (no offense to Eddie, I think the work he does is awesome), and this just further illustrates that the Elias rankings are arcane—especially since Elias does not look at defensive stats, and there’s nothing wrong with his offensive game except that he plays in a weak lineup and thus can’t get “RBIs”.

The Ryan Howard style of thinking continues.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

I like Dunn’s power, but calling him a “pure hitter” is ludicrous.

In baseball jargon, “Pure Hitters” are guys who have great recognition, strikezone judgment, high AVG, high contact, and line drive ability. They tend to have level swings with strong balance. The better Pure Hitters might have power, but it isn’t a prerequisite. The best Pure Hitter types with power today might be Pujols, whose HRs tend to be immense line drive ropes that go out, rather than moon shots. As opposed to, classic sluggers “Moonshot” guys who like Dunn and Howard have uppercuts built into the swing, high strikeouts, and a lot of flyballs that carry. A lot of these guys tend to be pull-hitters from the left side, built for short rightfield porches, who like the ball down and in.

No offense but, unless you think Dunn will one day compete for the batting title, I don’t think he’s a Pure Hitter type.

$1529282
4 years 10 months ago

In fairness to Dunn and Howard, both have more than power to just right field, but I agree that there’s no basis for calling him one of the best “pure hitters” in the game. I hear “pure hitter” and think Joe Mauer, Tony Gwynn Sr., etc. Guys who can show power but are more content to hit line drives to all fields.Dunn has good knowledge of the strike zone and tremendous power; if you wanted to call him one of the best offensive players in baseball, I’d agree because his tremendous OBP and power skills would be included in there. But, “pure hitter,” he is not.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

Agreed. I didn’t mean to suggest that I think Dunn of Howard were one dimensional and merely pull-happy guys. They go to the plate thinking about pulling most balls, but they distinguish themselves from the field because they also have opposite field power too.

I like your list of “Pure Hitter” types. I’d agree with those. For some reason in my mind, I always think about Edgar Martinez and another former Twin, Paul Molitor, as prototypical Pure Hitter guys. The best ever was probably Teddy Williams. To me the common thread with all of these guys is superb eyes who don’t get fooled much. You hardly ever saw Gwynn bailing out his backside because he was fooled on pitches. With Paul Molitor, he was rarely fooled but because his wrists were so strong that he could wait until very late on pitches, only to whip it into play, sometimes for a HR.

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

I think the best “pure hitter” this year and this decade has been Ichiro. Yes, even better than Pujols.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

I think he’s a great player, but his legs, batting stance, and approach have a lot to do with his hitting. I heard someone once describe him as a throwback type, like George Sisler or Tris Speaker, which I think is a great example. A player who thinks situationally, and tries to slap the ball on the ground and beat out everything. He just does it to a Hall of Fame level. He can hit for power, and they tend to be line drives, but his hitting is based on his legs. I’m not sure if I’d call him a perfect “Pure Hitter” type.In today’s baseball, he’s literally in a class all by himself.

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

“I think he’s a great player, but his legs, batting stance, and approach have a lot to do with his hitting.”

So… good mechanics disqualify him from being a “pure hitter” in your mind?

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

I’m not suggesting that he has “bad” mechanics. I am just saying that he’s built to hit a lot of balls on the ground, while simultaneously stepping out of the box. No one is saying he isn’t a great ballplayer. It’s for the same reason why I might not consider Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, a “Pure Hitter”. Tris Speaker and George Sisler were both Hall of Famers who had insane numbers, so being compared to them is not a slight against Ichiro. It’s a great compliment. Check their stats. Ichiro might simply be the greatest contact hitter ever, but that doesn’t make him a “Pure Hitter.”

You have to realize that the idea of a “Pure Hitter” is not synonymous calling someone a good or great hitter. In baseball language, it’s a pretty specific thing. There’s plenty of great hitters who weren’t “Pure Hitters.”

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

I want to restate that I am a huuuge fan of Ichiro. I think he is a lock to be the first ever Asian player to enter the Hall of Fame. I also think, had he played in the majors from the start, I think he would be statistically be one of the elite Hall of Famers. I just don’t think he is a “Pure Hitter” in the strictest sense, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great hitter.

foxtown
4 years 10 months ago

Ok, I must have misunderstood you. It sounded like you were putting him in the same category as Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

Oh, no, not at all. I didn’t mean to suggest Ichiro is just a good slap-hitter/speedster like those guys.Sisler’s best year was 1920. That year he hit .407, 19 HRs, 122 RBIs, and stole 42 bases. That’s the class of player that I am comparing Ichiro with. Ichiro has never had a year like that, then again it was a different era, but there similarities aren’t necessarily purely statistical. It’s their style of games.Though after discussing this with you, I am starting to have second thoughts. Maybe Ichiro doesn’t fit the prototypical style of a Pure Hitter, but it’s hard to ignore the consistentcy of having 200+ hits every year. And, isn’t that ultimately what a Pure Hitter is all about? Getting hits better than anyone else? Who’s better today than Ichiro at that? Hmmm.

I guess the prototype for me is like the players already mentioned. Most of all it is Ted Williams. He had huge power, but a typical hit from Ted Williams was a line drive rope in the power allies. Many of his HRs were ropes that beamed right into the stands. Ichiro’s characteristic hit is a situational hit on the ground on the infield that is an out with any other player, but with him, it’s a hit. I don’t think Juan Pierre even in his good seasons was anywhere close. Even a good leadoff/speedster in their prime, say, Kenny Lofton, was not the kind of bat as he is.

4 years 10 months ago

Ichi is the best pure hitter in decades and overall one of the best technical players of all time, great arm and overall defense, great base runner, etc…

boyofsummer
4 years 10 months ago

I’d have to put Wade Boggs into the pure hitter category.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

Being a Type B makes it inevitable that he hits the open market.

One of the biggest incentives for Dunn to extend was the likelihood that, as a Type A player, he waits in line to sign late in the offseason, which would reduce his contract haul. Being Type B makes him pretty attractive.

Ian_Smell
4 years 10 months ago

I wish I could get an A with a 74.353.

basemonkey
4 years 10 months ago

Hahaha.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

Take Organic Chemistry in college… I got a 65% in the class and was still in the top 10 percentile with an A.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

if he ends up a type b. he’s going to the al east .

4 years 10 months ago

The Nats would offer arby regardless of whether Dunn is a Type A or a Type B, unless they’re totally stupid. He’s not going to take a one year contract at this stage in his career, with his current stat lines and with his recent contract history. He stands to get a very nice long term deal as a free agent.

Bob George
4 years 10 months ago

Why would the Nats be more inclined to offer him arbitration if he’s a Type B? Offering him arb as a Type B doesn’t get them a draft pick if he leaves. We’ve already heard that the GM and manager hate his defense.

bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

More importantly, there is less of a likelihood that Dunn will accept. Since the new team won’t be required to give up a pick, his pool of potential employers just grew dramatically.

I think that if he ends up being a type A there is a good chance that he accepts arb. A 1/$15 deal can be better than a 2/$25 (which is what he might sign for on the open market).

Remember everyone that Dunn put up nearly identical stats before coming to the Nats. Only then he was younger. Now, two years older, I’m just not sure why people think his paycheck will go up from 2/20 to 4/60 (as many have suggested).

4 years 10 months ago

I want to double check before going crazy here… Won’t have time til 10 pm or so tonight…

joe_12345678
4 years 10 months ago

There looks to be something weird with the NL 1B/OF, although I don’t know if it impacts the Dunn/B discussion. Pujols has a higher BA & OBP and more PAs, HR and RBI over the last 2 seasons than either Braun or Holliday, yet he’s ranked below both of them. None of those guys have been on the DL in the past 2 years, so I don’t think that would be causing it. Any ideas?

joe_12345678
4 years 10 months ago

There looks to be something weird with the NL 1B/OF, although I don’t know if it impacts the Dunn/B discussion. Pujols has a higher BA & OBP and more PAs, HR and RBI over the last 2 seasons than either Braun or Holliday, yet he’s ranked below both of them. None of those guys have been on the DL in the past 2 years, so I don’t think that would be causing it. Any ideas?

4 years 10 months ago

Bad news for the Cubs I guess. Their pick is protected so Dunn only achieving Type B status effectively protects the first pick for everyone else. My guess is that the Cubs still end up getting him, there appears to be mutual interest, but this complicates things a little bit. I also expect Dunn to shun the AL since he is opposed to DH’ing for the rest of his career so that helps the Cubs chances. The only major impediment is going to be money and years, do the Cubs have the payroll space for him and are they willing to commit four years? I say he ends up signing with the Cubs for 4/$15.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

Let’s say the 4/60MM total is correct. The Cubs have big contracts coming off the books after 2011-2012 (except Soriano).

The first two years for Dunn will be about 7-8MM and the last two will be backloaded because of the current payroll situation.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

Let’s say the 4/60MM total is correct. The Cubs have big contracts coming off the books after 2011-2012 (except Soriano).

The first two years for Dunn will be about 7-8MM and the last two will be backloaded because of the current payroll situation.

4 years 10 months ago

He’ll either go DH somewhere or play 1B for the Cubs.

4 years 10 months ago

If Dunn is a Type B, that means two things:

1. The free agent rating system is broken.

2. Dunn is DH’ing in New York or Boston come April.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

I would not call a guy who K’s 170-200 times a year a ‘pure hitter’.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

he also hits a lot of hr’s and gets a ton of walks sooo his high k rate only tells 1/3 of the story.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

I knew someone would come back with the power and on base response.

Dunn does hit with power and does get on base…that does not mean he is a ‘pure hitter’. It means…well, he hits for power and gets on base.

studio179
4 years 10 months ago

I would not call a guy who K’s 170-200 times a year a ‘pure hitter’.

Bob George
4 years 10 months ago

Ahh, thanks.