Free Agent Stock Watch: Adam Dunn

The Nationals and Adam Dunn went back-and-forth about a contract extension pretty much all season, though the outfielder turned first baseman eventually hit he free agent market for the second time in his career and is free to join with any club now. Let's look at where his stock stands…

The Good

  • Dunn has mammoth power, a skill that is becoming increasingly more difficult to find. He hit 38 homers in 2010 for the second straight year, and his 282 big flies since the start of the 2004 season are the second most in baseball behind Albert Pujols (294).
  • He's also an on-base machine, drawing at least 100 walks in six of the last seven years and in seven of the last nine.
  • Listed at 6-foot-6 and 285 lbs., Dunn is supremely durable. He's played in 1,108 of 1,134 possible games from 2004 through 2010, and his only career DL trip came back in 2003, when he missed 44 days with a sprained thumb.

The Bad

  • All of that power comes with the trade-off of high strike out totals. Dunn's struck out no fewer than 164 times in each of the last seven years.
  • Dunn's on-base percentage dropped to .356 in 2010, his lowest mark since 2003. That's the result of just 77 walks compared to his usual 100+, though given his track record and age (31) it could be a fluke.
  • A lefty swinger, Dunn has a considerable platoon split. Left-handers held him to a .719 OPS this season (.965 vs. RHP).
  • Regardless of where he is on the field – outfield or first base – he's a liability defensively, one of the very worst in the game. Dunn has also indicated that he doesn't want to be a designated hitter, limiting his market if true.
  • Dunn is a Type-A free agent and it's likely that the Nationals will offer him salary arbitration. Any team that signs him (other than Washington) will have to surrender a high draft pick.

The Verdict

Dunn is one of the best players available this winter, ranking fifth on Tim Dierkes' list of the top 50 free agents. He rejected Washington's three-year contract extension offer, so clearly he's looking to secure the long-term contract he wasn't able to land two years ago. 

It's easy to envision a power bat like this fitting into every lineup in baseball, but only few have the resources to sign Dunn. The Cubs are expected to have interest given their first base opening, but be sure that the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, and others will be rumored land spots at some point this offseason.


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43 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Adam Dunn"


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Dave_Gershman
4 years 7 months ago

He will definetly be enjoying Deep Dish Pizza on the next season — Cubs.

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gigantes2425
4 years 7 months ago

If he saw this he would ask, “are you calling me fat?”

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Devern Hansack
4 years 7 months ago

No, probably not.

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Dave_Gershman
4 years 7 months ago

I hope not.

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fitz
4 years 7 months ago

Unlikely, I predict that next week Adam Dunn will host a nationally televised press conference where he proclaims to the world that he is taking his talents to South Beach.

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Ben_Cherington
4 years 7 months ago

Is there a baseball team in South Beach? Is he going to help Lebaby and Dwade by giving them a big man in the paint?

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WrigleyTerror37
4 years 7 months ago

If i love the pizza Dunn will!

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jb226
4 years 7 months ago

There’s a decent chance of it I think, but Hendry has been pretty consistent that he needs to make around three good moves. With the payroll set to come down and three areas of need (LH 1B, starting pitcher, reliever) I’m just not sure the Cubs have the resources to give Dunn $10MM+ per year and still address other areas of concern. They could free up a little cash by trading somebody like Fukudome, but the reality is they’d probably be sending at least half in any deal which makes the savings on the small end.

My main concern, though, would be Dunn’s defense — not in a vacuum, but rather when coupled with the Cubs infielders. I think the number of hits/runs that Derrek Lee saved this team by making those great catches on bad throws look easy is underrated. I think his contribution to the team would be positive even if he gave up runs on his defense and didn’t prevent giving up runs on other peoples’ defense, but obviously less so — making the prospect of Dunn being the only real move the Cubs can afford to make a little harder to swallow.

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RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

You mean he’ll be enjoying chowdah at Fenway! 4/54 to play first in year 1 and moving to DH for the last 3 when A-Gonz signs in Beantown!

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danthebaseballman
4 years 7 months ago

adam dunn will be a great addition to the cubs,if he goes there,but can they handle the strikeouts?

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vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Not sure about that, but they probably could handle the 40 home runs.

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WrigleyTerror37
4 years 7 months ago

Dunn, Dunn, Dunn, The Cubs need you bad but the problem is this is the first year in a long time henery doesnt wanna spend money :( So in order to get you (which we should have in the 09 off season insted of Bradley) we need to trade Fukodome or Big Z. Ihope the cubs could get him and that would be all i want for the off season. But being realistic the cubs should go after a cheaper option. L.Overbay is a left handed hitter with a good glove. probly costs 1 year 2 mil? Or you could go sign J.Cantu.(nobody is talking about him for some reason) He is a great guy to be 1b and he can play 3b if A.Ram goes down.Not to mention probly get him on a 1year 3mil deal ? Thats just what i think tho so lets see what happens.

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wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

If he was smart, he’d openly invite the idea of being a DH. It’s just selfish to not want to DH when you are that bad defensively.

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Jason_F
4 years 7 months ago

Why should he? It’s his decision and he has produced offensively for years on end. Teams are well aware that he wants to play in the field, so, if anything, he is just hurting himself by limiting his bidders to the National League only. It has nothing to do with being smart, it’s a preference. I’m sure he just has no interest in being the next Pat Burrell, in that he moves to the AL and bombs.

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moonraker45
4 years 7 months ago

does it matter tho? he’ll be getting a 4 year deal or longer, so he has the security to go to the AL and bomb, pat didn’t have that security

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danthebaseballman
4 years 7 months ago

adam dunn would definitely be a great addition to the cubs if he ends up there,but can the cubs handle the strikeouts?