Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn

3:08pm: The Athletics will pay just $1MM of the $2.3MM remaining on Dunn’s contract, Slusser tweets.

10:45am: Dunn will join the A’s tomorrow, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.

10:38am: The A’s have acquired Adam Dunn from the White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn, the team announced. Though the A’s were on his limited no-trade clause, word broke this morning that Dunn, who has never played in the postseason, was willing to waive that clause in order for a chance to win.

"<strongDunn, 34, is hitting .220/.340/.433 with 20 homers on the season, and his numbers against right-handed pitchers are even better: .232/.357/.457 with 18 homers. The hope for the A’s is that adding some left-handed pop can help to spark an offense that has gone dormant in the month of August. Though the A’s still lead the Majors in total runs scored, they’re hitting just .248/.324/.394 this month and they’re tied with the Phillies for 20th in runs scored this month at 102. Many fans attribute those struggles to the decision to trade Yoenis Cespedes, and in Dunn, Oakland will receive a hitter whose wRC+ of 114 is similar to the 113 mark posted by Cespedes.

Those offensive struggles for the A’s have been a significant factor in the team’s fall from atop the American League West. They’ve had a particularly difficult time scoring runs against the now-division-leading Angels, as Anaheim has outscored the A’s by a score of 10 to three thus far in their four-game series. Oakland has been shut out in each of the past two contests against the Halos and has fallen to four games back in the division. They are still, however, in position to finish as one of the Wild Card winners.

John Jaso has served as Oakland’s left-handed DH quite a bit this season, but the A’s recently placed Jaso on the seven-day disabled list due to concussion-like symptoms, and they’ve been mixing and matching with Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp, Derek Norris and Gomes of late. Crisp, however, has recently re-strained his neck, which could lead to more outfield time for Moss, especially if Crisp is out for a significant amount of time.

Dunn is earning $15MM in the final season of a four-year, $56MM pact with the White Sox, meaning he is owed about $2.54MM for the month of September. Presumably, that salary commitment and Dunn’s well-documented defensive limitations allowed him to clear waivers. This marks the fourth significant trade of the summer for the A’s, who have acquired Sam Fuld, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in other deals.

In Sanburn, the Sox will acquire a right-hander that ranked 12th on’s midseason list of top 20 Athletics prospects. The 23-year-old was Oakland’s second-round pick back in 2012 and has pitched to a 3.28 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 71 1/3 relief innings at Class-A Advanced this season. He’s finished 23 games and picked up six saves in his time at Stockton.

Sanburn has been plagued by some shoulder issues, but he also has less mileage on his arm than many pitching prospects due to the fact that he was an outfielder in college and for part of his time in college at Arkansas. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of note in their free scouting report that Sanburn touched 99 mph in college and offers a curveball with good depth as well. The duo notes that Sanburn has a promising slider and changeup as well, but concerns over his durability have led to a bullpen role this season in Oakland.

Tom Verducci of first reported that the A’s were pursuing Dunn. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the A’s were the front-runners to land him and that Dunn would waive his no-trade clause. ESPN’s Buster Olney first tweeted that the A’s were closing in on a deal for Dunn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

54 Responses to Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn Leave a Reply

  1. Franl Edwardo 10 months ago

    this is likely just going to make the offense worse. this guy is not clutch or even consistent in any way shape or form.

    • mstrchef13 10 months ago

      But he’s dangerous in a way that precious few on that roster are. He’ll be a useful #6 hitter with reasonable expectations.

      • WillieWildkat 10 months ago

        Great discipline, despite the whiffs, and pitchers still respect him, contributing to > league avg OPS

        • liberalconservative 10 months ago

          PH off the bench and occasional DH. Right now a SF is better than a K with runner on third and no outs.

          • Tko11 10 months ago

            When is a sac fly not better than a K with a runner on third and no outs?

          • StevenP2204 10 months ago

            Too bad you won’t get a SF from Dunn, you’ll get a K.

      • Franl Edwardo 10 months ago

        So every 22 times or so at bat he is dangerous. and late in the game, say the 6th inning, he is out of the game because a lefty comes in and he just strikes out. I think any pitcher confident in his ability to just locate has no fear in Dunn

      • RyanWKrol 10 months ago

        No he isn’t. You still have to hit. Look at the A’s lineup and the Angels lineup and you’ll see a big contrast. The Angels hit. The A’s don’t. The A’s rely way too much on walks and HR’s and it’s finally coming back to bite them. Adding Adam Dunn only makes that worse. Then there’s the defense and base running factor. Dunn is way too one dimensional to improve that offense, especially if they’re competing against the Angels’ offense.

    • Patrick the Pragmatist 10 months ago

      Interesting to see how he performs for a real world series contender. Usually plays for losers and underachieving teams.

    • PWNdroia 10 months ago

      Oakland is compromised of all scrappy hitters who don’t hit for average but peck away at pitchers. Dunn fits that description well, so he’ll do just fine in Oakland. Is it enough offense though? Only time will tell. So far the Beane offense philosophy has fallen short when the postseason comes…

  2. I like this move. Adds a bit of variety to their DH options and he might come alive in the midst of a playoff race.

    • Ralph Esposito 10 months ago

      Good move for both teams. Sanborn on A’s top 10 prospect in Baseball America and 12th on MLB.coms.

  3. MiggyCabby24 10 months ago

    Don’t see this as anything significant. Dunn strikes out a lot, it’s feast or famine with him. A’s are trying to find anyone to replace Cespedes presence in the lineup.

  4. Luis Cruz 10 months ago

    He will bring a different presence to the lineup which in a way can scare the opposition. Yeah Dunn will strike out a lot but he will get share of hits and homeruns which the Athletics desperately need right now.

  5. Derpington 10 months ago

    “Sanburn was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 10 Prospect in the A’s organization entering the 2014 season and the No. 10 Prospect by entering the 2013 campaign.”

    Just getting rid of Dunn and saving $1.2 Million is enough for me, but getting a Top 10 Prospect in the A’s organization is pretty sweet as well. Good job Hahn.

  6. S710b 10 months ago

    It would be tough to watch the A’s not make a deep run into the playoffs after trading away top young talent for soon-expiring pitchers. As a Phillies fan burned by the FO trading away the farm for Hunter Pence when they were already 25 games over .500, I’m wary of the “win now” approach (especially when teams are already good and have a very good chance at the playoffs, where anything can happen), but I always cheer for the A’s and I really hope it works out for them.

    • You can’t really blame Beane for making those trades. As impressive as he’s been, none of his Moneyball teams have even been to the World Series. He’s taking a chance and I hope it works out for him.

      • S710b 10 months ago

        I just don’t like the “win now” strategy. If I were a GM and my team had a high probability of making the playoffs (where, unlike other sports, seemingly any qualifying team has a chance to win), I would just stick with that team if upgrading meant sacrificing young talent. “Win now” moves are as much of a gamble as holding onto top prospects, and I’d pick the latter.

        • not_brooks 10 months ago

          Look at how bad the A’s have been since trading for Samardzija and Lester and then consider how much worse they would be with Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone starting every 5th day instead.

          • S710b 10 months ago

            Right — that still shows that big moves are far from a guarantee of winning. (They’re losing with Samardzija and Lester, and they’d be losing worse with Chavez and Milone–still losing.)

  7. WillieWildkat 10 months ago

    Welcome news all around. So happy that Rick Hahn was able to get this done, clearing up playing time for some of the Sox prospects, and allowing Paulie to get the victory lap plate appearances he’ll deserve. Really hoping he helps the A’s out, a dangerous bat, who despite his 3 outcome tendencies, is finally putting together solid OPS. And also wish good luck for the Big Donkey, who maintained his low key, good-guy demeanor in the clubhouse despite some mighty struggles. Always remember him for his pitching performance- nice to see he’ll finally get a whiff of the postseason

    • pipn8ez 10 months ago

      Forget about Paulie’s victory lap. Time to bring up AAA Internationals League most dangerous hitter Andy Wilkins. And see if he can be that left handed power bat of the future.

      • Jerry Mandering 10 months ago

        That too, Would like to see if he’s overmatched by major league pitching. Would save a lot of money if he can be a dependable DH next season.

        Edit: Andy Wilkins in the lineup, batting 7th today against the Tigers. Sweet!

  8. Paul Eineke 10 months ago

    The two happiest days in a GM’s life are when he trades for Adam Dunn and when he trades Adam Dunn.

    • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 10 months ago

      Adam Dunn: the boat of baseball transactions

  9. pipn8ez 10 months ago

    All my white sox need now is to move Viciedo

  10. sflomenb 10 months ago

    So the Phillies could’ve eaten all of Howard’s salary to trade him to the A’s?? Dunn isn’t much better

    • Steve Adams 10 months ago

      Adam Dunn: .220/.340/.433, 114wRC+
      Ryan Howard: .225/.309/.377, 91 wRC+

      And somehow, this season, Howard has actually been worse against right-handed pitchers than left-handed pitchers (though I admittedly wouldn’t expect that to continue). Dunn is a significantly better bat.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 10 months ago

      Well, if Dunn gets hot.
      Plus, Ryan can’t really run all that well.
      Not saying Dunn is know for his shear speed, but Howard really just hasn’t gotten it all back since his Achilles injury.

    • Ryan 10 months ago

      Howard is owed $25m per season the next two years with an option of
      $23m the following year with a $10m buyout. That’s at least $60m to eat
      vs. the $2.5m or so that is owed to free agent to be Adam Dunn for this year,.

  11. WillieWildkat 10 months ago

    In hindsight, that Rick Hahn is a baaaaad man, like Mikey Corleone, whacking guys in one fell swoop: Gordo, the Big Donkey, De Aza. John Danks next? I’d be careful if I were Southpaw- he can’t be too long for this earth

  12. Setzer 10 months ago

    They should have never traded Cespedes for Lester. Beane totally screwed up the offense with that move. They didn’t need starting pitching and you remove a significant part of your lineup to get something you didn’t need. Just stupid.

    • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 10 months ago

      I think Cespedes and his .767 OPS for the A’s this year, get severely over-valued. Lester has pitched very well for Oakland, albeit a small sample size. Mind you, most of the frustration from A’s fans would be mellowed, if their team wasn’t slumping. Losing amplifies everything.

      Some fans are acting like Cespedes was the second coming of a young Griffey.

  13. MLB643 10 months ago

    Let’s see who shows up for the A’s…Dunn or ‘done’.

  14. InvalidUserID 10 months ago

    High reward, low risk. They need all the offense they can get.

  15. Quikmix 10 months ago

    gotta like this for the A’s, but is it too little too late? How many wins does Dunn bring in a month? Buy tickets now for the Angels/A’s later this month–should be a good run to the finish.

  16. authenhausen 10 months ago

    I am looking forward to another winter with Rick Hahn

    • NRD1138 10 months ago

      Yeah, maybe he can trade Sale for some third base prospect since he foolishly gave away his closer for one that apparently is not working out.

  17. northsfbay 10 months ago

    The A’s are getting desperate for offense. The trades haven’t worked out like they wanted. Hammel bust. Samardzija is having a bad month. They need Cespedes’s bat. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  18. TheRealTruthSpeaks 10 months ago

    I hope we can finally set aside this ridiculous notion that “Moneyball” actually works

    • East Coast Bias 10 months ago

      I don’t think you understand what moneyball actually is.

  19. Franl Edwardo 10 months ago

    so the White Sox save a little over a million. They still end up paying over $50 million too much.

  20. Neil Fujiwara 10 months ago

    If we do the Moneyball method, Nolan Sanburn for John Lester. Dunn has almost the same OPS as Cespedes this year. However, this is not factoring in defense or the fact that Dunn requires much less money than Cespedes. I still think defense is a bigger problem for the A’s.

  21. RyanWKrol 10 months ago

    This won’t do anything to improve the A’s. They still have to replace Cespedes’ defense and baserunning.

  22. $114759666 10 months ago

    Funny how the Tigers and A’s both made big time trades for big time starters and gave up key offensive pieces to do it (Cespedes and Jackson) and both teams immediately stopped hitting and gave up first place…

  23. NRD1138 10 months ago

    WOOHOO Dunn AND De Aza gone?! AND you got something for both? Nice, and no.. I do not care what they got back. Now, time to move Viciedo to DH and stop his OF foolishness and let him focus on hitting only.

  24. ryanmesick 10 months ago

    1.) A’s still have the second most WINS in MLB and find themselves in the exact same position they were in 2012 and 2013, in 2nd place in AL West on August 31st
    2.) Remember what happened in 2012 and 2013? The A’s went on to win the AL West
    3.) Dunn actually fills the role Cespedes left very very well:
    Dunn OBP .340 HR 20; Cespedes OBP .302 HR 21, so yeah.

    Settle down people.

    • thesultanofswingandmiss 10 months ago

      That’s two stats, he doesn’t fill Cespedes’ arm in right field. The pitchers are much more intimidated by Yoenis. He fills his role fine, but not “very very well”.

      • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 10 months ago

        For a guy who intimidates pitchers so much, he sure gets out a lot. More than Dunn!

        Less likely to hit a HR too (HR per 25.67 AB’s, to Dunn’s 21.75).

        At least Cespedes can defend, however.

  25. thesultanofswingandmiss 10 months ago

    I guess you could say, the white sox’s season is dunn.

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