Adam Dunn Rumors

Rosenthal On White Sox, Johnson, Cruz

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video at FOX Sports:

  • The White Sox might prefer not to trade John Danks, who they have signed to a reasonable contract through 2016. But Adam Dunn is set to become a free agent, and the team has plenty of potential replacements for Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham, so Chicago could deal any of those players at the deadline.
  • Since Josh Johnson won’t start more than seven games this season, the Padres have a $4MM option on him for 2015. Given Johnson’s Tommy John surgery, though, it’s unclear whether the Padres will be able to get enough out of Johnson in 2015 to make the option worthwhile.
  • Nelson Cruz of the Orioles has done a good job rebuilding his value after taking a one-year offer significantly below the cost of the qualifying offer he rejected last winter, Rosenthal says. Cruz is off to a fast start, hitting .300/.391/.588 in his first 92 plate appearances with Baltimore.

Central Notes: Aoki, Hughes, Dunn

Milwaukee's trade of Norichika Aoki to the Royals makes sense for the Brewers and for Aoki himself, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes. Khris Davis' emergence late last season means there won't be room for Aoki as a full-time player now that Ryan Braun's suspension is over, as the Brewers will go with an outfield of Davis, Carlos Gomez and Braun. Aoki's path to playing time will be clearer in Kansas City. "Everybody was on board with it," says Aoki's agent, Nez Balelo. "[Kansas City] was the best viable option. He’s going to love it there because he will get an opportunity to lead off and play every day." Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Royals infielder Christian Colon has switched agents from Scott Boras to Excel Sports, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
  • The Royals and Angels might make good trade partners, with the Angels sending second baseman Howie Kendrick to Kansas City in return for young pitching, the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna tweets.
  • Phil Hughes was surprised to receive a three-year, $24MM deal from the Twins, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. "Obviously the season I had was a disaster," says Hughes. "Coming into this thing, I was kind of expecting to just rebuild my value with a good year next year somewhere." The Mariners and Angels were among the other teams who bid for Hughes, but the Twins' offer of three guaranteed years won out. 
  • Now that the White Sox have signed Jose Dariel Abreu and re-signed Paul Konerko, there's less playing time available for Adam Dunn, writes CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes. It appears Konerko and Dunn will platoon, with Konerko starting at designated hitter against lefties. Dunn hit .226/.327/.459 against righties last year, compared to .197/.296/.385 against lefties.

Quick Hits: Young, Hawkins, Braden, Girardi

The White Sox owe it to Paul Konerko to bring him back for a final season in 2014 if the long-time first baseman wishes to keep playing, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune opines.  The Sox would have to release or trade Adam Dunn to make room for Konerko with Jose Dariel Abreu now aboard, and while eating Dunn's contract would be expensive, Sullivan argues that Dunn is already a sunk cost and not worth keeping if it means cutting ties with a franchise icon.

Here are some more items from around baseball tonight…

  • Chris Young would like to play for the Astros but the free outfielder didn't say if he'd been contacted by the team, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets.  Young, a Houston native, has drawn some level of interest from the Red Sox and Mets this winter.
  • Also from McTaggart, LaTroy Hawkins said he hasn't been contacted by the Astros this offseason, though the veteran has other "irons in the fire."  The Astros are looking for bullpen help and Hawkins has a connection to Houston, having pitched for the club in 2008-09.  As many as seven teams, however, have already shown interest in Hawkins, including the Rockies and Mets.
  • Dallas Braden tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) that he intends to try out for teams when he increases his stamina.  After throwing a perfect game in 2010, Braden made just three starts in 2011 and hasn't pitched since due to a pair of shoulder surgeries.  The southpaw elected free agency from the A's following the 2012 season.
  • Brian Cashman tells reporters (including The Chicago Sun-Times Gordon Wittenmyer) that he always expected Joe Girardi to return to manage the Yankees, despite the rumors that Girardi would join the Cubs.  Wittenmyer believes the Cubs' reported "back-channel communication" to try and woo Girardi "underscored an ongoing disconnect between the Cubs’ baseball and business sides of the operation."
  • The qualifying offer may not be the hindrance to some free agents as it appears, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal argues.  Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse were last offseason's two infamous examples of how a draft pick compensation tag could hurt a player's market, but MacPherson opines that the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA system projected Bourn and Lohse as worth the contracts they eventually signed with the Indians and Brewers, respectively.
  • If the Rockies could somehow get Justin Morneau at a reasonable price, he would make an ideal platoon partner for Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco, Troy Renck of the Denver Post opines (Sulia link).
  • A member of the Yankees baseball operations staff predicts Phil Hughes will sign with an NL West team, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (via Twitter).  The flyball-prone Hughes could be greatly helped by pitching at AT&T Park, Petco Park or Dodger Stadium, though Chase Field or Coors Field aren't good fits.  The source says Hughes is a "good fit in Minnesota," and the Twins and Royals are the only teams linked to Hughes so far this offseason.
  • Though Tim Hudson is 38 and coming off a nasty broken ankle, a National League talent evaluator still picked the veteran righty as the best risk amongst free agent pitchers who are at least 33 years old, SI.com's Tom Verducci reports.  Bartolo Colon, Roy Halladay, Dan Haren and Ryan Vogelsong round out the top five.


Poll: Will Adam Dunn And Paul Konerko Retire?

For most teams that aren't playoff-bound in September, the talk surrounding the club is centered on the team's future and young talent.  However, the focus for White Sox fans in the last couple of days have been on a pair of veterans who may call it quits following this season.

Paul Konerko has hinted all season that 2013 could be his final season as he battles through a multitude of injuries.  The 37-year-old's age has undeniably been showing this season as he has a .244/.314/.358 slash line, his worst in any season as a full time major leaguer.  However, he's been telling friends as of late that he wants to continue playing and return to the White Sox in 2014.

Meanwhile, teammate Adam Dunn told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he could conceivably walk away from the game, which is surprising for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, Dunn is owed $15MM next season and it's rare to see anyone walk away from that kind of cash.  Secondly, Dunn has been hitting quite well over the last couple of months and is even hitting for average.  The veteran may be frustrated with the White Sox's season overall, but he can't beat himself up for his individual performance.  For what it's worth, he seemed to walk his comments back a bit earlier today.

Apparently everybody is retiring,” Ventura said of talk that Konerko and Dunn could call it quits, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. “When you’re frustrated that probably comes up a lot, but I don’t see it happening. I don’t see Dunner going anywhere. I think those are just things you talk about. He’s probably at a point in his career where you can bring the subject up about when is the right time, when isn’t, but I fully expect him to be in spring training with us.

Ultimately, how do you see things playing out for the White Sox vets?



AL Central Notes: Dunn, Bonderman, Twins

Adam Dunn readily admits that he's frustrated with the White Sox's 2013 season, but at the moment, he doesn't anticipate retiring this winter, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.  “I think we went down this road before: the day that I quit having fun and quit enjoying making a struggle to come to the ballpark or not enjoying the competition out there is the day I will go home, whether it be tomorrow, whether it be ten years from now," Dunn said. "I’m still enjoying the competition. It’s just tough losing when you have such high expectations.”  Here's more out of the AL Central..

  • Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has left The Legacy Agency and is now represented by SFX, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  Bonderman, who was moved to the bullpen after signing a minor league deal with Detroit, will be a free agent this winter.  You can keep track of everyone's representation using the MLBTR Agency Database.
  • The Twins made a run at second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka last winter, but Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter) would be surprised if they still had interest.  The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment yesterday.  The 32-year-old hit .329/.400/.397 in 400 plate appearances for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate this season.
  • Earlier today, we learned that Paul Konerko intends to play next season, despite hinting at retirement this season.

Adam Dunn Considering Retirement

Adam Dunn is guaranteed $15MM next season, is within reach of notching 500 homers, and is just 33 years old.  However, the White Sox slugger tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that he will consider retiring this offseason and forfeiting his remaining salary if he no longer is enjoying himself.

I’m not coming back just to come back for money or because I have one year left (on his contract),” Dunn said. “I’m not coming back to chase home run numbers or whatever. If I end up with 499 and I’m not having fun, see ya – 499 it is.

Meanwhile, Dunn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (on Twitter) that "as of right now" he doesn't plan on retiring and plans on playing in 2014.

The soon-to-be 34-year-old would probably feel differently if the White Sox were having a good season rather than one that he termed "a great letdown."  Manager Robin Ventura acknowledged that Dunn has expressed his frustrations to him, but he doesn't see Dunn walking away from the game.  And while Dunn is unhappy with how 2013 has gone, he says that he doesn't blame anyone from the organization in particular.

Dunn's .228/.331/.454 slash line this season may not be up to par with his career numbers, but he hardly looks washed up.  If Dunn does decide to walk away from baseball and another $15MM, he won't be hurting for cash as Baseball Reference estimates his career earnings to date to be ~$98MM.


Adam Dunn Clears Waivers

Adam Dunn has cleared waivers and is now free to be traded to any team, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. As Heyman points out, Dunn clearing waivers should come as no shock, given his contract situation. The strikeout-prone slugger is earning $15MM in 2013 and again in 2014, meaning he has about $4.2MM remaining on this year's salary and $19.2MM remaining overall.

The 33-year-old Dunn is hitting .227/.332/.465 with 26 homers this season, but his slash line masks what's been a more impressive run since summer began. Since June 1, Dunn is batting .289/.401/.532 with 14 of his 26 homers. American League contenders in need of a bat, such as the Rangers and Orioles, would seem to be logical fits Dunn. The White Sox would likely have to kick in significant cash to make a deal work out, and the more they're willing to include, the more they can expect back in a potential return.

Dunn becomes the third player to have reportedly cleared waivers (though there have likely been others that have gone unreported to this point), joining Michael Young and Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies.


Players Who Have Cleared Waivers

MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season's final two months. Remember though, players must be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for their new team's postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. Also bear in mind that a player's no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.

Last Updated: 8-15-2013

  • Elvis Andrus, Rangers — Andrus is under contract for an additional nine years and $124.475MM, making it no surprise that teams passed on claiming him. He was hitting .255/.317/.306 at the time he cleared waivers — a notable decline in production for the 24-year-old. The Rangers reportedly have no intention to trade him.
  • Erik Bedard, Astros — Bedard owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013 for Houston.  The southpaw, who cleared waivers on Aug. 14, would be a really cheap pickup as he is owed just $300K for the rest of the season.  
  • Dan Haren, Nationals — Haren was placed on waivers on Aug. 8 without any clubs biting on him and his remaining $3.7MM in salary.  The right-hander owns a 4.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 so far in 2013 and he could be of interest to teams if the Nationals fall further back in the Wild Card chase. 
  • Brendan Ryan, Mariners — Word came down of Ryan clearing waivers on Aug. 14.  The M's were said to have him available before July 31st but couldn't find any takers.  
  • Matt Lindstrom, White Sox — Everyone needs relief help, but the White Sox were selling at the non-waiver deadline and couldn't find a suitable deal for Lindstrom.  The reliever, who has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, cleared waivers on Aug. 14.
  • Justin Morneau, Twins — Morneau cleared waivers on Aug. 14, when he had roughly $3.5MM remaining on his $14MM salary. A free agent at season's end, Morneau was dreadful in July, batting .175/.266/.330. He homered six times in his first 10 games of August though, which could make teams reconsider their stance.
  • Barry Zito, Giants — Zito cleared waivers on Aug. 14, but at that point still had $5.14MM remaining on his $20MM salary. With an ERA north of 5.00 and that kind of money remaining on his deal, it seems likely that Zito will play out the rest of his widely panned contract in San Francisco.
  • Josh Johnson, Blue Jays — With more than $4MM left on his salary at the time he was placed on waivers, no team was apparently willing to take a risk that the big righty's poor results will begin to reflect his more promising peripherals. Unless Johnson hits an August hot streak, it seems likely that the Jays will hold onto him and consider whether to make him a qualifying offer when he reaches free agency at the end of the year.
  • Adam Dunn, White Sox — That Dunn cleared waivers isn't a huge surprise, given his $15MM salary in 2013 and in 2014. He's been red-hot since June 1, however, which could lead contending AL teams such as the Orioles and Rangers to show interest if the White Sox are willing to include some cash in the deal.
  • Jimmy Rollins, Phillies — Rollins has taken a big step back in production this year (especially on the power side of the ledger) and is owed $11MM for 2014 (and possibly the same for 2015 if his option vests). The 34-year-old shortstop seems discinclined to waive his full no-trade rights, making him unlikely to change hands.
  • Michael Young, Phillies — The third baseman could be an August trade candidate given his expiring contract, experience, and serviceable (if unspectacular) 2013 campaign. He is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade protection to go to a contender.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


White Sox Ready To Sell; Won’t Trade Sale Or Konerko

We heard last week that the White Sox had begun to receive calls on their veteran players. Now, rival executives tell Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the ChiSox are "open for business" and willing to discuss anyone on their roster with the exception of Chris Sale and Paul Konerko.

That means that even John Danks, who just last year signed a five-year, $65MM extension with the Sox, could be had in the right deal. The team also has desirable trade chips like Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton and Jake Peavy (though he's currently on the DL). Heyman also adds that Jeff Keppinger's name has already come up in conversations, despite the fact that he signed a three-year deal just this past offseason.

Not surprisingly, one executive told Heyman that Adam Dunn will be difficult to move. Dunn is owed $15MM in 2014 and is hitting .194/.303/.460 this season. Another said that Peavy will be tough to find a match for as well. The White Sox will have a high asking price on their co-ace, but teams won't have much time to determine if he's truly healthy.

Another executive told Heyman that the Mets could look at Ramirez as a potential long-term option at shortstop. While he's not hitting for power anymore, Ramirez is batting .280/.308/.345 with 18 stolen bases and outstanding defense, according to advanced metrics like UZR and DRS. He's owed $10MM in 2014 and has a $10MM club option for 2015 on his contract as well.


Rosenthal On Playoff Format, Hunter, White Sox, Rays

How long will the Wild Card playoff format be a one-game elimination? The running gag among baseball executives, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, is until the Yankees are eliminated in a such fashion. That possibility is looming larger as the Yankees and Orioles are tied for the AL East lead with four games to play. The Yankees currently have a one-game lead over the A's in the Wild Card race. However, if the two teams finished with identical records, the Yankees would have to travel to Oakland because they tied in the season series and the A’s currently own the next tiebreaker – a superior record within their own division. It will make for an interesting finish to the season. Also from Rosenthal's column:

  • In response to the likelihood the two AL Wild Card teams will have a better record than the AL Central Division champion, Rosenthal suggests the playoff qualifiers with the two worst records meet in the Wild Card game. Rosenthal admits winning a weak division would be less meaningful, but such a team hardly would be in position to argue since it would be lucky to reach the playoffs in the first place.
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno recently acknowledged the fans' desire for the team to re-sign Torii Hunter, but Rosenthal says he may have competition from a division rival. The Rangers have long had interest in Hunter, who lives in a Dallas suburb. With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli free agents this winter and Nelson Cruz a free agent next offseason, the team almost certainly will look for offensive help. Rosenthal believes a trade for a younger slugger such as Arizona's Justin Upton is more likely than a short-term signing of Hunter. But at the very least, the Rangers could pursue Hunter to drive up the price for the Angels.
  • Despite the recent slump that may cost the White Sox a playoff berth, Rosenthal claims this has been a successful season for the South Siders. Rosenthal points to highlights like Robin Ventura establishing himself as a manager, Chris Sale developing into an ace, a number of rookie pitchers emerging as valuable parts, and bounce back seasons from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy
  • Rosenthal credits the Rays' recent resurgence to manager Joe Maddon's decision to make batting practice optional and allow players to arrive at the park later, which resulted in the players becoming more relaxed.