Jon Heyman covered a number of topics in his latest piece for SI.com, and here are a few of the hot-stove highlights…
- While Dontrelle Willis' "$12MM salary is one impetus to take him north," Heyman writes that the left-hander has pitched very well this spring and could earn a spot in Detroit's rotation on his own merit. Heyman didn't discuss Willis' future with the club, but it would take a huge season for Willis to earn anything close to $12MM in a free-agent contract this winter. Even if he does have a big rebound year, his first two seasons in Detroit were probably enough to close the door on him remaining a Tiger past 2010.
- Heyman writes that the Nationals have told Adam Dunn that he won't get a contract extension from them (no matter his offensive numbers) unless he proves that he can play a decent first base.
- Elijah Dukes' release from Washington is "a shame." Heyman says "while there was no one incident that triggered his release, the Nationals felt it would improve clubhouse chemistry for him to be gone."
- Heyman praises the Astros for not giving in to the "public pressure" that Lance Berkman put on the club to pick up his 2011 option. Houston's decision looks wiser, Heyman says, in the wake of Berkman's recent minor knee surgery that may keep him on the DL for the first few weeks of the season.
From everything I’ve heard, Willis hasn’t really been that impressive. He isn’t getting hitters to miss, but rather being lucky and getting out minor leaguers. He still has walked like six guys in 14 IP.
Exactly. Willis has not “pitched very well this spring,” but we know Heyman just saw 0.83 ERA so he must be pitching well.
11 IP, with 7 Ks, 5 BBs, and 2 HBs is not pitching very well, it doesnt even take advance stats to know that he’s lucky to have that ridiculous low ERA so far.
Adam Dunn is going to play 1B this season. So I guess he will have to learn how to play 1B well.
If Dunn learns a decent 1B/OF i hope he tells Washington to go to hell when he accepts another team’s offer.
And they’d receive 2 top draft picks, that’d help them more than giving Dunn an 4 year extension or something like that.
Odds of Dunn suddenly learning to play defense anywhere < Odds of Pirates winning 110 games this season
I love how teams have been treating Dunn like some unknown quantity the last couple years. I remember reading how he was being “scouted” by other teams when he was still with the Reds. Gee, I think by now you can say he’ll strike out a lot and play sub-par defense. But he is almost guaranteed to hit 40 homers a year, and walk a bunch. I think he is undervalued in the current sabremetric era.
An AL team (I’m hoping the Red Sox) would be happy to pay Dunn to DH.