OCTOBER 1: After last night’s difficult loss, Dunn said he still intends to retire but did not slam the door shut entirely, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. “That’s it probably,” he said.
SEPTEMBER 1: Dunn kept the door slightly open for a 2015 return, telling Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) that he only said he will “probably” retire following the season. He has no intention of continuing his career to chase the 500-homer mark unless he’s on a contending team.
AUGUST 31: Adam Dunn says he will retire after the season, Bruce Levine of 670theScore.com tweets. The news comes in the wake of the slugger being traded to Oakland, and comes as no great surprise — he’s in the last season of his $56MM contract, and he’s discussed the possibility of retiring before.
He’s also 34, and his best days as a player seem to be behind him. He remains a prolific power hitter, with 20 home runs in 435 plate appearances this year, and he’s always drawn more than his share of walks. But his batting average has fallen to very low levels — he hasn’t batted above .220 since 2010. And his defense, while never good, has gotten so poor that he’s a liability anywhere other than DH, even considering his obvious offensive skills.
Nonetheless, Dunn will leave behind an impressive body of work, and his extreme homers/walks/strikeouts offensive game makes him an historically unique player. He has 460 career home runs (good for 36th all-time), including at least 38 in seven consecutive seasons from 2004 through 2010. He’s also drawn an impressive 1,311 walks in his career, fourth among active players (behind Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi and Manny Ramirez). Of course, he’s been one of the game’s most frequent strikeout victims — five of his seasons are in the top 20 all time in strikeouts, and he ranks third all-time in whiffs, behind Reggie Jackson and Jim Thome.
Dunn made his mark on Major League pitching immediately, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2001 (despite only playing half the season in the bigs) and emerging as a poster boy for the sabermetric movement with his “Three True Outcomes” (homers, walks and strikeouts) offensive style. He then blossomed into one of the game’s most feared power hitters as an outfielder and then a first baseman with the Reds, Diamondbacks and Nationals.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
He deserves to be in the nickname hall of fame. Who else do you think would join him there?
Didn’t realize that he was never in a postseason. And he didn’t get an AB last night despite it being a 12 inning game. Must have sucked to think he was finally gonna get some postseason action and then last night happens.
Hard to argue that Dunn could have dunn anything to change that outcome, but a brutal way to end a career.
He Dunn, I mean he gone.
Wow, had no idea Thome was 2nd all time in K’s.
I can see how riding the pine so Sam Fuld could play in the postseason would push Dunn to retire. Sad last game for Dunn.
I cringed when I saw Oakland’s starting line-up. Fuld is terrible. Hats off to KC for that comeback, but I have a hard time seeing them beat the Angels.
How about the commentators constantly calling Shields “Big Game James” despite his mediocre postseason numbers and poor play?
True but Lester with all his postseason experience didn’t fare well either. That was a slug fest and Oakland definitely would have been better of with Dunn’s power than Fuld’s defense.
I won’t make excuses for Lester, but it didn’t look like he was ever on the same page as his catchers.
He did start with a catcher who’d never caught him before, for whatever that’s worth.
well, Greg Maddux always used a personal catcher, so there might be something to that.
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
I mean, he did go 2-5 with a walk. Sure Dunn has a chance to hit a 470 foot homer every at bat but I’d say he has a better chance of going 0-5 with 3 K’s. I guess it depends on if you’re an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy.
I don’t think it was a bad decision, but I do feel terribly for Dunn.
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
Me too, I feel like they could have at least snuck a pinch hit for him in there somewhere.
Couldn’t both Dunn and Fuld have played? Vogt with his 0-3 should’ve been the one on the bench instead of Dunn.
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
20/20 hindsight vision and all that. I think they made the right call at the time.
Yea, but you want to go out fighting with your best. It’s just sad that he finally made it to the playoffs and didn’t even get a chance to play. It’s one of those regrets that you never live down
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
I agree, it is sad. And like I said above, I think there were several opportunities where pinch hitting him would have been the right call. But then again, you would have to use another player in addition to him to get him off the field though.
I’m no fan of Sam Fuld, but he’s an above-average hitter vs LHP this
season and supposedly has a very good arm. Dunn has been abysmal vs LHP.
Hard to call that a bad choice by the A’s.
Edit: I don’t even know what is teams, ignore me x_x
Since when is James Shields a LHP?
Reasons not to comment on MLBTR during a busy day at work: You forget who plays for which team. Never mind me xD
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
Dunn has a promising year as a politician ahead of him after baseball.
only jason giambi is technically active. manny coaches AAA cubs and abreu retired on friday.
People are so negative about Dunn, I hope he plays at least one more year and laugh all the way to the bank!!!
It may be that Dunn is looking at the immediate future, has a good sense of what he can deliver (this year’s line) and feels that while there might be a market for it, it would be at a small fraction of what he’s been making. Thome, who was a similar type of hitter and to an extent, player, but clearly better, went off his long term contract in 2009 ($13M) but then played three more years at $1.5M, $3M, and $1.25M as a part timer. Thome loved the game and wanted to continue and didn’t mind the lesser role and the much lower salaries. Dunn may not think that way.
Dunn just doesn’t have any skill set than the occasional HR vs. Righty matchup. He’s not really a latter career Theme either. Dunn once had an elite eye…but that’s been toast.
An Adam Dunn retirement leaves the door wide open for Mark Reynolds to pursue being the all-time strikeout king. Swing away, Mark. Swing away.
If Mike Trout’s K rate stay were it was this season he will easily win the strikeout title to go along with the other records he will set by the end of his career.
If that’s it for Dunn, then all I can say is that he was definitely fun to watch play over the years. He hit some monster homeruns, which, of course, are the best homeruns.
There goes the Big Donkey trotting off into the sunset.
I don’t get the contempt for Adam Dunn. I think he could’ve been a better factor helping the A’s advance over guys like Freiman and Vogt.
He was always a low avg high obp guy…but when both started slipping it was over. His first season in Chicago was truly horrific.
I didn’t realize he was “just 34”. Maybe the Yankees will sign him to a 1-yr, incentive laden deal and watch him drop balls over the RF fence, while sharing DH duties with A-Rod early in the season…or, being from Texas, the Rangers use him as their DH instead of Mitch Moreland.
Rangers are a pretty good fit, actually. Can Moreland move to OF?
Moreland can play the corners but neither of them really good, and I am not sure how nimble he is going to be after ankle surgery.
Dunn has said many times that money would have nothing to do with his decision to retire, that he would walk away when he wasn’t having fun anymore… what a coincidence that it stopped being fun for him immediately after receiving his last paycheck.
Oh, and “Moneyball” tapped out again.
Why is retiring after your last pay check made to seem terrible? He’s 34. It’s not like he couldn’t earn more money if he wanted to. Except, getting the point where you won’t get 10+ MM in guaranteed money these days generally comes alongside the point where you’re skillset has irreparably deteriorated, at which point I think it’s perfectly defensible to wrap up an honorable, fine career.
I didn’t say it was terrible… he’s actually a good teammate and a nice guy. I’m merely pointing out that he stuck around for a year and a half after knowing that he was basically stealing money. If the money wasn’t important to him as he said, do you think he will give the appropriate amount back to the team or maybe to charity? I don’t either.
Any chance that his likely-inability to generate a large paycheck going forward, coincides with the fact he’s not very good anymore, which may not be fun for the guy? Do you think it would be fun to be half the player you used to be?
You’d probably never know.
That was my point. As a Sox fan, I have watched this guy be reduced to a pathetic strikeout machine. It could not have been fun for him to know that he was taking $60 million and returning about a third of that in actual value. He was an albatross for 3 of the 4 years he spent in Chicago.
Simple as this: Dunn will play in 2015 if he has a chance to play for a good team. Otherwise, it’s not worth it to him anymore. He’s not going to the Hall of Fame even if he reaches 500 home runs, and he’s got enough money to last forever, so unless he’s going to have another chance at a ring, why go on?