December 4, 2006

The Dunn Buzz Begins

Now that Rich Aurilia is all pinned up in San Fransisco and David Weathers is safely in the fold of Cincinnati, it's time for the media to turn their attention to the next-most-talked-about Red this off-season, Adam Dunn.

In this story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dejan Kovacevic counts the Pirates out of the chase for Dunn:

Still, it is known that some candidates already have been scratched off. The Cincinnati Reds' Adam Dunn has topped 40 home runs the past three years, but some in the Pirates' management are turned off by his gaudy strikeout total.

How smart of the Pirates! All that stood between them and the pennant last season was a few dozen strike-outs, so they'll want to avoid anyone with any power if they expect to contend in 2007.

But Pirates' beat writers aren't done counting Dunn out yet. In a story in the Beaver County Times and Allegheny Times, John Perrotto, points out that Dunn is also expensive:

Yet, the two young hitters who could be traded this week that would most fit the Pirates' needs, outfielders Carl Crawford of Tampa Bay and Adam Dunn of Cincinnati, also seem to be out of reach.

The Pirates could get Dunn straight-up for Duke. The idea of having a 6-foot-6, 275-pound left-handed hitter who has averaged 42 homers over the past three seasons aiming for the Allegheny River is enough to make your mouth water.

Yet, the 27-year-old's on base and slugging percentages have fallen in each of the past two years. He has also posted the two highest season strikeout totals in major-league history with 195 in 2004 and 194 this year.

Dunn has a $10.5-million salary in 2007 and can become a free agent following the season if a $13-million club option is bought out for $500,000. That is excessive for a player whose positive doesn't outweigh his negatives.

So, in case you were worried that the Pirates might threaten (not threaten the Reds--threaten to leave the cellar), you can now sleep sound.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun is somewhat less down on Mr. Dunn:

The Orioles have had discussions with the Cincinnati Reds about Adam Dunn and with the Seattle Mariners about Richie Sexson, but other clubs' insistence on making Erik Bedard part of the deals essentially ended the talks.

And the Boston Herald hasn't got a bad thing to say about him:

Other teams in the hunt for big offensive talent include many mentioned as possible destinations for Ramirez - the Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, Angels and Rangers. With the best free agent hitters, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee, already signed, trade talks for big boppers such as Adam Dunn, Richie Sexson and Vernon Wells will keep coming up.

It's nice to hear that the Orioles and Red Sox writers haven't dismissed Dunn out-of-hand, but still--those comments from Pittsburgh have got to sting.

9 comments to “The Dunn Buzz Begins”

  1. smartelf says:

    BIG RUMOR according to ESPN, the Reds have offered a 2 year contract for 6M to Mark Loretta, who played for the Red Sox at 2B last year. Boy would this start the debate about krivsky since we don;t need a 2B… BUT Loretta did play 10 games at 1B and maybe is willing to play more and move around. he fits the Rich Aurilia role quite well when you look at it like that. He has the clutch batting numbers, doesn’t strike out much and is a #2 hitter which is something we need. I think this would be pretty good even though it means once again we break for camp with like 4 second baseman on the roster. It’s fun being a Reds fan, ain’t it???

  2. Red Hot Mama says:

    Make a diary, man. This is good stuff.

  3. KC2HMZ says:

    Initial reaction – OMG, they’re going to trade Freel and want to make sure they have a replacement around before they pull the trigger.

    Beyond that – the deal would be a steal. This is a guy who’s accomplished a few things in his 12 seasons in the big leagues. He’s played all four infield positions in the majors, and can hit. Has postseason experience too. He’s not going to hit for power, maybe 15 dingers playing half his games in GABP, if he were to play regularly. But his career average is a perfectly respectable .299 and his ratio of walks to Ks is decent.

    Hey, he can pitch, even – threw a scoreless inning for the Brewers in 2001.

    All kidding aside though, his salary in Boston last year: $3.25 million. So I guess I have to wonder if he’s going to be willing to take a pay cut to come to Cinci and be a platoon player after being an All-Star in 2004 and 2006. If so, the Reds would basically be getting Mark Grudzielanek for a million less a year than what the Royals are paying the real Grudzielanek, and Loretta’s two years younger.

    I really am still wondering though, if this is because they’re planning to trade Freel.


  4. smartelf says:

    I honestly believe Krivsky checks with Narron on every potential deal, and my gut feeling is that Narron LOVES Freel because he has guts and “runs through a wall for ya”… Also, financially Freel is a bargain, which is important for a small market team like the Reds… also I think he is perfectly happy to stay his entire career and settle for whatever they give him salary-wise.. so Freel is not on the table, IMO. Of course this is opinon with no insider info whatsoever, but I have a pretty good instinctual gut feeling on that one. Dunn could be traded however, I think. Possibly even Phillips who, like you said, may come back to earth a bit and does have a tendency to be a bit free swinging. He sort of had a disappointing second half, but that could be because that was his first full season as a starter. I wouldn’t be shocked if he was dealt while the iron is hot, like you say, but my opinion is this is more about replacing Aurilia. i think they have no problem playing a middle infielder at 1B, because it basically gives you a good fielding first baseman, and Loretta has already experienced doing that.. plus he would be a very good back up should anything go wrong with Encarnacion at 3B or Phillips at 2B. His salary is a bargain, which is important to the Reds.

  5. smartelf says:

    From Red Sox Nation Daily blog:

    The best second baseman(Mark Loretta) the Red Sox had in twenty years was also cut loose as well.


  6. Geki says:

    Lancaster (from Narron) says no offer was made on Loretta.

  7. BubbaFan says:

    Good gravy. I’m not even going to recognize the Red Sox next year.

  8. BubbaFan says:

    Hmmm. The Pirates are rumored to be going after Trot Nixon. Can they afford him? He made seven and a half million last season. Their star OFer, Jason Bay, made only one million.

  9. ohiobobcat says:

    Loretta is a “baseball guy” combined with “veteren presence”.

    I wonder is this was what Will Carroll was described on BP today… (or maybe Kriv was offering 3/27 for Padilla)