Friday, November 26, 2010

No (Adam) Dunn Deals Yet - Who Should Sign Him?

Adam Dunn is one of the most consistent ball players on the planet. He will hit 38 to 40 homers, drive in 100 runs, bat between .250 and .260, walk 80 to 100 times and strike out 190 times. He's like clockwork. He's also a free agent. Several teams have been interested in him including the Tigers until they signed Victor Martinez. But where should Dunn go?

Anyone who signs Adam Dunn and gives him a glove is crazy. He's had a negative "dWAR" according to for years. He wasn't as bad last year at first base as he was the year before in left field. But it's not what he does best. Any National League team that signs him will need to have a first base position open because you don't want to put him anywhere else. That would make him a fit for: Los Angeles, (which probably doesn't have the money to sign him), the Diamondbacks (who had LaRoche last year), the Pirates (why would they sign him?), the Braves and of course, the Nationals.

But if ever there was a perfect Designated Hitter, it would be Adam Dunn, who apparently doesn't want to do that. $12 to $15 million a year for four years might change his mind. He would be a nice fit for the Rangers as he is much more productive than Vladimir Guerrero. In fact, if Dunn's season was as a DH, he would have had the most value. His 3.6 WAR was even higher than David Ortiz. He'd be a nice fit for the Angels who have cut ties with Matsui (though Matsui was more valuable last year than you think). He would be an excellent fit for the Yankees with their right field porch. Yeah, Jorge Posada is supposed to DH. But which would you rather have?

Teams which would seem to be all set at DH are the Red Sox, the Orioles, the Blue Jays, the Twins, the Indians (if you still believe in Hafner), the Royals (if Ka'ahue gets the shot), and the Mariners (they are stuck with Milton Bradley for another season). Every other team could use a big bat like Dunn's.

The two teams with the biggest need would be the Bay Rays, who will likely look for a cheaper option and the Athletics (ditto).

The Orioles are an interesting team for Dunn in that they have a great DH in Luke Scott. But they don't have a viable first baseman. Baltimore isn't far from Washington so Dunn wouldn't have to upset his life too much.

But if the Fan was a betting man, money would be bet that the Angels or the Rangers will make Dunn the most attractive offers. Dunn is worth a good solid $15 million a year for his bat (subtract a bit if he puts a glove on). So any deal for around three years at $15 million a year would sound just about right. Dunn, unlike a lot of other DH/1B types will end up somewhere. Count on that.