Rehashing the Adam Dunn discussion

For a guy who has been accused of “not even liking baseball”, whether or not he actually has a passion for the game, Adam Dunn sure knows how to play it.

Think back to July 2008 and you’ll remember the tirade that seemingly came out of nowhere from J.P. Ricciardi when he lambasted the then Cincinnati Reds slugger on Jays Talk. It was one of the strangest things I have ever heard come out of the mouth of anyone in baseball, let alone a General Manager of a professional baseball team.

Relive the madness and click on the audio below:


Audio courtesy of The Fan 590

J.P. Ricciardi’s media blunder all but eliminated any chance whatsoever that Adam Dunn would ever play for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Until now.

With Ricciardi gone, Alex Anthopolous can swoop in and be the young, hip General Manager and reassure Dunn that he’s nothing like Ricciardi.

It’s time for the Blue Jays to extend and olive branch to Adam Dunn and get back on his good side. It’s time for the Blue Jays to do what they should have two years ago – either trade to get Adam Dunn or sign him as a free agent next winter.

Unlike the soon to be departed Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn isn’t in it for a championship – he wants the money. He played in Cincinnatti for seven and a half seasons while they never once had a record above .500. Now he’s with the worst team in baseball, so it’s clear that having a chance at winning is at the bottom of his priority list.

The Blue Jays can easily clear up enough space to pay Dunn $10 million dollars a year, and it would be more than worth it. Adam Dunn is the closest thing there is to a guaranteed 40 HR/100 RBI hitter, and would provide protection for Adam Lind in the three slot.

Like most typical sluggers, his batting average is something left to be desired and he averages around 180 strikeouts per season. Despite all that, Dunn still has a decent career OBP at .383.

There is one drawback though – the Blue Jays cannot and should not put him in the outfield or first base. He is an on-field liability, and according the FanGraphs has the worst UZR rating in baseball over the past three years. Simply put, at this point in his career it’s DH or bust for Adam Dunn.

Maybe this off-season isn’t the right time to trade for Adam Dunn, but he should definitely be on the Blue Jays radar next winter. He won’t be coming to Toronto to win a championship at first, but if all the pieces fall into place, a world series ring might be a pleasant side effect.


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

8 thoughts on “Rehashing the Adam Dunn discussion

  • December 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Funny, I had a little not about Adam in my post today. I totally agree with you Ian, my take on Alex is that he'll never burn any bridges as JP did, and he may very well be looking at Adam when or if he becomes a FA in 2011.

    If they did pick him up, he'd fit in great behind Adam Lind.

  • December 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I really believe that if the Jays were to acquire a big bat to go with Lind and Hill, their offense would be fine, and they could plug in all the Barajas' and Alex Gonzalez's they want. Of course with Scutaro gone they now need a leadoff hitter.

    I don't think Doumit is this guy either, he's a good offensive player for a catcher, but if you put him at 1B, well, you pretty much have Lyle Overbay all over again. This big bat has to be a AGon, Dunn, Feilder, Howard type guy. You never know, maybe Snider will turn into this guy?

  • December 3, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Right on the money, Mat. Dunn is built to DH in the American League. Hopefully AA will try to mend the fences with Dunn and his agent before he becomes a free agent.

    Peter, there is a glaring hole in the leadoff spot. I will probably be doing a post in the next couple of weeks covering the best candidates to move up there. If I had to take a guess right now, I'd say either Wells or A-Gon hits leadoff.

    I don't buy all this talk about Ryan Doumit. He's not much of an offensive upgrade over what they already have, so it seems like a move that cancels itself out. Plus he is set to make WAY too much money in the next couple of years.

  • December 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I suspect (or at least hope) that the lead off hitter will be someone yet to be acquired. That being said, if there were no more changes to the team as it currently stands, my line-up would be as follows:

    1. Encarnacion
    2. Overbay
    3. Hill (Crappy OBP but I'd keep Lind hitting behind him for now.
    4. Lind
    5. Wells
    6. Snider
    7. Bautista (Would move up against Lefties)
    8. Gonzalez
    9. JP Arencibia/Phillips (only because the Jays don't have any catchers at the moment)

  • December 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I could maybe subscribe the the option of Dunn. 10 million per season seems like a lot though but I guess that's the market…

  • December 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Peter, knowing Cito, there's no telling what kind of an Opening Day lineup we'll see. I like EE up at the top, but maybe prefer Wells in there because he is a threat to run.

    Mattt, I think $10 mill on the open market is a decent price to pay for a 40 HR/100 RBI type hitter. The Jays have spent $10 million in worse ways before … (Ryan, Thomas, etc)

  • December 3, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I'm not in love with EE at the top, but until Wells improves is OBP, he should be nowhere near the leadoff spot.

    Also, I know this is not what Cito would do, but what I would do given who I have to work with. I think Cito's line-up will be more like this:

    1. Gonzalez
    2. JP Arencibia/Phillips
    3. Hill
    4. Lind
    5. Bautista
    6. Wells
    7. Encarnacion
    8. Overbay
    9. Snider

  • December 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what Cito is going to piece together.

    He may as well just select the lineup playing "Pin the tail on the leadoff hitter".

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