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The Dunn Debate

Posted by Matt on July 13, 2007

adunn2.jpg

It is no secret that the biggest buzz circling the Reds’ camp in Cincinnati involves left field free-swinger Adam Dunn and whether or not he will be moved before the off-season. Further complicating moving the slugger is the precarious contract situation the Reds find themselves in with the Big Donkey as there are a lot of scenarios that could play out.

To help simplify this for all parties involved, I have tried to organize some of the issues surrounding the contract as to give some insight in to what is actually going on.

• In February of 2006, Adam Dunn signed a two-year deal (for the 2006 and 2007 seasons) reportedly worth $17-million dollars with a club option for 2008 that would cost the Reds $13-million dollars if utilized. — Basically, when this deal was negotiated the powers-that-be predicted that $13-million in 2008 would be the market value for Adam Dunn which now seems to be somewhat over estimated.

• The 2008 option is strictly for the Reds alone and if that option is not exercised before a trade, the 2008 option becomes null and void and the team on the receiving end of the Dunn deal would have to resign him before the end of the season or lose Adam to free agency.

• If the Reds exercise the 2008 club option, Adam receives full trade protection during the 2008 season through June 15, 2008 and is then allowed partial protection thereafter through a ten-team list of his choosing of places he would approve a trade to. This trade protection is granted to Dunn if the 2008 option is exercised and follows Dunn to any team if he happens to be traded before the end of the 2007 season.

• If the Reds do nothing OR pick up the 2008 club option, Dunn still becomes a free agent, it is just a matter of when (the end of the 2007 season versus the end of the 2008 season, respectively).

The Reds are having a hard time finding interest in Dunn since the 2008 option has not been picked up yet because teams are unwilling to give the Reds what they want for Adam for a guy that will possibly be gone to free agency after less than half of a season.

And even IF the 2008 option is picked up, at $13-million dollars for one year, it might still be difficult to find a suitor, unless the Reds are willing to eat some of Dunn’s 2008 salary as part of the deal. To further simplify matters, below is a list of the possible options regarding the left fielder.

The Options:

  1. Trade him now (if there is a suitor) – at least getting draft picks for him if nothing else
  2. Pick up the 2008 club option (keep him next year, or trade him now) – $13-million for one year, rather pricey
  3. Sign him to a new deal and keep him or sign-and-trade (a new deal replaces the old one and gives general managers confidence that Dunn will be around)
  4. Keep him around this season, don’t exercise club option, let Adam go to free agency (thus getting nothing for him)

(There may be other options I failed to mention or did not think of on my own so if that is the case, feel free to post other possibilities in the thread below.)

It is a very interesting situation considering the amount of money Adam would garner as part of the 2008 option if the Reds wanted to keep him around and if they don’t, which seems to be the case, they don’t have too many teams in the way of shoppers who are even considering acquiring Dunn.

As “Charlie Hustle put it, “in the history of baseball has there ever been a team as hancuffed by player?”

Adam Dunn’s 2007 season statistics through the end of play on July 12, 2007:

.256-batting average (79/309 in 87 games), .355-on-base percentage, 24-home runs, 58-RBIs, 56-runs scored, 46-walks, & 107-strike outs

I have had lengthy discussions with both “Charlie Hustle” and “Condo” on this matter and decided to try something new and allow us to organize all of our thoughts in one place for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to join in and tell us your thoughts on Adam Dunn while various members of “The Nasty Boys” will stop in periodically (hopefully) to leave their thoughts as well as we beg the question:

“What should the Cincinnati Reds do with Adam Dunn?”

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4 Responses to “The Dunn Debate”

  1. Condo said

    Alright, I’m not a Cincinnati ‘homer’ persay like Matt & Charlie.. but an avid fan of baseball none the less. As for the whole Dunn situation, I think that Krivisky has got to stop ‘shooting for the moon’ when he makes offers to other clubs. He’s has been rumored to ask the Angels for SP- Ervin Santana, Prospect SS- Brandon Wood, & another prospect in the infield by the name of Erick Aybar.

    Now sure, the Angels could definitely use a left-handed power bat to stick in the DH role, but considering Dunn would merely be a ‘rental’ considering if traded his contract is over after this season, that is an extremely hefty price to pay.

    If Krivisky could get a major league ready starting pitcher and another prospect for Dunn that would be one helluva deal in my opinion right there. Hell, if he can get a top-tier starting pitcher prospect and another prospect for Dunn that’s a great deal too.

    Fact of the matter is, Dunn is nothing more than a power bat with a mediocre (at best) batting average, not very good with runners in scoring position, and a defensive liability anywhere you put him. As a DH, he could produce better numbers, but the biggest problem is nobody is going to give a whole lot for a guy who is going to be there a half-season and then leave via Free Agency.

    First thing I would try as the Reds is tell teams that if they will pay ‘top dollar’, allow the team interested in trading for Dunn a 72 hour negotiating window to set up a new deal with whatever stipulations they would prefer to put in it. I know this could be an issue as Dunn then somewhat has a ‘say’ on where he goes, but it’s better than having a full-no trade clause until June 15th of next year if the Reds exercise his option for 2008. This may allow the Reds to acquire SOMETHING worth while by giving teams a ‘window’ to work a deal out.

    Next thing I would do if I’m the Reds, is if you can’t find a trade that includes at least 2 solid propsects, exercise his contract for 2008, wait til after June 15th, find out his 10 teams, and try & shop him again next year seeing as how he still has some value to the Reds lineup for at least one more year while waiting on Jay Bruce & Drew Stubbs to be ready to go in the Reds OF for 2009.

    Lastly, if during the 2008 trade season, you STILL can’t find at least 2 solid prospects for Dunn, you let him play out the remainder of the contract, let him hit free agency in the winter of 2008, and I’d have to imagine Dunn would be a ‘Type A’ Free Agent. What ‘Type A Free Agent’ means, is that the player ranks in the top 30 percent of players in their position groups. This means, that any team who signs Dunn in that winter would have to give up both their first round pick & either their ‘sandwich pick’ (between the 1st and 2nd round) or 2nd round pick.

    The one catch to this is, that if a team that signs Dunn has a top 15 pick, it is protected, meaning that they don’t have to give it up, but they would have to give up their next 2 best picks, usually it’s a Sandwich & 2nd round pick. This is why I say if the Reds can’t get at least two solid prospects for Dunn, you go ahead & let him leave via free agency. And the biggest reason I say go ahead and bring him back for 2008 is because it ‘bridges the gap’ between the time from him leaving, to Jay Bruce being ready to take over patrolling LF for the Reds in 2009.

    That’s all I have right now on this matter, let’s hear what everyone else has to say.

  2. Matt said

    I definitely think Dunn is expendable as Drew Stubbs is “Adam Dunn, Junior” with speed:

    (Cincinnati Reds’ official scouting report on Stubbs)

    – “OF Drew Stubbs, 2006 (eighth overall): A three-year starter at the University of Texas, Stubbs signed quickly and batted .252 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 56 games with rookie-level Billings. Although he’s an exceptional athlete with speed, the organization is working with Stubbs to cut down on his strikeouts.”

    He’s even from Texas…

    Maybe I’m with Krivsky, I want Brandon Webb and Eric Byrnes for The Big Donkey.

    Nice thoughts, though, Condo.

  3. Condo said

    Yes, Drew Stubbs seems to be Adam Dunn Junior, but the outfielder I think the Reds are most looking forward to coming up by late 2008-beginning of 2009 (maybe earlier based on his fast track this season in the minors) is Jay Bruce, a 20 year old outfielder currently playing for the Reds AAA team, the Louisville Bats.

    He hit a triple in the Right Center gap at the Futures game in San Francisco (that’s a 421 foot poke) and the guy was hitting the ball hard in Sarasota (67 games, .325 avg, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 4SB, .379 OBP, 67 K in 268 AB). He then went up to Chattanooga for a brief period of time (16 games, .333 avg, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 2 SB, .405 OBP, 20 K in 66 AB) and was just recently promoted to Louisville where he has played one game there and went 1 for 4 with a solo HR.

    If the Reds think Jay Bruce can be ready to go against major league hitters everyday by the start of next season, then maybe let Dunner go to free agency after this season if you can’t trade him, but I still think you go ahead and put him on the books for $13 million next season. Then hope one of the 10 teams on his list he approves of after June 15th takes a chance on him and gives up a boat load thinking they can re-sign him after the season seeing as how they were one of the 10 teams he would approve a trade to.

    That’s just what I would do as I think Jay Bruce is going to be a stud. Bruce was #14 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects before this season started and I can only imagine he has gone up in their eyes based on the stats he’s put up so far this season. Keep in mind, Jay Bruce beat out both Justin Upton (#9 on the preseason Top 100 list) and Cameron Mayin (#6 on the preseason Top 100 list) for Player of the Year honors in the Midwest League last season with Dayton, and those 2 are no slouches. So losing Dunn isn’t exactly going to ‘hurt’ the Reds.

  4. Matt said

    I would just like to get a pitching prospect that isn’t three or four seasons away from the Majors…

    The likes of Stanton, Weathers, Coffey, etcetera, has to go. Sadly, I think Coffey is the only Bullpen member that can break 90 and he cannot find the strike zone and when he does its planted in the Budweiser Party Deck.

    Another young guy like Coutlangus would be nice.

    The other option is keeping Dunn and figuring out how to get him to stop striking out…

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