View Full Version : Keep Dunn? Reds should

03-23-2008, 03:21 PM

The Reds should sign Adam Dunn to a contract extension.

Half of you just said, "Exactly."

The other half just threw down the paper in disgust.

One caveat here: The Reds should do so only if they can get the deal done for a reasonable amount of money. I know "reasonable amount" is a relative term when talking about baseball contracts, but Dunn is a reasonable guy. My guess is he'd sign for below market value to stay with the Reds.

By the way, no talks are going on right now. But given chief executive officer Bob Castellini's fondness for Dunn, they are likely to start.

No player divides the Reds' fan base like Dunn.

Many of you would prefer that the Reds let him walk.

Those of you who like the "Moneyball" numbers game love Dunn. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) annually is among the best in baseball.

He's 22nd in the category among active players. Only three players under age 30 are above him - No. 2 Albert Pujols, No. 14 Miguel Cabrera and No. 20 Mark Teixeira.

Those who value the more traditional numbers - batting average and strikeouts - dislike Dunn. His average isn't going to approach Pete Rose's and he has a long list of strikeout records.

I think OPS is much more important than batting average. I also think the most overlooked stat in baseball is games played.

Dunn is among the best in baseball in durability. He's been on the disabled list only once in his career, and he plays through things that sideline other guys.

But my argument for keeping Dunn goes beyond numbers.

He came to the Reds almost at the exact time I took over the beat in July 2001. He's a guy who always has been liked by everyone who covers the team on a daily basis, although not so much by some columnists.

Dunn's a stand-up guy. Good game or bad game, he's there to talk. He's funny, self-deprecating - probably to a fault - and unafraid to speak his mind.

He's a regular guy - if a regular guy can be 6 feet 6 and 275 pounds, hit the ball 500 feet and make $13 million a year.

As much as I like Dunn, I'm not sure I would have advocated signing him long-term three or four years ago.

But there's been a difference in him the last couple of years. He's more mature - having a wife and kid will do that. He's more serious about the game. He came in last year determined to be a better fielder and, though he didn't win a Gold Glove, he went from 13 errors to six.

But, most important, he's become a leader. He'll call out guys. The karaoke event he organized last week was one of the best things the Reds have done for new players in a long time.

It's hard to say what the chances are of the Reds reaching a deal with Dunn.

"I haven't heard anything," Dunn said.

Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky confirmed that no talks are going on.

"It's something we'll have to address at some point," he said.

Whether the deal ultimately gets done probably will come down to how the team plays.

If the Reds win early and Dunn performs as usual - 40 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs and 100 walks - Castellini will work out a deal.

E-mail jfay@enquirer.com

Chip R
03-23-2008, 03:40 PM