PDA

View Full Version : Adam Dunn Free Agent Stock Watch



Benihana
04-21-2008, 10:07 AM
from www.mlbtraderumors.com...

Free Agent Stock Watch: Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn will be a free agent after this season. So it's a safe bet that Dunn is going to have a career year and will cash in this winter, right? Not so fast.

Dunn, who has hit exactly 40 home runs in each of the past three seasons, has only two so far. But that's not what makes Dunn's 2008 start so interesting.

This season, Dunn's OBP is a robust .418, but his batting average is an anemic .191. How do we account for this dichotomy? Quite simply, Dunn has walked more than usual. So far, he's walked 19 times in 47 at bats. He's on pace to walk 211 times, assuming he gets as many at bats as last season (522).

Amazingly, that wouldn't break the record for most walks in a season, which was set by Barry Bonds in 2004. But it would still be a remarkable feat, especially considering 120 of Bonds' walks were intentional, and Dunn has yet to be intentionally walked this month.

Of course, we're getting ahead of ourselves. This is a very small sample size we're talking about. More than likely, Dunn's walk rate will taper off.

But what if Dunn keeps walking at this rate? Here's how The Hardball Times describes Bill James' theory that an increased walk rate signals decreased hitting, via Fox Sports:

In his 1986 Baseball Abstract, Bill James postulated that when a player experienced a sudden spike in walk rate one year, it would often be followed by a substantial drop in batting average the following year. According to James, taking a base on balls is a "veteran player skill" because it involves an older ballplayer compensating for slower reflexes and bat speed. But, James reasoned, the increase in walks will result in a decrease in batting average because the pitchers will adjust and will begin to make the hitters hit good pitches.

Could Dunn be nearing the twilight of his career? He seems a little young to be winding down already. On the other hand, Andruw Jones' batting average fell off a cliff when he turned 29, and Dunn turns 29 in November. So never say never.

If Dunn keeps on walking, how will it affect his contract negotiations? Your guess is as good as mine. But count on Dunn making at least as much as Pat Burrell, who is also a below average outfielder with high OBP and 30 HR power. Tim recently speculated that Burrell should land a contract in the neighborhood of $60 million over four years. Both Burrell and Dunn could benefit from a move to the AL, where they could DH.

--

Does the Andruw Jones comp make you worry? I say let's see what happens in the next couple months before we do anything. If he's hitting above .250 by June 15, I'd offer him the extension- 4 years, $60 MM.

IslandRed
04-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Does the Andruw Jones comp make you worry?

Not particularly. The comp that worries me -- and it's been brought up here before -- is that guys who are in their twenties, but have Old Player skills and an Old Player body, tend to decline faster and earlier. (Let's assume they are not getting, shall we say, modern pharmaceutical assistance.)

I don't see any reason to presume Dunn's falling off the cliff yet -- he's certainly had plenty of stretches that looked a lot like the last few weeks -- but it's something to consider when deciding to offer a contract extension, and if so, for how long.

Benihana
04-21-2008, 10:31 AM
While I would much prefer a 3-year deal with Dunn, I don't know if he would agree to one unless it were for close to $20 MM/year, which is obviously out of the question.

RedsManRick
04-21-2008, 11:19 AM
I'd love to look at Dunn's contact rate numbers -- particularly integrated with Pitch F/x data. What's he swinging at these days and how often is he making contact. His approach has been monkeyed with so much it's hard to decipher skill fluctuations from randomness.

I think Dunn will remain productive in to his early 30's, but I wouldn't want to be on the hook beyond 2011.

Reds1
04-21-2008, 11:24 AM
Putting Kepp behind him maybe he'll start getting some balls to hit! :) - 20 million - ah - no way. I love Dunn, but I'm not sure we can keep him.

jojo
04-21-2008, 12:00 PM
I'd love to look at Dunn's contact rate numbers -- particularly integrated with Pitch F/x data. What's he swinging at these days and how often is he making contact. His approach has been monkeyed with so much it's hard to decipher skill fluctuations from randomness.

I think Dunn will remain productive in to his early 30's, but I wouldn't want to be on the hook beyond 2011.

Courtesy of Bill James:

Dunn has seen 319 pitches so far in '08. He has swung at 34% of them. Of those he has swung at, 82% have been in the strike zone. Of the pitches he has taken, only 24% have been strikes. He has only put 35% of the pitches he has swung at into play. Importantly, only 42% of the pitches thrown to him were in the strike zone.

In 2007, he swung at 43% of the pitches he saw, of those he swung at, 74% were in the strike zone. Of the pitches he took, 28% were strikes. He only put 32% of the pitches he swung at into play. Importantly, 48% of the pitches thrown to him were actually in the strike zone.


His '08 is small sample size theater so NO reliable conclusion can be drawn. All that can be said is that for this tiny sample, he has swung less than the previous year as a percentage but this is likely because he's seen fewer pitches in the strike zone this season though so far he has also swung at fewer balls out of the strike zone.


BTW, I'm on record as arguing for picking up his option but not signing him to an extension.

Benihana
04-21-2008, 12:13 PM
BTW, I'm on record as arguing for picking up his option but not signing him to an extension.

What option? At this point, I thought it was either extension or let him walk. Would you rather have Pat Burrell?

PS Do you think there is any chance we could get Balentien for Maloney and some change?

RedsManRick
04-21-2008, 12:18 PM
Thanks Jojo. I don't think we need to set aside the data due to sample size. The data from this year isn't a sample, it IS the population. We're not trying to predict anything, just observing. Certainly we would discount the data so far if we were to try and infer likely future events, but we're not.

We can pretty confidently say that Adam Dunn:
- Has seen fewer strikes in 2008 than he saw in 2007
- Is swinging less often
- Is swinging at balls less often
- Is taking fewer strikes
- Is making contact more often

There's not much Dunn can do about the first point, but he seems to be taking an improved approach, if anything.

The bugaboo is pretty easy in terms of his performance to date.
1.) When he's made contact, he's made lower quality contact than usual (15.4 LD%, GB/FB rate much higher).
2.) Even when he's made good contact, the balls aren't falling in (.222 BABIP vs .274 eBABIP).

He just needs to keep it up. Hopefully he'll start getting some more liners and flyballs (though could his batted ball types be indicative of a more contact oriented approach?), and the balls he's hitting should start to fall in more.

Let's just hope that he's not getting any advice suggesting he needs to start swinging at the bad pitches he's seeing.

jojo
04-21-2008, 12:24 PM
What option? At this point, I thought it was either extension or let him walk. Would you rather have Pat Burrell?

PS Do you think there is any chance we could get Balentien for Maloney and some change?

I was referring to conversations predating his '08 option that was already picked up.

I don't know if the Ms would seriously be interested in Maloney given their rotation is essentially set through '09. BTW, Wlad hurt his knee over the weekend though I don't know how badly.

REDREAD
04-21-2008, 01:03 PM
I think there's a little bit of similiarity in Arroyo and Dunn.

When Arroyo was extended, I was ok with it because the team was starved for starting pitching. It was a risk, but the alternative was to let Arroyo walk soon and only have a draft pick (or whatever) to show for it.. in any event, the return probably wouldn't be as valuable as a decent Arroyo would've been.

I feel the same with Dunn. He's not the perfect player, but we are starved for offense.
It's going to be impossible to trade him for a good return with that no trade clause.
At this point, I think the best alternative for the Reds is to extend Dunn, even if that means overpaying for him. Because the Reds can't replace his bat. No matter how good Bruce is, a Dunn-less offense is not going to work. Outside of Bruce, there's little help on the horizon.

redsfan4445
04-21-2008, 04:10 PM
here is a list of 2009 free agent outfielders..:I like Burrell, but there are no real young alternatives except Dunn and Wily Mo Pena (To bad he never took the steps to hit better)

Left fielders
Moises Alou (42)
Garret Anderson (37) - $14MM club option for '09 with a $3MM buyout
Milton Bradley (31)
Emil Brown (34)
Pat Burrell (32)
Adam Dunn (29)
Cliff Floyd (36) - $2.75MM club option for '09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Luis Gonzalez (41)
Raul Ibanez (37)
Jacque Jones (34)
Kevin Mench (31)
Jason Michaels (33) - $2.6MM club option for '09
Craig Monroe (32)
Jay Payton (36)
Wily Mo Pena (27) - $5MM club option or $2MM player option for '09
Manny Ramirez (37) - $20MM club option for '09
Juan Rivera (30)

Center fielders
Rocco Baldelli (27)
Mike Cameron (36) - $10MM club option for '09 with a $750K buyout
Jim Edmonds (39)
Jacque Jones (34)
Mark Kotsay (33)
Corey Patterson (29)

Right fielders
Bobby Abreu (35)
Casey Blake (35)
Milton Bradley (31)
Cliff Floyd (36) - $2.75MM club option for '09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Brian Giles (38) - $9MM club option for '09 with a $3MM buyout
Ken Griffey Jr. (39) - $16.5MM club option for '09 with a $4MM buyout
Vladimir Guerrero (33) - $15MM club option for '09 with a $3MM buyout
Jacque Jones (34)
Bobby Kielty (32)
Brad Wilkerson (32)

redsfan4445
04-21-2008, 04:11 PM
i would rather see the Reds let him walk and try and do a deal for Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.. he could be a huge upgrade in defense and his power numbers would rake at GABP along with Bruce..

RedsManRick
04-21-2008, 04:25 PM
i would rather see the Reds let him walk and try and do a deal for Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.. he could be a huge upgrade in defense and his power numbers would rake at GABP along with Bruce..

I agree. I'd be pushing hard for a Kemp deal -- up to including Bailey. If Dunn walks, you know Alex Gonzalez isn't tradable and won't sit making what he's making. So you put Kepp at 3B (if he has the arm), EE to LF, Kemp in CF, Bruce in RF.

Dunn walking isn't the end of the world if we go out and get a bat. I wouldn't want to be waiting for Dorn or Frazier though, who are probably the next 2 closest to ready bats in the system.

*BaseClogger*
04-21-2008, 06:12 PM
The bugaboo is pretty easy in terms of his performance to date.
1.) When he's made contact, he's made lower quality contact than usual (15.4 LD%, GB/FB rate much higher).
2.) Even when he's made good contact, the balls aren't falling in (.222 BABIP vs .274 eBABIP).

Is it possible that the shift Dunn sees has a major impact on his BABIP?

jojo
04-21-2008, 07:29 PM
I think its a safe bet that Kemp isn't going anywhere anytime soon....

redsrule2500
04-21-2008, 07:57 PM
I don't see how Dunn could possibly land 20MM/year. That's ridiculous

vaticanplum
04-21-2008, 08:25 PM
I don't see how Dunn could possibly land 20MM/year. That's ridiculous

Two words: Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano is a better all-around player than Dunn, but not more valuable to any given team. Actually, I think the market has calmed a bit since the Cubs signed Soriano, and I'm not sure of the upcoming class of free agent power hitters. I don't expect Dunn to sign for less than $15 milllion a year -- $20 million might surprise me a little bit. but I also don't think there's a chance he'll sign a three-year deal. He will get at least five.

I still hold out hope that the Reds will sign him, though, because I think he'd agree to the right deal and also I'm a masochist. I love Dunn and I probably overrate him a bit, but everyone I know who's a fan of another team salivates over him. He's not a common ballplayer.

GAC
04-21-2008, 08:40 PM
I personally think this FO has already made the decision to let Dunn walk.

And if this team continues to struggle at the trading deadline, then don't be surprised if they don't try to trade him if they find a willing candidate that offers up some solid prospects. ;)

And I won't be too upset about it either. But they had better let Jr walk too (and I think WK will).

pahster
04-21-2008, 08:51 PM
I personally think this FO has already made the decision to let Dunn walk.

And if this team continues to struggle at the trading deadline, then don't be surprised if they don't try to trade him if they find a willing candidate that offers up some solid prospects. ;)

And I won't be too upset about it either. But they had better let Jr walk too (and I think WK will).

If both are let go, I wonder where the front office believes they will find replacements for the two on the offensive end. Bruce is one, but it's unfair to expect him to immediately fill either Dunn or Griffey's shoes.

Aronchis
04-21-2008, 08:56 PM
If both are let go, I wonder where the front office believes they will find replacements for the two on the offensive end. Bruce is one, but it's unfair to expect him to immediately fill either Dunn or Griffey's shoes.

The front office doesn't care about replacing their bats, they want to replace their gloves. Dunn and Griffey are to slow for them by ALOT IMO. Dunn isn't even athletic enough to play 1st. He and Griffey are DH's to them.

pahster
04-21-2008, 09:22 PM
The front office doesn't care about replacing their bats, they want to replace their gloves. Dunn and Griffey are to slow for them by ALOT IMO. Dunn isn't even athletic enough to play 1st. He and Griffey are DH's to them.

If you're right (and I'm not sure you are), they should be concerned about replacing Dunn and Griffey's bats. Can't win games without scoring more runs than the other team.

GAC
04-22-2008, 08:10 PM
If both are let go, I wonder where the front office believes they will find replacements for the two on the offensive end. Bruce is one, but it's unfair to expect him to immediately fill either Dunn or Griffey's shoes.

Votto?