Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com
Reds GM Wayne Krivsky hasn't wrenched his back yet trying to move Dunn, but lots of people say he's in full-fledged listening mode.
Dunn hit 40 homers for the third straight season, and the tape-measure jobs still generate oohs and ahs. But his combined on-base/slugging percentage has dipped from .957 to .855 since 2004, and some people think his heart went out of it a little bit after the Reds traded his buddy Austin Kearns to Washington. He never projected a tremendous amount of fire before that.
"He's a very strange package," said an American League executive. "The power is incredible, obviously, and he does walk a lot. But the defense is brutal and the strikeouts are brutal. I think they'd move him if they could."
Krivsky spent a lot of years in Minnesota, where the Twins stressed pitching and defense, and Dunn doesn't fit that philosophy. Cost is also a concern. Dunn will make $10.5 million in 2007, and the Reds have a $13 million option for 2008. That's a lot of money for a DH -- especially in a league where the position doesn't exist.
Here's the problem: While Krivsky made some inspired acquisitions last offseason -- adding Bronson Arroyo and Brandon Phillips -- he put a dent in his offensive surplus when he traded Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Nationals in July. The Reds ranked ninth in the NL in runs scored, and Rich Aurilia, who hit 23 homers, is a free agent. If Krivsky moves Dunn, he'll want both pitching and an impact bat in return.
Baltimore and Texas are among the American League clubs that might have an interest. The Astros are more likely to pursue Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano through free agency, but they'll at least kick the tires on Dunn.
Pittsburgh makes some sense, given the short right field at PNC Park and the team's need for a lefty power hitter. But it's hard to see the Pirates shelling out the coin for Dunn. They're more likely to focus on a younger, less costly bat, such as Arizona's Chad Tracy or Florida's Mike Jacobs.