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Friday, July 01, 2005

Adam D-O-N-E in the Natti

My last brilliant comment to Kentucky Scott's insightful Roy O post got me thinking. As it is a virtual certainty that Adam Dunn will be an Astro no later than 2007 (when he becomes a free agent), why wouldn't the Reds trade him now for prospects? He's repeatedly expressed an interest in returning to his hometown. He's openly complained about management's handling of his buddy Austin Kearns and, more importantly, his Barry Bonds recliner. Unlike the NBA, MLB does not allow his current team to offer him more money than anyone else once he becomes a free agent. In other words, it's a completely open market; the Reds can't offer him more than any other team. After the success of the Rocket and Andy show, it seems logical to think that Uncle Drayton would pony up some real cheddar for a homegrown slugger.

As such, if you're the Astros, what package would you offer for Dunn right now? The Reds would probably want Troy Patton, but I can't see the Astros parting with him. What about Astacio, Bucholtz, and Burke? Maybe Backe? Maybe Brad Ausmus and a limo full of strippers? Thoughts?


Blogger Scott said...

I know how much you abhor numbers , Timmy Boy, since they are not flexible, preventing you from being able to spin your BS theories as you wish, but if you'll indulge me:

Dunn - 25 years old and in his 3rd full ML season, is averaging 1 HR every 6.9 AB's, increasing in OBP from .354 to .388 to .389, OPS'ing .819, .956 and .944 (numbers only Pujols or Bonds can even approach). Allegedly (according to one comment taken completely out of context) he'd be interested in playing in Houston long-term. Thus, he's more valuable to Houston than to other teams because of the increased likelihood that he'll sign long-term.

Ezequiel Astacio is (allegedly) 25 years old and put up an impressive 10.98 ERA in the bigs this season. He's as much of a prospect at this point as Jeriome Robertson is a prospect. Buchholz is intriguing, but his health renders him much less than a blue-chipper now.

Here's a handful of names. If I'm Cincinnati, we start with this list of prospects:

Chris Burke
Fernando Nieve (AAA P)
Mark McLemore (AA P)
Hector Gimemez (AA C)
Troy Patton (High A P)
Chance Douglass (High A P)
Rodrigo Escobar (High A P)
Jonathan Ash (High A 2B)
Hunter Pence (High A OF)

Note that NONE of these guys have put up ANY numbers in the bigs, and only 2 have even sniffed AAA, whereas you're getting a young, established OBP/OPS freak of nature who also will lend box office appeal. Therefore, Patton and McLemore are absolute musts. Then we can mix and match from there. A package of Patton, McLemore, Nieve and Burke would do the job for me. If you keep Burke (to platoon in LF for the next 13 years while Biggio chases 3000 hits), then I take Pence and Ash.

You may laugh, and if you do, it proves that you have no idea what a unique monster Adam Dunn truly is. If you don't, then you may be lucky enough to add him to your club without giving up a single proven big-leaguer.

Fri Jul 01, 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I laugh. I'm admittedly not a numbers guy, but you conveniently left out Dunn's strikeouts for the aforementioned three seasons...

2002: 170
2003: 126
2004: 195
2005: 83 (projected to be 172)

Further, Dunn has never hit about .266; his lifetime average is .248. We're not talking about Barry Bonds here. I'd give you Backe, Zeke, and however many hot dogs are left over after Cha-Cha works his way through the postgame spread.

Fri Jul 01, 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Let me step you through this. You're smart enough, even for an emotional lib, to see the light here.

In every AB, a batter either makes an out or reaches base. OBP illustrates the % of time that a batter reaches base (and by definition doesn't make an out). Adam Dunn is currently 21st in MLB, reaching base in 38.9% of his ABs. He makes an out, therefore, 61.1% of his ABs, less than all but 20 other players in baseball. So a higher % of his outs are K's; are you looking for a guy who can bunt or move runners along or are you looking for a slugger. Sure it's a weakness, but it's a highly, highly overrated one. Regardless, there are only 20 guys who in baseball this season who make less outs per AB than Dunn. I imagine even if you refuse to admit the importance of this publicly, inside you do understand how valuable this measure is in evaluating an offensive player's value.

In addition, his batting average is admittedly low. So we'll use the .266 avg that you pulled out of your hat. In a season where Dunn gets 4 plate appearances every game, he'd have 648 plate appearances. In his full 3+ major league seasons, Dunn has walked an average of 17.4% of his ABs, so in this scenario, he'd have 112 walks and thus 536 official ABs. At his .248 career batting average, he'd have 133 hits. At a "much more respectable" .266 avg, he'd have 143 hits. That's 10 hits over 648 plate appearances...that's negligible at best. The difference between his "low" batting average and a "respectable" batting average comes down to 10 stinking hits over a season. Big freaking deal.

Then there's his slugging percentage. He has averaged 1 HR per every 6.9 at-bats since arriving on the major league scene. He currently ranks 20th in MLB in slugging. Let's count up all the guys who currently rank higher than AD in both slugging and OBP...Derrek Lee, Brian Roberts, Vlad Guerrero, Albert Pujols, A-Rod, Miggy Cabrera, Jim Edmonds. Of that list, Roberts is obviously a blip on the radar, and Edmonds is oft-injured and aging. That leaves Lee, Vlad, Pujols, A-Rod and Cabrera. Of those, Vlad, Pujols and A-Rod are already making in excess of $15 million per year. Dunn, taking into consideration $ and age, is second only to Miguel Cabrera when it comes to offensive production.

I have tried to refrain from using your fantasy baseball team's pathetic performance as a measure of your baseball comprehension. However, if you continue to fail to understand the freakish nature of Adam Dunn's offensive potential, I'll be forced to consider said fantasy performance indicative of your intelligence rather than an a mere aberration. Adam Dunn's offensive talent is rare, and it should and hopefully will require a team's 5 best prospects to obtain his services.

Fri Jul 01, 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I did not pull .266 "out of [my] hat." It represents the highest batting average Dunn has ever posted in a season; it occurred in 2004, a year after he hit .215.

The more I think about it, the more I believe Adam Dunn is cut from the same cloth as Mark McGwire. Both are/were usually good for 40 HRs and a ridiculously low batting average. If McGwire fetched the immortal triumvirate of Blake Stein, Eric Ludwick, and T.J. Matthews via trade, surely an offer of Astacio, Bucholtz, and Backe is fair. Much like the A's couldn't afford Big Mac's impending free agency, the Reds would be wise to get something for Dunn before he bolts on his own and they're left with nothing but Griffey's cadaver.

Fri Jul 01, 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I can no longer pretend that your disastrous fantasy baseball performance as well as coincidentally (or not-so concindentally) horrendous softball managerial results are the result of raw chance. It is clear from your dogged unwilligness to comprehend the value of Adam Dunn that (a) you're doomed to failure in all baseball-related activities and (b) I need to propose you some more trades in fantasy baseball in order to properly punish you for your ineptitude.

As a Reds' fan, however, I cringe because I belive that our own GM is even more dense than you.

Fri Jul 01, 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

You are entitled to your opinion. Please note, however, that as a career-threatening knee injury has limited me to only managing our softball team, I am wholly empowered to make personnel decisions for the squad. I cannot tolerate your insubordination or cancerous attitude in the clubhouse. You've left me little choice.

That red ticket hanging in your locker is not a coupon. You're cut.

Fri Jul 01, 04:53:00 PM  

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