Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Nationals decline option on Adam Kennedy

By Adam Kilgore

As expected, the Nationals have declined their 2011 option on second baseman Adam Kennedy, according to a team source. Kennedy would have made $2 million if the Nationals exercised their option. Instead, the Nationals will owe him $500,000, and Kennedy is now a free agent.

A veteran who become lost in a playing-time shuffle this season, Kennedy hit .249/.327/.327 (average/on-base/slugging) with three home runs in 342 at-bats. During the final weekend of the season, Manager Jim Riggleman called not playing Kennedy more his biggest regret of the 2010 season.

Discounting 2007, when Kennedy missed more than a month on the disabled list, Kennedy set career-lows in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. When he signed with the Nationals late in the winter, he assumed he would be a regular. Instead, Ian Desmond won the shortstop job, Cristian Guzman got hot at second base, and Kennedy sat.

"Not very fun," Kennedy said during the final weekend of the season. "I know that. You're not really an everyday player. Your team's not winning. It's two bad ends of the spectrum."

Without Kennedy, the Nationals have three middle infielders on their roster: Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Alberto Gonzalez. The Nationals could look to add a veteran for insurance purposes, but Desmond and Espinosa will almost certainly begin the season as the middle-infield combination.

By Adam Kilgore  | November 3, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jesus Flores playing in Venezuela
Next: Nationals release Tyler Walker

Comments

This is a minor move--funny in a way, since fans have been arguing that Kennedy should have been the two-hole hitter this season. That Adam is not a keeper.

The bigger question is Adam Dunn. The sad fact is that Rizzo may be better letting Dunn go, assuming Rizzo has the same tiny budget to work with. For the same money he would pay Dunn, he could get two players. Sure they would be of lesser talent than Dunn, but they could be of greater talent than what he now has in some positions. What choice does he really have to make it all work with a small budget? Blow his whole wad on a new Dunn contract?

Don't expect players like Crawford, Lee or Werth. We do have to keep low expectations, given the budget. Rizzo could always catch lightening by picking up some players with some upside who actually pan out for the Nats. The Giants and Rangers got some breaks that way. With Dunn's freed-up money, plus the money made available by Guz and Capps, the Nats can shore up their roster a little. I am not saying this is wise--it isn't. It is more like a formula for mediocrity or less. I'm just saying that if you are on a shoestring budget, this is probably what you have to do.

It is probably in Dunn's best interest to leave too, also sad to say. He will get more respect around baseball, and probably enjoy his career more, if he plays for an organization committed to winning.

Posted by: EdDC | November 3, 2010 4:44 PM

Posted by: EdDC | November 3, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I still see our big signing as Webb. As for Kennedy, I'm sure we can sign a guy for less then a million that can fill in occasionally. For Kennedy, I wish someone would give me 500,000 to just go away!

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 3, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Rizzo could always catch lightening by picking up some players with some upside who actually pan out for the Nats. The Giants and Rangers got some breaks that way."

Yes, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Any similarity between the Texas GM, Brian Sabean, and Mike Rizzo is purely coincidental. Oh, I forgot, Rizzo loves the game and is very well respected around baseball. So far, those are his qualifications besides his repeated statements that his policy is to put the best players on the field. He forgets to include the caveat that many of the the players he puts on the field are not major league caliber; perhaps the best of AA.

Incidentally, did anyone else notice the strong, accurate throws from third by Young and Uribe? If only Zimm could do as well . . .

The Nats' payroll, while low, is not in the basement. Rizzo still has some latitude.

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 3, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

So they got rid of two second basemen, Guz and Kennedy, but they brought one up, so they still have four on the roster. Rizzo's doing subtraction by addition instead of the other way around. It's a mad mad world. Everything topsy-turvy. Up is down. Down is up. And back is definitely forth.

Take a pill, Ed. Dunn's gone. Only question is whether he ends up in Harm City so I can take the light rail down and watch him hit 50 at Camden Yds.

Posted by: Brue | November 3, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman's need's to cut the bullkrap(not playing Kennedy one of his biggest mistakes of 2010) let me revisit 2010 for ya big guy; naw why torture the my fellow posters, tell you what get Rizzo to get you some real ballplayers and resign Adam Dunn(i personally think he's history) anyway there are bigger issues than feeling sorry for Adam Kennedy who's got 500 Large to soothe his hurt feelings.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"During the final weekend of the season, Manager Jim Riggleman called not playing Kennedy more his biggest regret of the 2010 season."

I completely agree with this. The whole team would have been better if Kennedy play everyday with Desmond.

I would call this Riggleman's biggest mistake of 2010. Taking an infield with a below average and learning 1B, a very inconsistent rookie shortstop and choosing not to play the capable, steady, unspectacular veteran at 2B to help bring both Dunn and Desmond along.

When Guzman left and the platooning ended, both Desmond and Kennedy improved offensively and defensively. Not a conincidence.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 3, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@JohnR,

Woah, woah, woah, what's with the shot at the Gold Glove 3rd bagger??

(Some good, strong throws in this Series, certainly.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 3, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Buying out Kennedy's contract has been expected for some time now, but I'm personally not convinced it was the right move for next year. Sure, the team still has Desmond, Espinosa & AGonz on roster for 2011, and that's a decent keystone rotation. I think the team still needs an experienced "fall back" option at 2B-3B, and Kennedy at only $2M was a reasonably priced insurance policy there, as well as a LH bat off the bench.

[Sigh] In Rizzo we trust, I guess.

Posted by: BinM | November 3, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The Nats' payroll, while low, is not in the basement. Rizzo still has some latitude. Posted by: JohnRDC | November 3, 2010 5:42 PM

You are right, the Nats' payroll is not the basement. It's only among the very lowest. However, I don't think Rizzo or JimBo have ever had much latitude.

And Brue, if you read my post, I did say Dunn is gone. The Nats cannot afford Dunn and still meet its other needs, given its small-town budget. Rizzo just doesn't have the latitude.

Posted by: EdDC | November 3, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy is a lousy bench player. It takes him 3 or 4 games to get comfortable. Goodbye Adam...maybe Riggleman will catch the same flight and not come back. I can dream, can't I?

Posted by: howjensen | November 3, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Any similarity between the Texas GM, Brian Sabean, and Mike Rizzo is purely coincidental. "

Here's a similarity between Rizzo and Sabean: Neither one of them is the Texas GM. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 3, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@EdDC: Rizzo hasn't had the latitude to make $$ moves so far - Both Kasten (in a parting shot) & Boz (as an example from the press) are saying that now is the time for the Lerner group to expand the ML player portion of the budget.

Let's see if they finally 'catch the drift' & realize that a $60M annual expenditure won't keep the local fanbase in the seats much longer; Sure, they'll still get sellouts on Opening Day, and for series against the likes of BOS, NYY, NYM & PHI, but against the likes of FLA or AZ on a mid-week series in July? Expect 8-10k & mostly crickets, unless the team is somehow above .500 at that point.

The team is entering year six in DC - Either they begin to pay to make the team more competetive/entertaining, or as StanK used to say, "We'll get the attendance we deserve".

Posted by: BinM | November 3, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, did anyone else notice the strong, accurate throws from third by Young and Uribe? If only Zimm could do as well . . .

Posted by: JohnRDC

Did you eat some strange mushrooms, John? There is a reason Zim has that gold glove, you know.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 3, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"Woah, woah, woah, what's with the shot at the Gold Glove 3rd bagger??

Well, I tense up every time Zimm has to make a throw? He is great to watch, especially his glove, lots of drama, but steady? Not like Young, Uribe, Rolen, et al.

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 3, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

John: you must be kidding!! Not steady like Young, Uribe, Rolen. I will give you that Uribe played well in this series but he wasn't even the regular 3rd baseman during the season(see Panda). Zimm is one of the best fielding 3rd basemen in baseball and actually I can't think of a better one. Rolen has no range or speed and while Young is not going to make a lot of errors, he can't get to half the balls Zimm does. His throws were off in the first half of the season but he settled in nicely.
We have enough real problems on this roster, no need to slam the one bright spot.

Posted by: sjm3091 | November 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I missed this, but what's the latest on the Nats TV team for next year? Please don't tell me Ray Knight gets Dibble's job?

And is anybody buying Ladson's "50-50'' that the Nats will still sign Dunn?

Posted by: nats24 | November 3, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Nats24, as I'm not overly keen they sign Dunn, I would say it's 75% chance they will do so. I hope that's some consolation.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 4, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

My two cents worth: Thank you to Adam Kennedy for helping to bring some competitiveness into the clubhouse and on the field. He did not perform exceptionally well and while giving some of his playing time to Guzman may have been a regret, it was probably not a mistake. AK did not field his position not hit as well as the team had hoped. The team was performing so badly offensively that experimenting with Guzman at 2B was an obvious shot to take. The team needs a better performance from his roster spot next year so it is fair to let him go. I'm afraid he's not going to find that starting position that he wants so badly. His only starting gig from here out will be as an injury fill in.

As for Dunn, yes I'd prefer they sign him, but I'm hoping the Nats get to 80+ wins next year. That won't happen without improved pitching and defense. Somewhere on the field they have to improve that defense. First Base is one of their opportunities.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 4, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Must be a slow time when you have folks pounding on RZ. He is the one spot on the team than needs no second guess. Its just a shame that his youth seemingly is being spent floundering on a team going nowhere fast. Hope things change and soon or he might walk when this contract expires, shame.

Posted by: cokedispatch | November 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

While releasing Kennedy isn't a surprise, does this mean that Espinoza and Desmond are definitely off of the trading block? There was a lot of speculation that they'd need to offer one of them up to get a top pitcher.

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | November 4, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good move. Kennedy was never the long term answer at 2B. Let's just hope the young players pan out.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy is likely a better player than we saw, but there is no place for him on the club next year in any event so no one, including Adam, should be surprised.

Good luck to Adam Kennedy.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 4, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

This Serious demonstrated that one good way to build a team for not much money, if you're smart, is find people who have been overlooked but can actually play. Not over the hill folks looking for a last year or two, not high profile flame-outs, but good ballplayers who have not been recognized as such. Course, it's hard cause everybody's looking at the same few hundred guys, but how many nobodies performed like stars?

Posted by: markfromark | November 4, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I've always liked Adam Kennedy, but he did need to go. Riggleman screwed him over this season.

Now, the Nats need to get a defensive-minded infielder/utility man just in case Desmond/Espinosa struggle and/or gets hurt. My suggestion ... sign Nick Punto. I believe the Twins declined his option so he should be a FA. Plays tremendous defense at SS, 2B and 3B. Sure his stick stinks, but I'd rather have a defensive replacement on the bench ...

Posted by: erocks33 | November 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Plays tremendous defense at SS, 2B and 3B. Sure his stick stinks, but I'd rather have a defensive replacement on the bench ..."

Sounds like Alberto Gonzales, who they already have.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Plays tremendous defense at SS, 2B and 3B. Sure his stick stinks, but I'd rather have a defensive replacement on the bench ..."

Sounds like Alberto Gonzales, who they already have.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 4, 2010 11:06 AM"

Agreed, Who plays first, and who is the top back up at first dovetail into each other. If Gonzo can play the other 3 positions (and he can), we need to look at the other side of the diamond now.

Posted by: arioch666 | November 4, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think that it is hard to say Riggleman screwed Kennedy. Kennedy did not play very well in April and May, Guzman largely did.

I hope they find a way to keep Alberto Gonzalez, because he does have a very solid glove for all 4 infield spots and he may be able to hit .275 in MLB, which is very tolerable for a utility guy in the NL.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 4, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, folks (using the President's favorite term of endearment) on this thread love Zimm all the way. Of course he's an outstanding fielder, with great range, etc., but when it comes to accuracy throwing? He's right up there with Donovan McNabb in my book. It's all about making an out, not flashy foot/hand work.

Instead of admiring his gold glove trophy over the winter, maybe Zimm can practice throwing. Call Uribe for pointers, perhaps?

The manager and the rest of the team are predominantly AA & AAA, and not worth commenting on, IMHO. 2013, anyone?

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 4, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked AGonz as the MI utility guy, but there are rumors out there that he's unhappy about not playing regularly. If this indeed is true, then I'd rather have a guy that is fine with coming off the bench as opposed to someone stewing thinking they deserve to start.

Also, here are some career numbers for the two:

AGonz (27 years old next season, bats right):
AVG/OPB/SLG -- .253/.292/.331
BB% -- 4.7%
K% -- 12.2 %
BABIP -- .282
WAR -- 0.1

UZR/150 (SS) -- (-) 0.7 (negative 0.7)
UZR/150 (2B) -- 0.8
UZR/150 (3B) -- 13.8

Punto (33 years old next season, switch hitter):
AVG/OPB/SLG -- .247/.321/.322
BB% -- 9.9%
K% -- 18.8 %
BABIP -- .297
WAR -- 9.7

UZR/150 (SS) -- 18.3
UZR/150 (2B) -- 5.8
UZR/150 (3B) -- 18.9

Posted by: erocks33 | November 4, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

1. Dunn has never played for a winner.

2. When the Nationals originally signed Dunn they were negotiating against themselves. Nobody else was willing to offer up more than $10M for a guy that consistently hits 39-40 homers? Figure out the reason and you will figure out why the Nationals shouldn't resign him for the next 3-4 years.

3. Starting pitching is a lot more important for the Nationals to line up than a body at first base. Teams have won a World Series with some pretty non-descript first basemen, but how many have gone very far with mediocre starters?

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | November 4, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

RoyHoobs4 -- in order to get Dunn to come play for another non-winner, they had to over-pay and in hindsight the deal was a good one for the Nats as Dunn's production was much more valuable than the money they paid for it. Why the club should or should not sign the guy for next 3-4 years has nothing at all to do with what the market was 2 years ago.

And the idea that it is a 1B sluuger OR good pitching choice the club has to make is not right either. Sure great starting pitching may be more important, but clubs do not win the WS with work-a-day 1B's. Huff was SF's best offensive player (100 R's 26 HR's 86 RBI, OPS near 900), the previous 1B's to get a ring are Tex, Howard, Youklis/Ortiz, and Pujols. The Nats should get a quality sluuger to play 1B AND they should get quality pitching, no?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Adam Kennedy? Really who cares, just another retread-burnout who will probably never be heard from again.

Desmond and Espinoza will figure it out and then we can all just hope that they can get a hit every now and then.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 4, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"This Serious demonstrated that one good way to build a team for not much money, if you're smart, is find people who have been overlooked but can actually play."

True. However, such players are rare to begin with, and to find them, you need an excellent scouting network. Given how cheap the Lerners are at the big league level, it's reasonable to assume they pinch pennies at every level of the organization, and thus the sort of people who can spot that overlooked player who can be developed into a productive ML regular aren't likely to be working for the Nots.

BTW, if anyone is interested in why teams were so reluctant to offer Dunn what the Nots did a couple of years ago, and why no teams were willing to offer top prospects prior to the trading deadline, just check out his career numbers from August 1st to season's end. His Augusts are almost uniformly terrible, and his Septembers are even worse.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 4, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

>>Nationals decline option on Adam Kennedy

But why? Wasn't he one of Rizzo's high character guys?
More like one of Rizzo's
Triple Bs: Bargain Basement Busts.
Who will be the new one next year?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 4, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

TippyCanoe, I agree and it's interesting that Desmond's offensive are as good as or better than any AL shortstop except for Chicago's Ramirez. (and he's not far off there either) If one projected Desmond's at bats to equal Jeter's, the Nat's shortstop would be ahead in practically every offensive category except runs scored and we know why Jeter has so many of those. Granted Desmond's OBA is low but I'm certain that after the All-Star game, even this offensive stat would be respectable. I'd be curious to know what it was the last half of the season.
Good point on Dunn's August and September swoon, Fairfax. I was certainly aware of this since he's been with the Nats, but didn't know it was his usual pattern. It's the sluggers long stretches of little or no productivity that have always bothered me. They happen too often over a season for a legit cleanup hitter.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 4, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow Kennedy a total stiff gets a nice half mill just for leaving town. Nice goodbye present. How many of us would kill for $500K especially for nuthin.
What a country.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 4, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

jcampbell1:

"Good point on Dunn's August and September swoon, Fairfax. I was certainly aware of this since he's been with the Nats, but didn't know it was his usual pattern. It's the sluggers long stretches of little or no productivity that have always bothered me. They happen too often over a season for a legit cleanup hitter."

For reasons I don't recall, I decided to check those numbers out one day at baseballreference.com, and was astounded by what I saw. It also dovetails into the correct point that he's never played with a winning ballclub, because in 2006 the Reds were tied for first as late as August 24th (at 67-61), and ended up 3.5 games back at 80-82. Dunn's numbers were already heading South very fast in late August, but in the final 28 September/October games he hit .161 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. It not at all unfair to say he cost them a division title. That's the worst example, but nonetheless, his production falls significantly after the trading deadline almost every year he's been in the majors.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Adam Dunn's agent reads MLB Trade Rumors? Maybe he should.

"The Cubs plan to add a starter, a right handed reliever and a first baseman this offseason and the Chicago Sun-Times has the details on which players could be suiting up at Wrigley Field in 2011:

•There are indications that GM Jim Hendry is focusing on “the likes of” Nick Johnson if the medicals look good enough. Johnson appeared in just 24 games last year, but has a .401 career on base percentage and doubles power. "

Adam Dunn took over at first for the Nats when they traded Nick Johnson. Does that make him "the likes of" Nick Johnson? Will the likes of Nick Johnson command the likes of a four year deal from the likes of the Cubs?

Posted by: FeelWood | November 4, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

AK writes of AK: "A veteran who become lost in a playing-time shuffle this season."

Translation: A limited-talented, malcontent who increasingly was a cancer in the clubhouse. A modern-day FLop.

I doubt whether Adam Kennedy ever plays another big league game.

Those of you who are berating Riggs for not playing this guy more are simply delusional.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 4, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Michael Young? Really?

You know he led American League 3B in errors, right? Michael Young's advanced defensive metrics are so bad, Adam Dunn makes fun of him. Keith Law recently compared Young's defense to that of a sack of salt. But I guess the scattering of plays Young made during the World Series turned him into Brooks Robinson.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 4, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"I doubt whether Adam Kennedy ever plays another big league game."

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Adam Kennedy signed to a 2011 contract before Adam Dunn is.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 4, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

If Michael Young was not simply afraid of the baseball at 3B, the Yanks would have been swept in the ALCS.

And this kills me regarding 2006: "Dunn's numbers were already heading South very fast in late August, but in the final 28 September/October games he hit .161 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. It not at all unfair to say he cost them a division title." Cost them the title?

He kncoked in 92 (next closest guy ion the Reds had 75, scored 99 (next closest, 72) and hit 40 HR's (next closest 27) and played 160 games that season, but becuse he did not play well down the stretch, the idea is that he cost them the Division? As if the many games he helped them win when he had 60 RBI at the break (he hit .354 in July, stole 4 bases too) don't count the same as the games he did not play well in at the end? The Reds would not have been in the hunt at all without Dunn, os it is unfair to say he cost them the Division.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 4, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: The anti-Dunn will break out their numbers, and the Dunn-lovers trot out theirs as well; The bottom line might well be that Dunn (and his agent), have over-estimated his value for this years' market, given the glut of 1B who could be available via either FA or trade (7-12, by my rough count).

He might still get a 3-yr+, $15M/yr offer from an AL team, but it's starting to sound like his optimal landing place (da Cubs) are dialing back their salary structure. Can they really be serious in considering Nick Johnson at 1B, or is this just a bluff? If it proves true, just chalk up one more year of dissapointment and angst for the Cub fans, because signing him would be about as foolish as a team making an offer to Carlos Pena. D'oh!

Posted by: BinM | November 4, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Maybe there is a glut of 1B who are getting old and either in decline or due for some decline. Maybe that Does hurt Dunn's value a little.

Nats' fans would absolutely love for the Nats to sign Dunn for $10 million a year, two years. So all the talk about how awful Dunn is amounts to the Nats' fans desire to protect the wealth of Nats ownership. It's not Dunn--it's the money that is of primary concern to our fans, as well as ownership of course.

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

"The Reds would not have been in the hunt at all without Dunn, [so] it is unfair to say he cost them the Division."

No it isn't. When someone goes in the tank that bad at crunch time, they deserve the blame. Dunn had a miserable slump that lasted for the final two months of the 2006 season. Had he managed to hit a still dreadful .215 over those final 28 games, the Reds probably either win the title outright or at least get to force a playoff game.

BTW, that Reds team had a lot more weapons than Dunn. The team batting average was low, but they hit 217 HRs. And they managed to mount their late August push into first place while Dunn was slumping.

One last question: Have any other ML players hit as many HRs as Dunn while totalling as few RBIs? He has 880 of the latter, which is a shockingly low number for someone with that much power. Even Dave Kingman had more RBIs after home run no. 354.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

One last question: Have any other ML players hit as many HRs as Dunn while totalling as few RBIs? He has 880 of the latter, which is a shockingly low number for someone with that much power. Even Dave Kingman had more RBIs after home run no. 354.
Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 8:17 AM

That's a pretty powerful argument against Dunn, one of the better ones. In the 2004 through 2010 seasons he did miss getting 100 RBI one time, in 2006. A horrible drop-off, since he only got 96 RBI that one awful year. Meanwhile, in 2010, no other Nat got more than 85 RBI (Zim). Maybe that has something to do with OBP of those hitting before Zim and Dunn.

As to pointing out his slumps, all players have them. Why not also point out the torrid months? That almost never happens. You know, games are won then too. But if you want Carlos Pena, maybe you'll get him! No, Pena won't get the production of Dunn but he does make less salary--so it all evens out.

If Dunn was all everyone wanted him to be on this site, with his glove and everything else, he wouldn't be seeking $40/3. It would be more like $125/6 or higher--Teixeira-type numbers.

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This whole dump-on-Dunn feast is troublesome, since no one comes out and says what the real problem is. It's not that he has slumps or can't produce winning seasons or isn't learning to play 1B fast enough or that he drives in too few runs. Dunn's salary has risen too high for this small-town-budget team. He has to go for that reason. No big deal--the Nats will come up with someone else at 1B. So graciously let him move on.

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Farifx6 - the logic is flawed. There is no "crunch time," it is a myth. A baseball season is not an NFL game, where Earnest Byner plays great but blows the game on a stuipid fumble. The Opening Day game and the last game of the season count exactly the same, and each is an increment not a minute on the clock.

The Reds hit 217 HR's that year, Dunn had 40 of them, something like 18%. To say he's responsible for them not making the payoffs is patently unfair; it ignores that without him they very likely would have had no chance to make the playoffs in the first place. Dunn was the Reds best offensive player by a mile in 2006, even limping to the finish badly. And, it took Kingman three more seasons to reach 354, so him having a few more RBI is not so damning.

More importantly and more broadly to the conversation in here, Dunn has consistently mashed for big power, his BA skills have improved and he played a pass the laugh test 1B last year for the Nats (played as poorly as Howard, Fielder, Cabrera). The reality is that the guy is a never get hurt, monster power, amazingly consistent (but for this or that month -- apparently slumps are somthing other players do not wrestle with much) good clubhouse no drama off the field in his prime guy. He is younger, less injury prone and more consistent than anyone else on the crowded 1B FA market. He will come at a price tag less than half of what Howard has gotten, what Pujols will get and what Fielder will demand. So, even at a 4 year $60M deal (Ryan Howard will earn $100M over that period, Tex will get $90M, and each still have several years and money coming after), he's a bargain for a club with deep pockets. (Take a look at Dave Kingman's number when he played in Wrigley, BTW. Dunn hits 50 HR's every year and adds 20 points to his BA playing in that park.)

Anyway, Dunn is going to get a big, fat pay day and he has earned it.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax is not 'dumping on Dunn'. He is pointing out certain, granted, negative aspects of Dunn as a ballplayer. But he is doing so reasonably, backing up his arguments with facts. Those of you who hope the Nats sign Dunn can do the same thing. I am tired of posters, who when you don't agree with their stance, use expressions such as 'dump on Dunn' and etc to try and make 'their' point. Belittling the other person's arguments with such expressions is what is troubling.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

jc,

I guess you are correct. People on this site are not dumping on Dunn. Let me rephrase. They are merely pointing out all the deficiencies that Dunn has as a ballplayer, while forgetting that (1) many ballplayers have most of these deficiencies (only able to drive in 100 runs a season, going through slumps, not delivering winning seasons for their teams), and (2) the guy has some positives that are going to difficult to replace, even at a much higher salary.

I was actually arguing that Nats' fans should be more gracious about letting Dunn go, but maybe I went too far in pointing that out.

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

jcampbell1:

Thanks, it certainly is my intention to just point out a glaring weakness in Dunn's history as a ML player, i.e., the fact that his production falls drastically during the most important part of the season (and anybody who thinks September games don't mean more than April games doesn't know what they're talking about). FWIW, I think the Nots have handled his situation miserably. They should either have signed him to an extension prior to the start of the season, or traded him for the best offer they could get. Despite his deficiencies, he's a big asset to the franchise, and I cannot believe they're going to let him walk. If I owned the team, I wouldn't.

dfh21:

Your last post is full of worshipful fan silliness, I will deal only with one aspect of it, Dunn's supposedly automatically hitting 50 HRs every year he plays in Wrigley. This is something that neither Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Derrek Lee nor Ron Santo ever accomplished, so Dunn hitting that many if he becomes a Cub is hardly guaranteed. Despite its reputation, Wrigley can be a surprisingly difficult place to hit home runs because a powerful wind often blows in towards home plate off Lake Michigan. Early and late season games can also be played in cold temperatures. Aside from steroid freak Sammy Sosa, only one player in Cubs history has hit 50 HRs in a season -- Hack Wilson, and he did it once.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Worshipful fan silliness? Pls. You said it is fair to blame Dunn for the Reds not taking their Division in 2006, I said it is not. You said even Dave Kingman had more RBI when he hit 354 HR's, I pointed out that he had something like 480 more games in which to do that.

Dunn is everything that I posted. He is not a perfect player by any stretch, he is not Albert Pujols or Tex or Miguel Cabera. But the facts are the facts, the guy wacks the ball out as reliably as anyone and gets on base (to the tune of a .900 career OPS) and he is not injury prone. He is a post steroid world pure slugger in an environment that has very few of them. Howard and Tex do actually make the kind of money I said they did. Dunn is in his prime, he is no head case and some club will pay him a bunch of money. Where is the worshipful silliness in any of that?

OK, so my speculation about Dunn hitting 50 every year in Wrigley is far fetched, but those Cub greats you listed have little to do with anything. None but for Banks was a real power hitter. Ernie Banks (hit 40 HR's 5 times in his 19 year career, Dunn has already done that in 10), Billy Williams (40+ Hr's once), Andre Dawson (hit 49 once for the Cubs -- note he never hit more than 32 with the Spos), Derrek Lee (40+ hr's once, never hit more than 31 as a Marlin) and Ron Santo (never hit 40 ever)? Your boy Kingman hit 40+ once, as a Cub!, his career average is .236, but he hit .280 in three years as a Cub.

Anyway, Cubs management penciling Dunn in for 40 HR's and 100 RBI for 4 years should they ink him for that time is by no means a stretch, and that production is worth $15MM per for that club. Or is that worshipful silliness to suggest such a notion?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

You can take any player (or person, for that matter), search for weaknesses, and find them.

Sept. is Dunn's worse month. If you put his career Sept. numbers into 550 AB, he still gets 25 HR, 75 RBI and has an OBP of .351. Not quite abysmal.

His Augusts have been much better, with a .370 OBP, 40 HR and 98 RBI over 550 ABs. Still not nearly as good as his fabulous Julys.

Those Aug-Sept. numbers will be better than Dunn's replacement at 1B for 2011, I'll bet. Anyway, if you put up with somewhat lower Augusts and Septembers, you get some fabulous other months. And yes, a win is a win. If you don't win in July and August, don't expect to have September bail you out.

Besides, for the Nats, the standings get meaningless by, oh, May or so.

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway, Cubs management penciling Dunn in for 40 HR's and 100 RBI for 4 years should they ink him for that time is by no means a stretch, and that production is worth $15MM per for that club. Or is that worshipful silliness to suggest such a notion?"

Apparently, since the latest published reports out of Chicago have the Cubs looking for the likes of Nick Johnson as their next first baseman.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"OK, so my speculation about Dunn hitting 50 every year in Wrigley is far fetched, but those Cub greats you listed have little to do with anything. None but for Banks was a real power hitter."

Thank you for proving you have no idea what you're talking about.

Billy Williams hit 426 HRs and had 1475 RBIs.

Ron Santo had 342 HRs and 1331 RBIs. BTW, he accomplished that in spite of the fact that he has suffered from diabetes his entire playing career.

Andre Dawson had 438 HRs and 1591 RBI.

Derrek Lee, who is still playing and at 34 will probably be around for a while more, has 312 HRs and 1019 RBI.

All of them are or were very dangerous power hitters, all of them significantly better hitters than Adam Dunn. Just check out their career BAs.

And just for the record, Dunn's career BA for August is .234, and .222 for September/October. Please don't bother looking at on-base percentage, that's inflated by the fact that teams are only too happy to pitch around him because Dunn standing at first base is more a threat to pull a hamstring than get driven in by someone else. The only hitting category in which his numbers don't drop after July 31 are walks and strikeouts.

None of which changes my opinion that the Nots should have resigned him, if only because a franchise this lousy needs someone who can help it establish itself with its fan base. For all his weaknesses, he adds a great deal to the team both at the plate and in the locker room. His absence will leave a huge void the team will not be able to come close to filling.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok Fairfax6, I should have been more careful with my language -- pure homerun hiiters. Dunn beats all those guys but for Banks and Dunn has time to catch him. Funny how you got all fan worshipy silly on me with that post. If the mighty Ron Santo did not have diabetes I am sure he'd have surpassed Ruth.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok Fairfax6, I should have been more careful with my language -- pure homerun hiiters. You win. But, Dunn beats all those guys in tersm of pure pwoer but for Banks (and Dunn still has time to surpass Mr. Cub on the power charts) and you know it. And I have to say that it is funny how you got all fan worshipy silly on me with that post. If the mighty Ron Santo did not have diabetes I am sure he'd have surpassed Ruth.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok Fairfax6, I should have been more careful with my language -- pure homerun hiiters. You win. But, come on, Dunn beats all those guys in tersm of pure pwoer but for Banks (and Dunn still has time to surpass Mr. Cub on the power charts) and you know it. And I have to say that it is funny how you got all fan worshipy silly on me with that post. If the mighty Ron Santo did not have diabetes I am sure he'd have surpassed Ruth.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"But, come on, Dunn beats all those guys in tersm of pure pwoer but for Banks (and Dunn still has time to surpass Mr. Cub on the power charts) and you know it."

No, he doesn't. Power isn't just home runs, it's also a matter of extra base hits. And being able to dink a little flare just beyond the reach of the infielders when there are runners in scoring position and two outs and the pitcher is throwing you piece of junk after piece of junk that only a top notch hitter with power could even get a bat on.

And it's about not striking out as often as Dunn does.

That's a pretty tasteless comment about Santo, incidentally. And having already proven you know little to nothing about baseball, you now seem determined to prove you can't spell either (nice of you to post that nearly illiterate screed 3 times). Getting too hot under the collar, or tee many martoonis at lunch? :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"But, come on, Dunn beats all those guys in tersm of pure pwoer but for Banks (and Dunn still has time to surpass Mr. Cub on the power charts) and you know it."

No, he doesn't. Power isn't just home runs, it's also a matter of extra base hits. And being able to dink a little flare just beyond the reach of the infielders when there are runners in scoring position and two outs and the pitcher is throwing you piece of junk after piece of junk that only a top notch hitter with power could even get a bat on.

And it's about not striking out as often as Dunn does.

That's a pretty tasteless comment about Santo, incidentally. And having already proven you know little to nothing about baseball, you now seem determined to prove you can't spell either (nice of you to post that nearly illiterate screed 3 times). Getting too hot under the collar, or tee many martoonis at lunch? :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, now I see why we were treated to a triple dose of some very eccentric spelling and reasoning from dfh21.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, now I see why we were treated to a triple dose of some very eccentric spelling and reasoning from dfh21.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that I cannot type nor spell well, but the ad hominem (sp?) attacks are sad. Pure power is not dinging hits for RBI, that is the stuff good RBI men do. It is different, so stop the madness. Pure power is HR's.

I may not know much about baseball, but I know you were wrong about thinking it fair to blame the Reds' best offensive player for them not making the playoffs. An argument you seem to have abandoned. You were wrong to call my little post some kind of worhiping fan silliness or hte like --as all I did was speak objectyive truths, but for some speculation on Dunn's HR numbers inWrigley, form which I backed off of. And, I may be wrong, but it is simply not wild speculation to think that Dunn hits for more power in Wrigley -- as did the Hawk, as did Lee, as did Kingman -- should they ink him.

But at the end of the day, which it is, if you really think that guys who mashed 40 HR's once or maybe twice over 15 year careers in a park that produced more 40 HR seasons than any other in the NL are better pure power hitters than Dunn (a guy who has hit 40 HR's 5 times, and 38 HR or more 7 years running in the NL), because they could bloop one over the 3B's head with a guy on third better than big Adam, then I cannot change your mind in any event. Even if I did know anything at all about baseball.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Dunn has 354 HR and is 30. How many other active players can you say that about?

Posted by: EdDC | November 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"I may be wrong, but it is simply not wild speculation to think that Dunn hits for more power in Wrigley -- as did the Hawk, as did Lee, as did Kingman -- should they ink him."

As did not Soriano, who BTW still is the only Nat ever to hit 40 or more home runs in a season. Dunn's had two tries now and hasn't done it.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 5, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

nunof1 -- you raise a good point. The fact is that it is very, very hard to hit 40 HR's once, much less every year. One guy in the NL did it last year (5 did in '09, 2 in '08). Votto and Dunn were the only others with more tan 35 in 2010. Serious power is at a premium. Adam Dunn has it out there for sale. Many clubs will be looking to buy it.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 5, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

No doubt many clubs would want to buy Adam Dunn's almost-but-not-quite 40 HR power. But will any of them want to buy four years of it, which is what Dunn is holding out for? Doubtful. His price will be set at what the market will bear. Two years ago he was only able to garner a two year deal, and at the last minute at that. What has changed since then? Nothing relative to the economy in general or in MLB in particular is any better now. The recession is still on, and the days of mad bidding wars for any and all FAs are long gone. Only the elite FAs will benefit from that. And here's some news for you: Dunn is not an elite FA. His one-dimensional albeit useful toolset is unchanged from two years ago - except that he is now two years older, and two years closer to the inevitable expiration date of his skills. Why would something that two years ago was only worth a two year deal be worth more than that now?

Posted by: nunof1 | November 5, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company