Dunn is what you might call the leadoff man in what could be a thrilling time for trades.
Power is about the most sought-after skill right now, and Dunn has it an abundance. However, Dunn comes with a couple drawbacks, including the major question of where to play him. He’s a poor and indifferent outfielder, and a few teams are now considering whether to try to acquire Dunn as a first baseman, though one scout warned, “He’s terrible there. I wouldn’t use him at first base.”
Added one general manager, “I see him as more of an American League player and a DH.”
All three Southern California teams could have interest in Dunn, as could anyone else seeking power. Dunn, who’s making $10.5 million this season and has an option for $13 million next year (or a $500,000 buyout), is batting .250 with 15 home runs and 38 RBIs. While his power is elite, Dunn hasn’t hit in the clutch. He’s batting only .212 with runners in scoring position and .208 with runners on base.
Trading Dunn makes sense for the Reds, especially if they can get solid pitching in return — they have allowed the most runs in the National League this season. They are one of baseball’s most underachieving teams, and a bit of a shakeup could do them good, anyway.
This is all true, except it doesn’t address the contract issues that were put forth earlier.
If Dunn is traded, his $13 million club option for ‘08 will be voided, making him a free agent at the end of the season, according to a source with knowledge of his contract.
Thus, any team that acquired him likely would request a negotiating window to sign him long-term, rather than simply rent him for two or three months.
If the Reds keep Dunn and exercise his option after the season, he will gain full no-trade protection until next June 15. After that date, he could be traded to 10 clubs, but the list would be of his own choosing.
IMO, the long and short of it is, it’s going to be difficult to trade or trade for Adam Dunn unless you’re willing to make him a whopper of a deal in that short window that would be given before a trade is announced. If you don’t make him an overwhelming off, why would he agree to an extension?