38 HR.

101 RBI.

.383 OBP.

.557 SLG.

940 OPS.

About to become just the first Red ever to amass four consecutive forty-homer seasons.

Just entering the prime of his career.

The Reds can’t afford not to pick up the contract option for 2008 on Adam Dunn. They simply cannot replace that kind of production.

35 Responses

  1. Dan

    If Jay Bruce’s AAA numbers translate to the bigs, he will replace Dunn’s production at a small fraction of the cost. And even if he’s a mediocre fielder and baserunner, that will be an upgrade. And he will certainly hit better with RISP. Give the kid a chance and set the Donk free.

    Don’t pick up the option, Wayne!! Or if you do, sign and trade for pitching!

    Bruce is the best hitting prospect to come through our system since Larkin and Davis. Dunn is a one trick pony, sure as hell not worth $13M to us. Maybe to the Yankees or the Red Sox, or any AL team on which he can play his proper position of DH.

  2. Matt Stiers

    You have to pick up the option regardless of what the opinion on Dunn is. The simple fact is you can not get rid of those kind of numbers and if you are willing to part with them you have to get something in return. Nobody allows 40 hrs and 110 rbi’s walk away for nothing.

  3. Endymion

    With Votto looking like he may set down roots at 1B, and relatively decent to supberb options at the other non-C IF spots, either Griffey or Dunn are going to be near the end of their tenure with the Reds.

    The OF of the future here is Hamilton-Bruce and someone else. Is the third guy Dunn or Griffey? If I were the Reds I’d get pitching help for one of those two. And Dunn seems likely to have the most value.

    This team is on the verge of competing again, finally. So many pieces are in place. This off season is huge. The Reds could arrive in 2008 with one or two smart moves this Winter.

  4. DevilsAdvocate

    One trick? Dunn is totally a two trick pony – walks and homeruns. 🙂

    Also, note the RBI total. This prevailing attitude about not having enough RBIs given the homers, doesn’t fly with a 38/101 ratio.

    That’s the huge ‘if’ about Bruce replacing Dunn’s contributions. He’s 20 years old and has just a half-season above single-A. I hear some of the same fan rumblings about Bruce that I heard about Bailey (call him up! He’s not learning anything in AAA! He’s doing too well down there to not be in the majors!) and Bailey kinda sorta crashed and burned in his initial big-league exposure.

    I’m not saying that I didn’t think some of the same things about Bailey, or that Bruce won’t live up to the lofty expectations we have for him. But I am saying that it’s a terrible idea to depend on him before he’s had a single major-league at-bat. Maybe he’ll be a Ryan Braun type, hitting spectacularly right out of the gate, but he could just as well be a Justin Upton (whom most believe has been neck-and-neck with Bruce as the best prospect of 2007), who is struggling just a tad in his first exposure in the majors.

    Even setting all that aside, I totally agree with Matt S. – there is no way I let Dunn walk. He’s worth at least 5yr/$80mil on the market, he’s a gigantic bargain at 1yr/$13mil. I’m just saddened that given the poison poured in his ear by local media, I can’t imagine he will want to stay any longer than he has to. 🙁

  5. Jeff

    Well said, Chad. Declining Dunn’s option would be the worst baseball move made by any franchise in the last ten years.

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    Is astonishing, completely astonishing that Griffey’s name never comes up when deciding how the outfield will look next year. Trading him makes the most sense. He’s old, his value will rapidly diminish, and if the market for Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas was any indication, there will be a couple of suitors for Jr. All I ask is a couple mid-level prospects to sweeten the deal, and I’ll gladly eat a portion of the salary. I want to see Dunn, Hamilton, and Bruce as our starting outfield next year—batting against righties and lefties, with NoHo and Freel backing them up. I think it’s reasonable to assume Bruce will produce the same as a diminishing Griffey, but it’s wishful to think he’d put up Dunn’s numbers. I don’t know if the well is poisoned w/ Dunn, but IF he’s in your long term plans (and they’ve seen enough to know), they should rip up the option contract and try and work out a 5 year deal now, possibly w/ a hometown discount.

  7. Daedalus

    I was going to say the same thing, Sultan. Griffey should be the one to leave, NOT Dunn. Griffey may have a couple of good years left in him, but Dunn has a good decade in front of him. Sign him to a six-year $90 million dollar deal plus incentives with the option for a seventh year at $20 mil. It’s about the smartest move any GM could make.

    As much as I want to see Bruce up here, I really want to see Griffey stick around another year. I think it would be wise for Wayne to hold onto him in the off season and use him as trade bait in July, when teams are more desperate and more willing to give something up when they’re making a run. Of course, if we’re making a run, we’d have to keep him, but with him due for another injury, I think there’ll be plenty of playing time for Bruce.

    So many options, so little pitching…

  8. seanjp

    The reason you don’t hear talk about trading Griffey is he’s a 5-and-10 player with FULL trade veto rights. Not to mention he’s due a TON of backloaded money. And, he’s said he will retire at the end of his contract, which is after the 2008 season. Otherwise, he’s not tradeable.

    But what the heck, mere facts.

  9. Bill

    First, I think Dunn’s the FIRST Red to have 4 40 homer seasons in a row, not the 4th.

    Second, seanjp, can you tell me where you read where Griffey has said next year is his last year? I’ve never seen where he said this anywhere.

    The 5-10 issue and his pursuit of 600 homers will keep him a Red. I don’t see the deferred $$ being an issue.

    I’ve been thrilled with Hamilton’s progress this season, it’s nothing short of amazing. But I have concerns about his ability to stay healthy.

    I’m the biggest Jay Bruce fan around, but I think he can use another 1/2 season at AAA. It also gives the Reds some insurance in case Hamilton or Griffey can’t stay healthy. I’d rather be able to call up Jay Bruce than play Freel, Hopper, Keppinger, Wise, Ellison to fill in for them while they’re on the DL.

    Also, it lessens the pressure on a 21 year old kid, if he comes up mid-season, rather than out of ST. I want this kid to have every chance to succeed, and the Reds record with young players in the past 20 years is not good.

    And if they only pick up Dunn’s option, they can trade him at the midpoint of the season next year, which gives Bruce a place to play.

  10. seanjp

    Griffey has said he’s retiring after his contract is up many times over the years, even in spring training past. Look in any of the three papers that cover the Reds. He’s said, to paraphase, he’s going home to Orlando and watch his kids play sports.

    Besides, he’s going to finish around 32-100-.280 and play the most games in a season since he came to the Reds. Not horrible. And not exactly the Reds biggest issue.

    If Krivsky can deal him to get a bonafide starter or established bullpen arm then I got no problem with the deal. But if they are trading him to make room for Hopper, Keppinger or even an inexperienced Bruce, then that’s absurd. He’ll be gone soon enough and Bruce will arrive soon enough–probably like you said, a couple of months into 2008.

  11. Ron

    Gotta keep the Donkey … I have had my frustrated moments watching him play as much as anyone. But I have those moments with several players on this team. For some reason, Dunner unfairly gets singled out more than the others. Bruce needs time in the minors still IMO. Offense isnt this teams problem .. my only concern is how left-handed the future looks. I feel like we need another right handed power bat to pair with Phillips in the lineup. That said, until we shore up the rotation behind Harang & Arroyo … and fix the bullpen, this team will not contend.

  12. doug

    I am not sure we should sign Dunn to an extension, it all depends on the years and the money… and if he is willing to move to first base. But if the Reds don’t pickup his option it might be the worst GM move since signing Chan Ho Park or Mike Hampton to huge deals. There is absolutely no way the Reds don’t pick up his option, regardless of whether they think Bruce is ready or not.

  13. doug

    Oh, as for Dunn being the first with 4 straight years of 40 HR, that will be correct when it happens..

    Klu went 40 + in ’53, ’54 and ’55. He is the only other Red to even hit 40 in 3 seasons. Bench did it twice, Foster did it twice, Post, Griffey Jr, Vaughn and Perez each did it once.

  14. Alex

    Does anybody know what the Mariners have to offer in terms of prospects they would be willing to give up for Junior? Maybe Putz and prospects? I like what he’s done this year, but the outfield for the next 5 years should be Big Donkey, The Natural, and Bruce. If Dunn is willing to sign 5/80, it should just be a matter of how quickly they can get the paperwork together.

  15. Chris W

    If they don’t pick up Dunn’s option, my 3 1/2 year old will be devastated. (OK, maybe I will be too.)

  16. Sultan of Swaff

    Paying Dunn is not the issue, especially when you have Hobbs and Bruce making the minimum for much of the life of Dunn’s contract. If we could free up even half of Jr.’s salary, it would go a long ways toward securing some reliable pitching. But it’s gonna take a creative trade to acquire the kind of pitching we need, which isn’t present in this winter’s free agent class. So assuming you can’t get much for Griffey, who is expendable? In the context of trying to win it next year, you really can’t subtract anywhere, so we’re kind of in a catch22. I’ll be interested to see how Krivsky handles this offseason. And yes, sitting out another offseason would prove he doesn’t have the stones to make a bold move.

  17. seanjp

    Yes Krivsky should make a bold move (which half the crowd will applaud and the other half with whine) just to prove he has stones.

  18. Bill

    Yeah, that’s a good reason for making a trade, to “announce your presence with authority”.

    And I read the Enquirer EVERY DAY and don’t remember ever reading where he’s said he’s quiting after ’08.

  19. Andy

    how do we know bruce will produce like dunn at the major league level? I’m not knocking the kid at all, but can’t we all think of a few instances where minor league success doesn’t translate to the same in the bigs? and how many guys whose numbers do translate, do so immediately?

    not picking up the option on dunn because of bruce is a bad reason. you shouldn’t give away a known commodity when the best you have is hope that a currently unknown one will be a sufficient replacement.

    that said, I’d like to see Dunn and Bruce here for a long time.

  20. Jeff

    Putz for Jr alone is a bigger joke than the Nationals trade let alone Putz AND prospects for Jr. You realize that Putz is one of the best closers in the game right??

  21. DevilsAdvocate

    Yes, Andy – that’s the thing. As excited as everyone is about Bruce’s numbers in the minors this year, Dunn’s numbers in the majors are actually slightly better.

    By the way, Bruce’s K totals have me thinking that he will struggle a little initially in the majors. I’d love to see him start next year in AAA and improve his BB/K ratio; that will help him when he’s called up.

  22. DevilsAdvocate

    When the Reds visited Seattle at the end of June this year, C. Trent Rosecrans took the occasion to write an article in the Post about Griffey & Seattle & retirement (emphasis mine):

    SEATTLE – All weekend long, Seattle fans have asked Ken Griffey Jr. if he would ever consider returning to Seattle.

    Griffey, who is under contract with the Reds for the rest of this season and next season, gave hope to baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest that he might finish his career with an “S” on his cap.

    “As an athlete you always want to retire with the team you started with,” Griffey said following Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners. “You look at Emmitt Smith and everybody else that moves on, they want to come back and retire with the same organization they started with. I’m no different than anybody else. But I’ve got a few more years, so don’t think it’s anytime soon.

    Griffey said the timetable for his retirement hinges on several factors, including his health.

    Griffey has been the subject of trade rumors recently, and the Mariner fans have let it be known that they’d love to see him return to Seattle.

    “That’s a lot of decisions that have to do with the front office – all I can do is keep playing,” Griffey said. “If it happens, it happens. I’ve just got to try to win as many games with the team I’m with now.”

  23. Daedalus

    Oh good, DA, you posted that so I didn’t have to look it up. There certainly are a lot of Griffey mindreaders around these parts. They know for a fact Griffey wouldn’t accept a trade to a contender! Amazing talents!

  24. mike

    More on Dunn’s HR and RBI

    Most HR through their first 7 seasons (Dunn, Pujols and Thomas’s 7th isn’t over)
    294 Kiner
    280 Pujols
    253 Mathews
    241 Robinson
    236 Dunn
    228 Banks
    222 Frank Thomas
    222 Cepeda
    222 Ted Williams
    220 McGwire

    Most HR through age 27
    280 Pujols (wonder why few people think he has a shot at the record)
    253 Mathews
    241 Robinson
    236 Dunn
    222 Cepeda
    219 Aaron
    219 DiMaggio
    216 Mays
    215 Strawberry

    and most HR by a Red though age 27
    241 Robinson
    236 Dunn
    179 Bench
    142 Davis
    125 Pinson
    108 May
    103 Bell
    98 Post
    97 Perez

    and RBI?
    most RBI by a Red through their first 7 seasons
    709 Robinson
    616 Bench
    567 Dunn
    561 McCormick
    532 Perez
    530 Pinson
    509 Kluszewski
    499 Davis
    449 May
    449 Goodman

    and most RBI by a Red through age 27
    855 Bench (wow)
    800 Robinson
    700 Pinson
    567 Dunn
    421 Driessen
    413 Davis
    409 Hoblitzel
    403 Perez
    401 Klu
    394 Bell

    note: only 8 players in history had more RBI through age 27 than Bench. Ott, Foxx, ARod, DiMaggio, Medwick, Jr, Aaron and Trosky

  25. DevilsAdvocate

    One quibble with the “HR through age 27” list – shouldn’t Alex Rodriguez be on there? I think he had 320-350 at age-27.

  26. mike

    Ugh! You are right about ARod and HR through age 27. I accidentally had the settings wrong for the search. So what that list is is first seven seasons AND through age 27.

    Though age 27 is this
    345 Alex Rodriguez
    302 Jimmie Foxx
    299 Eddie Mathews
    294 Ken Griffey Jr
    280 Albert Pujols
    280 Mickey Mantle
    275 Mel Ott
    262 Frank Robinson
    256 Juan Gonzalez
    253 Hank Aaron
    250 Andruw Jones
    240 Johnny Bench
    236 Adam Dunn
    235 Jose Canseco
    234 Vladimir Guerrero

    sorry about that

  27. JinAZ

    One of my favorite exchanges on the radio of the year happened between Joe Nuxhall and Jeff Brantley in yesterday’s game. Some Nuxhall quotes, as I remember them:

    “People talk about letting Adam Dunn leave…that’s asinine.”

    “People talk about his strikeouts…but you’re gonna make an out somehow.”

    “He may not be great, but he’s not terrible either.”

    I don’t think Dunn is great either. His defense can really eat into his overall value (last year it may have negated his off-year offense!), and his strikeout rate does put a cap on his overall production. He’s also a prototype of the sort of player who may not age well, with most of his production coming from “old player skills” like walk rate and power. But there’s no question that the past four years have been the among the most productive set of four years by a Reds hitter…well, at least since the big red machine days. There’s absolutely no reason that I can see to not exercise the option–it’s $13 million, but that’s “only” three million over his ’07 salary, so this doesn’t represent much of a change in payroll. Having LaRue finally off the books pretty much makes up for it. -j

  28. Mark T

    It’s probalby a one year deal – I would like to see them lock him up long term, which may hint at why Castellini wanted to buy him lunch.

  29. mike

    I really like the line about his strikeouts.

    Every player who plays every day is going to make a TON of outs. 100s and 100s of outs. Even Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Bonds make 100s of outs a year.

    Reds Outs leaders
    429 Phillips
    364 Dunn
    359 Jr
    313 EE
    286 Gonzalez
    253 Hatteberg

    to help put those #s in perspective there are 18 players in the majors who have more than 400 outs. Rollins leads with 443

  30. Matt Stiers

    Please keep in mind that there is such a thing as a productive out. Dunn does not have many of those. A strike out is never productive. He has like 20 sac flys in his career. Just a thought.

  31. Justin

    Dunn is good producer who needs to make his outs not all strikeouts:P

  32. Mike

    You have to pick up the option! If you think the money you save will buy you a pitcher in this years weak free agent market, think again son. You already have Milton’s $$ back, and as I see it, there isn’t much in the market this year. Your going to spend big bucks to get a chance at a 3 or 4 starter. I you think the Reds will win the “Best” pitcher derby out there this year, your very mistaken.

  33. preach

    One other factor in favor of picking up the option: He plays 150 games a year. With Jr and Hobbs out there, you need that in your outfield somewhere. 40 HR, 100 RBI, + 150 games = picking up the option.

  34. jinaz

    A strike out is never productive.

    It’s more productive than grounding into a double play, which is one of the reasons that strikeouts don’t seem to affect offensive contributions all that much based on the studies I’ve read (and done). Yes, strikeouts are a poor outcome with a lone runner on second or third. But the difference between a team with a lot of strikeouts and one with a slightly below average number of strikeouts probably isn’t more than a win per season, all other things being equal (I can produce some calculations on that front if you like). And that’s before you take double plays into account.