I meant to throw up an open thread earlier…

Here are a couple of links, because I know that we haven’t discussed Adam Dunn enough lately. First, I can’t believe I agree with Hal McCoy:

I do think (the Reds) might have shot themselves in at least the left foot for next year by trading Dunn. He’ll be impossible to replace.

Then there’s this from ESPN.com (tip of the cap to faithful reader Matt Steele for this one):

Once you get past the ugly aesthetics, though, strikeouts aren’t nearly as damaging as they might appear. Study after study on the topic of strikeouts shows that they’re virtually the same as any other out. Sure, you can’t advance a runner the way you can with a well-placed groundout or flyout. But you can’t hit into a double play, either.

Still, when we see Adam Dunn strike out 190 times in a season and hit below .240, it’s easy to get irrational and conclude that he’s not a good hitter or a valuable offensive player, and the Diamondbacks didn’t help themselves much in trading for him this summer.

Here’s the thing: Dunn’s actually one of the most valuable offensive players in the game. Has been for years. In fact, Dunn has an excellent chance to bag his fifth straight season of 40 homers and 100 walks. Only one other player in the history of the game has accomplished that feat. His name is Barry Bonds.

Okay, discuss whatever you’d like. Even Adam Dunn.

21 Responses

  1. Matt Steele

    I know some people might not read the whole article and then click on another link, so I wanted to put the link to the study of strikeouts that Jonah Keri was talking about in the article

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2617

    Snippet:

    Notice, also, the virtually non-existent (albeit positive) correlation between strikeout rate and “complete” measures of offensive performance like on-base plus slugging (OPS) and Marginal Lineup Value Rate (MLVr). No matter how you slice it, it just doesn’t appear that strikeouts have much of an effect on a team’s—or an individual’s—ability to produce runs.

    Though I know we’ve talked about Dunn forever now and he’s no longer on the team so I won’t talk too much on the topic but my worry is that going forward, I don’t know how we’re going to replace that production.

    Not just the homeruns, but getting on base and seeing more pitches per plate appearance. The smaller things that he used to do that not many people recognized or identified as important

  2. Chris

    I’m on vacation in San Diego right now. The Padres played the DBacks last week, and the Padres announcers are STILL talking about Dunn.

    The most ironic thing is that they’re using all the same terms that Reds fans/announcers said Dunn *wasn’t*: “lineup-changer,” “run producer, and “a gy who really puts the pressure on the pitcher.”

    They said that Dunn’s patience had changed the entire PHX lineup.

    The same is true for the Reds lineup, though most are bending over backward to convinve themselves that Dunn’s absence has nothing to do with the fact that the Reds are getting about 4 baserunners a night. Nothing at all to do with Dunn – it’s *Jerry Hairston* whose absence is being felt. 🙂

  3. Shane

    Why can’t you guys get it through your heads? It doesn’t matter! He was going to be gone at the end of the season anyway, we couldn’t afford him! We couldn’t have kept Pete Rose in this day and age with what he would be asking for and could get and we couldn’t have afforded Dunn either. It wasn’t really a choice based on if he was any good or not. Money. Money.

  4. Mr. Redlegs

    Barry Bonds was also 50 points higher in career batting average, hit for doubles, hit for triples, hit for homers, received walks AND never struck out more than 102 times in a season.

    So much for that idiotic comparison.

    Let’s see if these out-of-towners are talking the same tune when they’ve seen Dunn for longer than a couple of weeks and through the three-plus months of the season where he can’t do squat.

  5. david

    Shane it’s a lose/lose situation. Had the Reds extended him and overpaid to keep him, they would be saying the Reds overpaid. Had the Reds offered him arbitration and Dunn accepted we would be having this same conversation at the same time next season. Had Dunn declined arbitration, people would be bitching about how we should have extended him.

    Jocketty played the hand he was dealt by Krivsky. Krivsky could have dealt Dunn to the Angels had he not asked for Aybar, Wood and Santana. But he wouldn’t settle for two of the three. Nor did Krivsky comply with Dunn’s extension deadline. So Dunn wasn’t going to resign.

    They aren’t coming across as Reds fans huh? More like Dunn fans, seems like doesn’t it?

  6. Chris

    Frankly, David, I’ll take that. Adam Dunn did a lot of very good things in Cincinnati, and put up with a lot of needless crap with good humor.

    I can’t say the same about anyone else currently working in that ballpark (Aaron Harang excepted, and allowances made for the rookies). Ownership and the front office – “the Reds,” if you will – have yet to give me any reason to be their fan.

    So if you’re accusing me of not rooting for laundry: Guilty.

  7. Matt Steele

    I don’t think Jonah Keri was saying that Bonds and Dunn were equal, just that Dunn was and is a very valuable offensive player.

    In truth, we don’t know if the Reds could have afforded him at the moment because we don’t know what he was seeking and what the Reds were offering. Yes Arroyo said some outrageous number but that was flatly denied by Dunn and even Hal McCoy casted doubts on what Arroyo said. We don’t know what he’s looking for and it wouldn’t have hurt to find out before we traded him away for nothing. We had no negotiations with him during the season.

    Look, I’m a Reds fan, there’s no doubt about that. However in being a Reds fan and in wanting what’s best for them, I reserve the right to absolutely rip the Reds for this poor decision.

    Yes, those people that work for the Reds have worked in baseball/business for many years and I respect their judgement, but I’m not going to sit here like some complacent sheep thinking “oh they know what’s best for this team because they have experience, so I should just take them for their word”. That’s ridiculous.

    Yes this might have been a “money” decision. Even still, it’s a poor decision. We still have way too many overpaid players who aren’t productive at all!

    Most importantly, I wouldn’t have been this upset about the trade if we could have got something worthwhile back. But Micah Owings and Dallas Buck (plus the other guy) don’t seem to be a good return for some of Adam Dunn’s quality. (And yes I’ve heard all of the arguments about “blah blah blah no one would take him”)

  8. Mr. Redlegs

    Well Matt, no one’s saying you have to completely trust the baseball people, but having worked along pro baseball and football for 32 years I learned long ago that (for the most part) they know a helluva lot better about their business than fans or media.

    Bill Bidwell, Donald Sterling and Mike Brown being the obvious exceptions, of course.

    And really, all this over Adam Dunn? Look, if you love the guy that much, I understand. I felt that way about Bench. Back in the early ’80s, the Reds wanted to get rid of Bench! They actually had a deal with the Cardinals and we waited for Bench’s answer.

    Obviously, he declined but I was faced with whether I was a Bench fan or a Reds fan. My older brother cleared it up for me real quick: players come and go, but you always root for your team. Always. No exceptions, no bandwagoning, no matter what.

    Since free agency started 32 years ago, baseball is more of a business than ever. Look at all the greats that switch teams. If Favre can leave the Packers, Dunn can sure as sheet leave the Reds.

    And, on what the Reds received for Dunn. They did very good on that deal for a two-month rental. The decision was simple: get these players, risk him taking arbitration, which they didn’t want, or two compensation picks. They figured it was better to take the players already signed and advanced in pro ball than the risk of two draft picks.

    That was a smart business move.

  9. Man Mountain

    Mr. Redlegs,

    Let’s see if these out-of-towners are talking the same tune when they’ve seen Dunn for longer than a couple of weeks and through the three-plus months of the season where he can’t do squat.

    You can hardly find a one-month period in which Adam Dunn did “squat” offensively. That’s because when he goes into slumps he is still able to do the most essential thing a batter can do: get on base at a greater than league average rate.

    Take Dunn’s horrendous slump in June, for example, in which his batting average was a putrid .161. He still managed to get on base at a .342 clip and created the third most runs of any Red during that same period.

    To give you some more perspective, that on-base average during a slump is higher than anyone on the current roster’s OBA for this entire season, save Votto’s .353 (Dickerson’s .373 comes in less that 50 ABs).

    Contra George Grande, it isn’t speed that “never slumps”; it’s patience.

  10. nick in va

    Dunn is gone and I’ve moved on (although I do hope he can make time to call in to the banana phone once in a while). Just like “the trade” with the Nationals I hope I don’t have to hear anymore about it.

    I don’t expect we’ll be saying “Adam who?” at this time next year, but I think the Reds will be better.

  11. Dave from Louisville

    Somebody has to add the “Patterson for Assignment” logo to this site on CSG.

    Reds blogs need to show unity for this great cause.

  12. Chad

    I’ve already written the post, Dave. Its gonna be published in the morning. Great stuff by CSG.

  13. Mark in CC

    More Dunn discussion what a suprise. At what point does this become Diamondback Nation?
    Time to move on and be DUNN with it.

  14. Dan

    I agree that for 2 months of Dunn, they did OK.

    An important thing to notice is how much the “time” factor matters. Makes sense, of course, but it’s easily overlooked.

    –Jason Bay brought the Pirates much more than Dunn brought the Reds b/c he’s got 1 year and 2 months left on his contract.

    –The A’s trade their guys EARLY when they still have a ton of value, and it brings them massive hauls of prospects. Check out what they got for Mulder, Haren, Swisher. Truly impressive. That organization is stacked.

  15. Dan

    By the way, I think I saw that Nelson Cruz is up with the Rangers. He’s the perfect guy to take a chance on here. They’re sick of him in Texas (he’s done NOTHING in the majors so far), but his minor league numbers are absolutely mind-blowing.

    Bring in Nelson Cruz!

    (It was very briefly rumored right before the deadline.)

  16. NickP

    Again, I’ll say it. We can spend $12 M per year on an unnecessary closer and not $13-15 M on a great slugger with a career OPS of .900?

  17. Shane

    Yeah. When your budget is $50,000 and you buy a $35,000 car, you can’t buy another $35,000 car. No matter how hot or fast it is.

  18. Chris

    They did do a good job on the return for 6 weeks of Dunn. I’ll never deny that. Owings/Buck/Junk was a perfectly good return.

    Still wish Dunn was here, though.