From ESPN:

The Washington Nationals and Adam Dunn have agreed to a two-year contract, according to multiple reports.

The deal could be announced as early as Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

I’m very curious to see how much the deal is for…

UPDATE: CNNSI is reporting that it is indeed a 2 year $20M deal.

77 Responses

  1. per14

    2 years for 20 million. That’s my guess.

  2. preach

    Two and ten is what I heard. Two years is an awesome job for Cinci South.

    This will probably cost an ex-Red a job either in the outfield (Kearns most likely) or at first (Young). Oh, the irony….

    I looked at that Nats lineup with the addition of Dunn. Looks like a major league lineup. I’m more depressed than ever.

  3. per14

    Oh. That’s what the article says too, 2/20. I truly did not look at the article first!

    That seems about right.

    I would have paid that in one second but I’m betting neither Dunn nor the Reds had any interest in one another. Heck, last summer, I would have re-signed him for 4 years, 40 million, but again, Dunn wouldn’t have taken that last summer.

  4. preach

    I meant two and twenty. With Abreu most likely going to Anaheim, it looks like Manny will be a Dodger again.

    But who needs Dunn, Abreu, or Manny when you can have havoc on the basepaths?

  5. Mark T

    Looks like the Nats will have a lot strikeouts, a lot of power hitting, no pitching, a losing record. Dunn should feel at home.

  6. doug

    Dunn to be playing first base makes this deal very good in my opinion. If it were as an outfielder its just a good signing.

  7. GregD

    Surprised? Reports are that he’s had an offer from Bowden for most of the offseason. He’d been apparently holding out for another team. The Cubs went for Bradley and the Dodgers have been going back and forth with Manny. I guess Dunn figured they would eventually get something done with Manny.

    I guess Dunn plays 1B and the Nationals are writing off Nick Johnson? They acquired Josh Willingham to play LF earlier this offseason. Elijah Dukes was penciled in for RF (though he missed a lot of time with injuries)

  8. Kurt Frost

    I don’t see how Manny has leverage over the Dodgers…it doesn’t seem like anyone wants Manny except for the Dodgers.

  9. Travis G.

    last summer, I would have re-signed him for 4 years, 40 million, but again, Dunn wouldn’t have taken that last summer.

    Everyone would have been happy with that deal, if Dunn and his agent had known how the market for no-position sluggers was going to evaporate. Too bad.

    Considering what Burrell and Abreu got, though, ol’ Dunner didn’t do too bad.

  10. David

    Dunn’s win value has him at about 8 mil per. Sticking him at first may help. He’s really a DH. I expect a drop in the power numbers from the change in division.

  11. Matt McWax

    I think the Nats lineup will be pretty strong with several players improving over last year’s production. While Guzman had a paltry 23 walks, he only had 57 k’s in 579 at-bats and hit .316. There are lots of questions about durability though but they have some respectable OF depth. Dunn at least gives some stability. I won’t be rooting for him/them, it ain’t personal, it ain’t the Reds.

  12. CeeKeR

    Well, Washington’s closer to where I live so maybe I can watch the Cincinnati Reds East a few times this summer instead of making the trek to the real ‘nati. (Either way, the team I watch will probably lose so what’s it matter?)

  13. John

    Meanwhile Walt Jocketty signs Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix as suitable replacements. I’ve been a Reds fan since birth but if the Nats end up with a better record than the Reds, that’s going to be hilarious.

  14. Phill

    Have you seen Washington pitching staff?

    Jocketty unlike Bowden understands not to spend large money on players when you aren’t playing to win now.

  15. John

    The Reds will never play to win if fans keep showing up regardless.

  16. Phill

    Hit em in the pockets that’ll make them spend more money!

  17. GRF

    It is the Abreu signing that annoys me more. One year for a little over 5 million? No long term risk and he would have made the lineup competitive this year.

  18. David

    I love how every player who is signed in the MLB someone will ask “why did’t the Reds sign him for that?” Why did’t we get Abreu? Why didn’t we keep Dunn? Why didn’t we get Rocco? Why… why… why… ?

    I love how it never seems to sink in. Players have a choice where they go. Some players just don’t want to be in Cincinnati! Shocker.

    Bottom line is that we don’t know 1/100th of what is said and done. You have no idea whether the Reds offered Dunn, or Abreu, or Rocco, or anyone else a contract or what the offer was.

    Rumor is that Kearns will be DFA’d.

  19. Steve Price

    What we do know is that Jocketty said the Reds couldn’t afford to sign anybody or that everyone was out of our price range.

    Then Abreu signs for $ 5 mil and Dunn signs for 10 mil,
    and the Reds have made 19-22 million in each of the last several years by not winning.

    I wonder how much more they could make if we won? Or which players would want to come to Cincinnati?

  20. Glenn

    I like Dunn but I think he’s going to be a nightmare at 1b. My guess he’ll eventually be back in LF or the AL as a DH.

  21. John

    But Jocketty could afford $4m for Weathers, $2m for Rhodes, and afford to take on Hernandez at an extra $4m over what Freel was making.

    Hey, look, I just found $10 million. Didn’t even have to take the couch apart.

  22. preach

    …not to mention what auctioning off all that classic Eric Milton memorabilia on e-bay would fetch.

  23. catcard202

    Here’s what we do know, David…

    Money talks & bullsh_t walks.

    Regardless of CIN’s perception among MLB players…We all know, WJ entered the off-season w/ money to spend…He immediately began stating that a RHB run-producer, preferably a LF one, was the REDS #1 need for 2009. And then he proceeded to whiff on every descent stick available.

    Here’s what we do know:

    He balked at the opening price from/ COL for Holiday.
    He balked at trading for Dye.
    He balked at trading for Willingham & Olsen.
    He balked at going a 3rd yr w/ Rivera.
    He low-balled Rocco & probably Burrell (SI.com’s Heyman stated that PB only received a 1yr/$5MM offers from other clubs – presumably, CIN included).

    And then began using the lack of available cash flow in a uneasy market place as the excuse for not getting anything done.

    But what WJ & WJ fans seem to forget is….

    He committed millions to 4 guys in particular… for roles/roster spots that should have been filled from w/in the farm system…(RHP set-up, LOOGY, UTL,CF)…And those 4 moves ultimately limited WJ’s ability to get that RHB, the one he labeled as the teams #1 need.

    What moves??

    1) LOOGY Rhodes: WJ over-reacted to Affeldt’s unexpected departure to the SFG, by signing a way past his prime LOOGY to a 2yr/$4MM deal..That’s right, a 2y/4MM deal for a guy that pitched a total 35.1 MLB inn over the last 2yrs…None came in 2007.

    (Herrera would have been good for 35+ inn in the LOOGY role & done it at $400K!)

    2) CF Taveras: WJ jumped all over Willy, as soon as he hit the market…Locking him into a 2yr/$6.25MM deal…to play CF & LO.

    (Dickerson should have been given a shot at CF & LO, after the way he played in 2008 – at $400K…and Stubbs/Hiesey aren’t that far off, either.)

    3) Weathers: WJ offered Stormy ARB (when he wasn’t needed), thinking he would sign elsewhere & CIN would get a pick…but WJ got played..Stormy took the ARB (as it was his best payday, by far) and ended up getting close to $4MM.

    (Burton is ready for the 8th set-up role…& aging prospect Roenicke toiling away in AAA (another $400K role player) is way ready for a role in the CIN pen ( AAA RHRP Fisher is knocking on the door, too.)

    4) WJ committed btwn $2-4MM to JHJ for a super-UTL role. WTF??? JHJ put up his career #’s in 2008…That’s right, during a season he was limited to less than 100games & was on the DL 3X! That’s worth $2MM minimum?? WOW!

    (HELLO….Rosales or Castillo could have played the sup-UTL role at $400K.)

    Add it all up…WJ sunk $10MM (minimum) in 2009 money in 4 roster spots that could/should have been filled for $1.6-1.7MM total. Which would have left at least $8MM (in 2009 money) available for a RHB to put in btwn Joey & Jay.

  24. Phill

    Yes spend 10 million on one guy and hope that guys in the minors can step up or spread the 10 million around.

    Although I’m pretty sure the Hernandez trade no extra money was taken on due to the money they included to offset the salary difference.

  25. Chris

    David’s knee jerk defense of the organization (“you don’t that they could’ve signed XXX”) absolutely doesn’t hold water in this case. The Reds COULD have signed Adam Dunn. They had a better shot than probably any team except the Astros. It was a purposeful (and IMO, stupid) move.

  26. Steve Price

    Another way of thinking about catcard’s post is that Jocketty spent big bucks on the guys that are easy to find at spring training time, and at bargains (see Bowden…) instead of prioritizing what we really needed first, and what would have a bigger payoff for the organization.

    He more or less played “small ball” which, I suppose, is consistent with what they’re saying they want to accomplish.

  27. catcard202

    It’s not about spending $10MM on just 1 player vs. spreading the wealth around on several…

    It’s: “Don’t use the bad economy as an excuse to justify leaving CIN w/o a professional RHB run-producer to split up Votto & Bruce.”

    Not after spending over $12MM (2009 money) in off-season additions in a very down market…and not when most of those additions weren’t as good as guys in the farm system.

  28. per14

    Not to mention what we’re overpaying our worthless manager. I realize it’s not Jocketty’s fault, but still, it makes me angry.

  29. Matt Steele

    Atleast Dunn can play for a decent manager now.

    I’m split on this, Dunn is my favorite baseball player and I want him to win world championships (not at the expense of the Reds though of course, team > any player in my mind) so I don’t want him on a perpetual loser like Washington

    On the other hand

    I live in D.C. and I know people who work for the Nationals and so I can go to a lot of games and see him. Which is a bonus for me.

    haha

    oh well, I think he’s going to play 1b for WAS. He should give some sort of “protection” to Ryan Zimmerman at least. I doubt his homers go down though. I read on ESPN about how Dunn was in the top 5 of longest average homer in MLB according to Bill James, so leaving the small stadium of Cincy might not affect him too much.

    I still call for 40 homers lol

  30. GregD

    When the Nationals don’t make the playoffs this year, will that be Dunn’s fault?

  31. Travis G.

    A team simply can’t go into a season expecting players with little or no ML experience to fill as many roles as Jocketty did with veteran fill-ins, unless they’re stud prospects, which Dickerson, Herrera, Hanigan, Roenicke or even Stubbs most assuredly are not. The season’s just too long and injuries too much a part of the game for a GM to take that kind of risk.

    If one of those guys got hurt or struggled mightily, which is entirely likely, there’s no one to take their place. Jocketty would end up having to promote a young player too soon or overpay via trade for players just like the ones he signed.

    As underwhelming as this offseason’s been, I’m encouraged that Jocketty seems to have a long-range plan that he’s stuck to. None of the stiffs he signed will be around past 2010, and he didn’t overpay for Holliday or Dye – which is the only way he would’ve gotten either guy. It would have been nice to see him sign one of those slugging corner guys at a discount, but that would have deviated from his long-range plan to focus on defense.

    I think this year’s team will be surprisingly awful, but I’m confident they’re going to be a lot better the following year, and for several more after that.

  32. nick in va

    Leatherpants – cracks me up every time.

    I like Dunn, but I’m not overly upset that he’s not a Red. I do think it’s funny that the Nats have so many former Reds.

  33. GRF

    I agree we don’t know everything that is going on. We have discussed why Affeldt went to the Giants (chance to start) and Burrell went to Tampa and so on. But at some point, if none of these people want to sign with the Reds, isn’t that a problem itself?

    And Catcard’s and Steve’s points are good ones. Overpaying for veteran role players on a limited budget is a losing strategy. If they weren’t planning on competing this year (and I could live with that) they were better off sinking that money into the farm system, over slot draft picks and the like than paying for replacement level players.

  34. Mark in CC

    “Hit em in the pockets that’ll make them spend more money!” Really sound economic aproach. Give them less money so they will spend more. Wow.

    Cncy East: Dunn, Kearns, Pena, Valentin, Wagner, Patterson,Young. All the players here were part of the losers Cincy West. Why should we lament this.

    It was time to implode the old and begin the new. It should be fun to watch and I will probably go more often. I knew the old cast of characters was going to lose, I don’t know that about this team.

    Spring is close. It is time for Pitchers and Catchers. Lets get FIRED UP. Its BASEBALL SEASON!

  35. Steve Price

    Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet was interviewed on Louisville radio last night and said there would be essentially no young players in Louisville; the youngsters would be in Chattanooga.

    He said Louisville would have a veteran team ready to be used in Cincinnati when injuries hit there.

    While I agree that AAA is now a “taxi squad” (to use an old football term), I would have rather signed more of those level players as bench players or role players to compete for the major league team.

    Sweet is anticipating the better AA players to reach Louisville by mid-season.

    So…apparently, there was no risk on promoting young players too soon to the big league team this year.

  36. David

    Chris – You are making an assumption an provide absolutely no evidentiary support for your contention. You have zero information as to what was or was not offered to Adam Dunn by the Reds.

    That sir is my entire point.

    Cat –

    “He balked at the opening price from/ COL for Holiday.”

    Do you have a source? I was a huge proponent of adding Holliday. However, the A’s gave up Street, Gonzalez, and Greg Smith. What’s the comparison? Frazier, Cueto, Burton, Roenicke? That’s an awful lot for one year of Holliday.

    “He balked at trading for Dye.”

    Actually the deal was very close according to most media accounts. The Sox wanted Bailey + one for Dye. The Reds wanted Bailey for Dye straight or Bailey + one and salary relief. The teams couldn’t agree on who the plus one was and how much relief the plus one was worth.

    “He balked at trading for Willingham & Olsen.”
    I don’t touch Scott Olsen. Why would you even want Olsen? Willingham may have helped, but I never heard that Jocketty balked at the price.

    “He balked at going a 3rd yr w/ Rivera.”
    True. He would not go three years on Rivera. I’m not sure that it was wise to go three years on any LF. With Alonso likely only able to play first, Frazier, Francisco, Dorn, EdE and Votto will be fighting for 3B and LF.

    “He low-balled Rocco & probably Burrell (SI.com’s Heyman stated that PB only received a 1yr/$5MM offers from other clubs – presumably, CIN included).”

    Cincinnati offered more than Boston. However, Rocco wanted to be in Boston.

    I wasn’t aware that Burrell received any offers from Cincinnati. However, Jocketty commented about how far Burrell’s price dropped. Although, if the Reds were moving away from Dunn, why the Reds would have gone after the RH version?

  37. GregD

    “Cncy East: Dunn, Kearns, Pena, Valentin, Wagner, Patterson,Young. All the players here were part of the losers Cincy West. Why should we lament this. ”

    Who here is lamenting that those 7 players are on a different team? It’s possible of those 7 players, only Dunn is on Washington’s opening day roster.

    And I’m sure you realize by now that the reason a lot of those players were part of losing teams are the same reason they’ll be on a losing team in Washington. NO PITCHING. It looks like the Washington staff will have even worse pitching than some of those Reds teams of 2001-2006.

  38. Bill

    I’ll be curious to see how true Sweet’s statement is. It creates several problems…

    One is the perception that there are jobs to be won in ST. If you take him at his word, then the kids have no chance of being promoted higher than AA and as Logan said in his last interview (I think it was Logan), they are always told that jobs can be won in ST. That backs up the entire system and you have guys repeating levels..what does that accomplish?

    Two is that what does it say to the kids that finished in AAA last year? Stubbs, Roenecke, etc? They going to start the year in AA?

    Be interesting to see how true this is.

  39. GregD

    “I wasn’t aware that Burrell received any offers from Cincinnati. ”

    If you’re only aware of 1/100th of what was said and done…

  40. John

    Some people will pay to see this team regardless of how much they suck, because in sports, if you love a team, you’re “supposed” to stick with them no matter what. Teams bank on this mindset. I don’t like to spend money at the ballpark to watch a depressing product. I really don’t like that my team is the laughing stock…for Cubs fans. Wanna talk sound economic decisions? Let’s keep giving them money so they can re-sign David Freaking Weathers — a guy that no other team would want.

    The losing upsets me. The inaction and misdirection and poor money management makes it worse. The endless waiting and rebuilding/not really rebuilding makes me think this team is just getting by — drawing 2 million at the gate despite being 20 under .500 — until they get a fluke Tampa Bay year, which is what all small market teams are waiting for. Thing is, the Reds can’t play those small market excuses when they throw $12m at replacement level players. You’ve either got the money or you don’t, and when you throw it at garbage like they’ve been doing for years (e.g. Milton), you have no else one to blame. To talk about the organizational mindset or “the plan” is to admit there is one at all.

    I’m happy to do my part to keep my money so they won’t sign garbage and so they’ll let the young guys play. The veterans they go after are a waste of money. They need to go young or go home.

    Sure, it’s a huge risk to give four roles to young guys. But we’re not talking about giving the #1 starter role away. We’re talking about saving $4m by giving the RH setup role to a younger guy with better stuff than Weathers (Burton) and another few million by giving the loogy role to a younger guy with better stuff than Rhodes (Bray maybe, or Herrera). It’s not just how much money you have. It’s how you spend that money. They’re going into 2009 with a shoddy offense because they put David Weathers and his like at a higher priority than scoring runs. That’s not a joke.

    So I guess this summer when we’re watching the Reds get shut out, we can take solace in the fact that at least we have David Weathers in the bullpen, sitting next to Arthur Rhodes, waiting to come in so they can throw to Ramon Hernandez. With Jerry Hairston, Jr. in the field, they’ll create havoc!

  41. preach

    Prove you’re serious: Acquire Nick Johnson (he wants out now that Dunn is in), put him at first. Play Votto in LF (since he’s going to be there anyway)and you have instant upgrades everywhere.

    Johnson’s upside is absolutely tremendous. A broken leg may have derailed a truly special career (I don’t use that term loosely), but he can still be an outstanding player.

  42. Jamie theRed

    The Washington Post had an article/ blog in which the local yokels were looking to Dunn as a 1b or LF option. IMO, Dunn is not really much of an option at 1b. I remember the Reds trying a bit of an experiment to playing him there and the big Texan had kind of a poor attitude about the whole thing.

    Also, Barry Larkin was quoted as saying the Reds had not tried very hard to work on Dunn to prioritize his fielding. The idea was that the Big Donkey would now get his glovework in order with more emphasis by the vaunted Nationals coaching staff (lol).

  43. Travis G.

    Sure, it’s a huge risk to give four roles to young guys … We’re talking about saving $4m by giving the RH setup role to a younger guy with better stuff than Weathers (Burton) and another few million by giving the loogy role to a younger guy with better stuff than Rhodes (Bray maybe, or Herrera).

    Burton will likely be the RH setup man, anyway, and Bray will probably fill a similar role as a lefty. But they can only pitch so many innings, and counting on (as opposed to hoping for) a major contribution from guys like Herrera or Roenicke is foolish. Rushing young players into the majors and possibly harming their development is even dumber than trading them away.

    I like the idea of acquiring Johnson and his 125 career OPS+, preach. He’s got one year left on his contract at $5.5 million, and I can’t imagine the Nationals would want all that much for him. (This assumes the Reds would move Votto to LF now or if/when Alonso is ready to contribute.)

  44. David

    Keith Law is absolutely ripping the Nationals. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3901880&name=law_keith

    “Signing Adam Dunn makes the Nationals somewhat less awful for 2009 and 2010.”

    “The immediate problem with Dunn is playing time … Dunn, Dukes, and Milledge in the outfield puts the expensive and utterly useless Austin Kearns — who has forgotten how to do anything good with a bat in his hands — on the bench; I can’t imagine they’d waive or demote him given his friendship with Dunn, now the highest-paid member of the team. Josh Willingham’s back problems could push him to first base, making Johnson a candidate for release and again pushing Belliard to roster purgatory.”

  45. David

    Agreed on Johnson, but they won’t DFA. He’s got value.

  46. preach

    He does, and he’s a free agent at the end of this season. I would wave a prospect at them and make something happen.

    wouldn’t it be ironic?

  47. KY Chip

    I dunno about how much good waving a prospect at Bowden would do.

    He never could find one in a trade when he was in Cincy.

    Instead, we should offer up someone with some oft-injured veterans whose best seasons are behind them. He’d be sure to jump all over those offers.

  48. Shane

    “and its root root root for the home team………….”

  49. Steve Price

    About Sweet’s comments…

    Remember, Roenicke’s not young…he’s 26 and inexperienced (late bloomer?).

    Also, Stubbs wasn’t even mentioned by the Reds assistant GM when talking about young players just a week agom, and he listed young players twice.

    I imagine Stubbs in Louisville since he was there last year. Sweet said many of last year’s players would be back.

    some of this may be related to what I was saying a few weeks ago. Most of our “prospects” aren’t young or really prospects. I think the “depth” that’s mentioned has more to do with being role players…at least at the top of the system.

  50. David

    Steve, I think that there’s no rush on Stubbs. With Steamin’ Willy Beaman manning CF Stubbs can work on his plate discipline.

  51. preach

    …while I work on my “don’t throw things at the TV” discipline.

  52. David

    I think this thread has officially jumped the shark.

  53. brublejr

    How is the Nats going to play 6 OF/1B at once will be the question.

  54. Dmandrell007

    Our problems started with Ken Griffey Jr. Dunn would’ve been nice to re-sign but he sucks in the outfield. We’d have a heck of alot more money to spend on free agents if Griffey could’ve or would’ve stayed healthy.

  55. Mark in CC

    “And I’m sure you realize by now that the reason a lot of those players were part of losing teams are the same reason they’ll be on a losing team in Washington. NO PITCHING.”

    I agree pitching was part of the problem, but the inconsistent day in and day out offense also led to the losing.

    I’m sure you realize that above average pitching isn’t going to help much with this hitting, with much of the lifetime numbers accumulated as Reds (lifetime/’09):Dunn (.247/.236), Kearns(.260/.217), Pena(.253/.205), Valentin(.251/.256), Patterson (.253/.205),Young (.280/.292). I know we can point to home runs/ OPS/ etc. But bottom line, the teams over the last eight seasons have not made enough consistent contact.

    Baseball is about getting in a zone and being consistent.

    For years everyone has said, hey we don’t need to worry about the offense we know we will score runs. And they have hit a lot of home runs and have some deceiving runs scored numbers. It has not been unusual to score 18 runs in two days and 6 in the next 4. A 4-run average is great but is probably a 2 and 4 win/loss record when put together so inconsistently.

    The ’09 Reds won’t have many of those 8 or 9 run games but should have more 3 to 5 run games which might should equate to more wins (3 and 3 record over 6 games) even if the pitching doesn’t improve, whic it should.

    I for one look forward to a less boring more exciting offense where we just don’t sit around and wait on a 3-run homer and in turn watch guys walk back to the bench with their bats on their shoulders, but try to manufacture and make things happen.

  56. Travis G.

    It’s baffling that you’d dismiss OPS as an afterthought, Mark in CC. Batting average or strikeouts have no positive correlation to the number of runs a team would score, but getting on base and rapping extra-base hits do.

    And what’s wrong with strikeouts, anyway? They don’t cost any more, and they almost never result in double plays.

  57. GregD

    “For years everyone has said, hey we don’t need to worry about the offense we know we will score runs. And they have hit a lot of home runs and have some deceiving runs scored numbers. It has not been unusual to score 18 runs in two days and 6 in the next 4. A 4-run average is great but is probably a 2 and 4 win/loss record when put together so inconsistently. ”

    I know that it appears that way watching the games/boxscores, but a couple of years ago I actually looked into this … compared the variance of the Reds run production compared to the other teams in the division. The Reds variance was not any different than the other teams, including the Cubs or Cardinals. I know I didn’t do this with last year’s team, and I don’t recall if I started it for 2007 or 2006 looking backwards, but for a good chunk of Dunn’s years here, that variance just wasn’t different than the rest of the division.

    Again, I know it is frustrating to see that kind of thing (8 runs 1 night, then 8 over a three-game series), but what I found is that “problem” is not unique to the Reds.

  58. Steve Price

    These problems are not due to high obp power home run hitters…they were do to the lack of supporting cast that could not get on base.

    Let’s just say the late 60’s early 70’s Baltimore Orioles scored enough runs for Earl Weaver’s three-run homer offense. Boog Powell was a similar hitter to Dunn; Frank Robinson was a similar hitter to Griffey.

    The difference was the Orioles had leadoff hitters (Buford and Blair) that could actually get on base…so that the power hitters could knock them home.

    For the record…new Baseball Prospectus articles out today (subscriber side) says that Willy Taveras should have a Corey Patterson 2008 type season this year (computing overall production) and that the Reds winter transaction analysis should net in about two net losses from last year’s roster. They said any improvements would have to come from Votto-Bruce-Encarncion-Phillips.

    It also said Paul Bako should only get starts on a team in post Mad Max type world where value is in hoarding no hit catchers.

  59. Steve Price

    Joe Nuxhall used to always say ‘swing the bat and things happen” which is a way of saying contact matters.

    Nuxhall also played in the 50’s/60’s contact/infield defense era.

    It’s not the same game as in the days of the Big Red Machine. Frankly, even then OBP mattered most, and the REds had that in Rose/Griffey/Morgan…then the power followed.

    The team did have speed…but not Rose…and he was batting leadoff.

    The speed was a bonus, where we could pull out the extra win if the power wasn’t there.

    We’ve now placed an emphasis on the bonus rather than the salary…

  60. Steve Price

    Oh, Baseball Prospectus also referred to Bowden’s leather pants today….calling him “exotic” in taste…thus his signing of Dunn to go along with the other corner outfielder-first baseman market that he has signed to the Nationals cupboard.

    However, they gave him some credit….as long as he makes haste….

    With most of the power corner outfielders now gone (except for Ramirez and Griffey), their comment was he now has real trade bait…if someone else needs one of these guys (I know of a REd team that does…), their comments were, that if he hurries, and doesn’t wait until spring training, that he has a chance to improve his farm system.

    If not, they’re suggesting Bowden should resign…

  61. David

    Travis – there is plenty of criticism against OPS as a reliable statistical measure. That’s why wOBA which is based on linear weights has gained more traction since Tango.

    OPS treats .325/.475 the same as .400/.400.

    Sometimes, a players’ SLG is more valuable than OBP. Consider Evan Longoria (.343/.531) and Justin Morneau (.374/.499). Each players’ OPS is within .001 of each others’. Morneau and his higher OBP is actually less valuable than Longoria’s superior slugging number. wOBA of Longoria is .373 to Morneau’s .369.

    Sometimes the better OBP is more valuable. Take for example Andre Ethier (.375/.510) and Jermaine Dye (.344/.541). Each has a OPS of .885. However, Ethier’s wOBA (.382) is significantly more valuable than Dye’s (.376) despite the better slugging from Dye.

    The linear weights makes for a better measure.

  62. David

    Steve – I said the same of Krivsky hoarding middle relief. He wasn’t given the option of resinging.

  63. Tom

    Good for Dunn, getting a decent payday in a tough market. He probably has a better chance of winning there as he would have here too.

    Baseball Prospectus

    National League, ranked by projected 2009 record

    Team W L RS RA AVG OBP SLG
    Nationals 79 83 807 817 .262 .339 .423
    Reds 79 83 789 788 .263 .329 .416

    And that was before he signed on. Plus they will most likely deal from their 1B/OF surplass and improve elsewhere. At least our current GM doesn’t wear leather pants.

  64. Travis G.

    Thanks for that clear explanation of wOBA, David. I understand and agree with what you’re saying, but I was responding specifically to Mark’s dismissal of OPS (and HR) in favor of AVG and SO (or lack thereof). Also, I wouldn’t have been able to make a case for statistics much more advanced than OPS+, so I’ll leave that to the experts.

    Speaking of HR, why are people who appreciate the long ball considered philistines by some baseball fans? HR = the most efficient way possible to score runs.

  65. David

    I agree that a HR is valuable, but not at the expense of other measures. To piggyback off my wOBA rant, look at Adam Dunn (.898 OPS) in 517 ABs and Ian Kinsler (.892 OPS) in 518 ABs.

    Kinsler: .319/.375/.517 – 102 (1B) 41(2B) 4 (3B) 18 (HR) 45 (BB)
    A.Dunn: .236/.386/.513 – 59 (1B) 22(2B) 0 (3B) 40 (HR) 122 (BB)

    Note that I’m not Dunn bashing. He fits the example

    Using simple measures like OBP, OPS, HR and RBI, you may say that Dunn is the more valuable player, Right? However, despite Dunn having far superior HR totals and higher OBP/OPS, park factor being similar, Kinsler’s wOBA is .393 to Dunn’s .383. Why?

    It really has to do with the linear weights (0.72xNIBB + 0.75xHBP + 0.90×1B + 0.92xRBOE + 1.24×2B + 1.56×3B +1.95xHR).

    So who is more valuable with a bat in 2008? Actually, it is Ian Kinsler (28.6) over Dunn (27.4).

  66. Steve Price

    Wouldn’t about two or three flyball balls traveling 10 feet further have overcome that difference?

  67. Chris

    If you’re looking only at 2008, and you believe linear weights are correct, then Kinsler was better. If you think that metric is imperfect (as many do), you may not be sure.

    If thinking long-term, you have to remember that AVG fluctuates significantly, and Kinsler is unlikely to hit .319 again (prior years averages were .286 and .263).

    Kinsler had a .339 batting average on balls in play in 2008. That’s simply not going to happen again. (First two years were .310 and .282).

  68. David

    Chris,

    I don’t claim the wOBA is perfect. I was first showing the flaw of OPS as compared to other measures. That’s nothing new.

    I then tried to address Travis’s concerns regarding overvaluing HRs. While wOBA weights HRs higher, suggesting, like Travis said, it’s the best case scenario at the plate, HRs are not the end all be all of measuring a hitter’s value. HRs and BBs (Dunn’s specialty in the example) were worth less compared to 2Bs and 1Bs (Kinsler’s speciatly in the example). I wasn’t suggesting that Kinsler is the better player. I was suggesting that Kinsler’s numbers, despite the lack of HR, were more valuable than Dunn’s numbers, based on the weighted averages.

  69. Chris

    That comment wasn’t really a response to David’s – just a musing on Kinsler’s strange numbers.

  70. GregD

    A .382 wOBA is “significantly more valuable” than a .376 wOBA? I’m not familiar with wOBA so I don’t see how a .006 difference would be significantly better.

    One thing proponents of OPS like is the simplicity of the number. Look at any player’s stats and you know their OPS just by adding two common numbers together. Many of the other more technical numbers requiring a lot more work, can’t be calculated off the top of the head, and typically only produce marginally better valuations, at best.

  71. David

    Tango and The Book would disagree Greg.