Pros and Cons of Trading Adam Dunn

Despite the win last night, the Nationals are still in rough shape, with a 34-44 record and 11 games behind the Braves in the NL East. The trade deadline is a month away, give or take a few days, and there will be talk of trading away anyone who’s last name doesn’t start with Z or S. I wouldn’t go that far myself, but an Adam Dunn trade will definitely be a topic of conversation. There are teams that need his bat, and his contract ends in September. So here are the pros and cons of trading him

Pros

  • The Nats aren’t making the playoffs, there is value to be had, perhaps a guy that is ready to contribute next season. One could dream of a young #3 or 4 starter, or a middle infielder
  • He can be reacquired at the end of the season
  • The Nats now likely will finish in the bottom 15, so they’d have to give up a 2nd rounder not a 1st rounder to re-sign him
  • He isn’t a great fielder
  • Some people hate guys who strike out

Cons

  • He has the most power on the team, has 17 HRs
  • He leads the team in HRs, 2Bs, SLG, OPS and even Hits
  • Among NL first basemen, he’s 4th in OPS
  • His fielding is much better at 1B than it was in the OF – his UZR and UZR/150 ranks toward the middle-bottom of the NL pack, just below Pujols and Howard this year. In the OF he was consistently one of the very worst, at first he’s performed good enough to not worry about it
  • There are little internal options – Jesus Flores is a possibility, but may not hit enough for the position and 21 year old Chris Marrero is still a few years away
  • If they want to re-sign him, it’ll be more difficult, and probably cost them a 2nd round pick. If the Nats finish outside of the bottom 15, it would cost them a first round pick

My take on it – I’d like to see them re-sign Dunn for 2 or 3 years. He’s a better hitter than almost anyone else on the team, and anyone else they might get. He’s a decent enough first baseman that he looks better than half the guys on this team. If he’s gone, they’re going to have to find a bat to replace him next year, and it’s not like there’s a ton of other bats on the team. That being said, if there is a good deal, something that could really help them build, I think they should trade him and tell him they’ll be making offers as soon as they can. They need to re-sign him, but that could be done in the winter, and if it works, they’ll end up with something worthwhile on top of it.

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2 Responses to Pros and Cons of Trading Adam Dunn

  1. @notrizzo says:

    I’d love to see the Nats extend Dunn for 2 years, but why would Dunn want to sign a deal like that? It would put him back in FA as his value will likely be in decline. He’s going to want to secure himself throught the remainder of his playing days, so expect him to insist on a 5 year deal.

  2. @notrizzo says:

    Also lost in this Dunn trade discusion is that the more valuable, tradeable and replaceable Nats players is Josh Willingham. He’s comparatively cheap, under team control through ’11 having a banner year at the plate & in the field, plus if traded Michael Morse could be inserted into LF and though far from a 1-to-1 replacement it would not open up a black hole in the line-up like the loss of Dunn’s LH power would.

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