So, who’s got $20 million to spare for a red-hot slugger who figures to have 40-plus homers in him between now and the end of 2014?
No, Adam Dunn can’t really play defense anywhere, so basically all NL teams are out, but even though the potential suitors in the AL are really limited to perhaps a couple of teams at this point — I mean, no one is expecting the Tampa Bay Rays to make a play here — that hasn’t stopped the three-outcome hitter from making a case for the Chicago White Sox to move him.
How? By being much more than a three-outcome hitter.
Though Dunn’s .229/.335/.469 triple-slash on the 2013 season might be a counterpoint to that sentiment, it belies just exactly how good he’s been; and you know, this guy’s actually been a pretty good hitter for some time. Sure, the general impression of the 33-year-old is still of a player who strikes out a ton and won’t provide much in the average department, but … he actually hasn’t posted a monthly BA below .270 since June.
In fact, his highest monthly strikeout rate over the last two-plus months was in July, where he held a fairly reasonable 26.5 percent. That number has plummeted in August, with Dunn earning hits in at least eight of 11 games, good enough for a .351/.432/.541 line.
That doesn’t look a whole lot like a three-outcome hitter’s line, yes?
Neither does the .853 OPS that he’s put up since the All-Star break. Sample size shouldn’t really be a particular concern here as he’s now been a pretty good hitter longer than the two months in which he was a terrible hitter who could only hit homers. Oh, and did I mention that he’s only struck out seven times in 44 PA over August, good enough for a un-Dunn-like 15.9 percent rate?
It might not necessarily seem like it after the last few years, Dunn has actually made fairly significant strides to being a more patient hitter. His 10.8 percent swinging strike rate, 40.6 percent swing rate, and 22 percent swing rate at pitches outside the zone at all four-year lows, while his contact rate has reached a four-year high at 72.7 percent.
Even if that kind of production (or any kind of production really) he’s providing isn’t particularly useful to the White Sox for the remainder of the season, you’d have to think that he’d be able to help another team in the AL.
So pick up the phone, Texas Rangers. I think Alex Rios might have a teammate who wants to join him in Arlington.