Jason Bay's Contract Will Make It Harder for Nationals to Re-sign Adam Dunn

Farid RushdiAnalyst IDecember 30, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Jason Bay #44 of the Boston Red Sox catches a Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fly ball in the third inning of Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

If I were Nationals’ General Manager Mike Rizzo, I’d be driving over to Adam Dunn’s house right now, contract in one hand and pen in the other.

And I’d be practicing my groveling.

Former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay has agreed to a four year, $66 million contract. That’s $16.5 million per season for the 30-year-old.

Dunn, a year younger at 29, is in the last year of a two-year contract that pays him $20 million, or $10 million per season.

Is Jason Bay worth $6.5 million more per year than Adam Dunn?

In 922 career games, Bay has hit 185 home runs and driven in 610 runs. In 1,290 games, Dunn has hit 316 homers and driven in 777.

But take a look at how they compare over their last two seasons:

Batting Average

Bay: .277

Dunn: .252


Bay: 32

Dunn: 30


Bay: 4

Dunn: 0


Bay: 34

Dunn: 39


Bay: 110

Dunn: 106

On Base Percentage

Bay: .378

Dunn: .392

Slugging Percentage

Bay: .529

Dunn: .527


Bay: .907

Dunn: .913

Home Run Per At-Bat:

Bay: One every 21.1 at-bats

Dunn: One every 13.9 at-bats

RBI Per At-Bat

Bay: One every 6.3 at-bats

Dunn: One every 5.6 at-bats

Bay has the better batting average, but Dunn has the superior on-base percentage. Dunn hits more homers, but Bay drives in a few more runs.

And defensively, both players are just plain terrible.

Over the course of a season, Bay allows 10 more runs to score than the average left fielder, the same as Dunn. Dunn’s range factor is 1.90 while Bay’s is 1.91 (the league average is 1.97).

Like I said, just plain terrible, both of them.

Bay is a year older than Dunn, has less power, gets on base less often, hits a few more singles, and drives in a few more runs, but needs more at-bats to do it.  And both can’t field worth a darn.

And he’s worth $6.5 million more per year?

I find this almost funny to say out loud, but the New York Mets had to overpay to get a badly needed bat.

But to be fair, the Nationals underpaid Adam Dunn two seasons ago. If he were to re-enter the free agent market next fall, he’d likely get $13-14 million per year. So now is the right time to work out a long-term extension to keep Dunn in Washington for another three or four years, say, for about $12.5 million per year.

But Rizzo had better do it quickly, or Dunn just might say, “You know, I think I’ll wait until the season is over before talking about a new contract.” If that happens, he’ll never return to Washington.

Are you on the interstate yet, Mike?


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