Adam Dunn: A Cure for the Chicago Cubs' Offensive Woes
I can safely say that I am a gigantic fan of Adam Dunn. Consistency is one of the main benchmarks for picking my favorite players, and he very simply gets the job done. He is a freak of patience and power, but the consistent production is what draws me to him.
For instance, his production from 2007 to 2009 looks a little something like this:
2007 .264 AVG/.386 OBP (101 walks)/40 home runs
2008 .236 AVG/.386 OBP (122 walks)/40 home runs
2009 .267 AVG/.398 OBP (116 walks)/38 home runs
The common thought is imagining what those numbers would look like if he played 81 games in the quite power-friendly confines of Wrigley Field. It's a thought that "Ballhawks" on Waveland Avenue can't help but smile about.
The likelihood of Dunn wearing the blue pinstripes next season seems to be multiplying every day. He made a very vocal campaign for the Cubs to sign him before the 2009 season to no avail, and as Gordon Wittenmyer is reporting, he is seemingly doing the same thing again.
On top of all the praise Dunn is extending toward Cubs management and Wrigley Field itself, the team experiment of placing rookie Tyler Colvin at first base has come to a screeching halt. It is definitely for the best even if the Cubs weren't getting Dunn, as Colvin is absolutely less valuable at first base.
The 24-year-old would almost assuredly struggle defensively in the transition, and Colvin already needs to make some serious adjustments to his offensive game if he's going to make it as a starter. The combination could be terrible and is better left unseen.
Interim manager Mike Quade has all but ruled Colvin out at the position. If he keeps making smart moves like that then he may not be a bad option to helm the club in 2011. Food for thought.
Whatever the motivation for the Cubs not locking down the first base position, Dunn is the beneficiary. The 6'6'' slugger has already ruled out the American league, and re-signing with the Nationals doesn't seem reasonable. The talk is hot right now, so let's hope it continues that way until the Cubs reel him in. A four-year deal worth $50 million would be right at market value, if not a little on the cheap side.
Dunn's athleticism may leave some fans with a bad taste in their mouths, but the man's effort and attitude toward the game is everything you want in big free-agent signing. Any defensive shortcomings are made up for threefold on the offensive side of the game.
He's also remained virtually injury-free his entire career, and is only turning 31 this November. He would be a savvy-signing for a team in transition, giving the team an offensive threat to be constantly feared throughout the Majors (something the team obviously lacked in 2010).
I won't accept the high strike-out rate argument for a second. When you walk over 100 times a season and you're putting up a slugging percentage higher than .525 every single year, the strike-out rate is hardly a liability whatsoever. There is literally no case for it being a problem, but I'm sure if and when the Cubs make their move on him, we will be hearing some brilliant commentary about it on Chicago talk radio. I'm sure I will be calling in to try to nip some of the ignorance in the bud.
The Cubs have to face the fact that their black hole at first base cannot be filled by a Micah Hoffpauir, and they really need to pony up the cash. Signing Dunn will not reverse the tides of misfortune on the North-side, but it's a definite step in the right direction.
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