According to various reports, The Chicago White Sox have pulled off the tremendous coup of slugger Adam Dunn. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman reported earlier on his Twitter account that terms of the deal are said to be $56 million over four years.
As a member of the White Sox, Dunn's long-ball ability should fit well at U.S. Cellular Field. In his last two seasons spent with the Washington Nationals, he 38 hit home runs in consecutive years at Nationals Park. His new home in Chicago is considered to be a power hitter's paradise and Dunn could well eclipse 50 long-balls in the upcoming 2011 season.
ESPN.com lists their "Ballpark Factors" home run index for every major league stadium since 2001. For those who are unaware, the mathematical equation takes into account home runs hit by clubs at home and on the road to decide which ballpark is the most long-ball friendly.
U.S. Cellular field came out on top of the rankings in 2010 and since 2003 has annually been among the top five in all of baseball, according to the formula. During Dunn's two seasons in Washington, Nationals Park has placed 19th and 15th, respectively, from 2009 to 2010, making the stadium "middle of the road" at surrendering home runs.
Judging by the evidence presented, Dunn should have a significant surge in his power numbers in 2011. His signing makes perfect sense for the White Sox, who are yet to re-sign their previous foremost slugger in Paul Konerko.
The first baseman who hit 39 home runs in 2010 is reportedly being chased by the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. If the White Sox are unable to retain Konerko, Dunn would fill his void in the lineup.
White Sox general manager Kenny Williams will do his best to keep Konerko on "The South Side" of Chicago. Losing him to inter-city rivals in the Cubs, the American League playoff contending Red Sox or the defending AL champion Rangers would be a hard pill to swallow.
If Williams is able to hold on to the loyal Konerko, the White Sox would have a dominant pair of No. 3 and 4 hitters in their lineup and make a stronger push at making the playoffs in 2011. Last year, the "Pale Hose" finished six games behind the division-winning Minnesota Twins and failed to meet the expectations of leading baseball writers predicted who a playoff berth.
With Dunn in the mix and the probable re-signing of Konerko, the White Sox will have an fair chance at overtaking the Twins and clinching a postseason place in 2011.