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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Kingman’

As a baseball fan, I love this time of year. The trade rumors start flying and in the modern world of communications, they fly so fast it’s almost impossible to keep up with them.

Anyway, I just read a bunch of articles that make it appear the Nationals priced Adam Dunn right out of the trade market. Joel Sherman is reporting the Yankees consider Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo’s asking price for Dunn too steep; the Rays apparently feel the same. Now, I just read that the White Sox are basically saying Rizzo needs his head examined. The only contender remaining at this point are the Giants, and that’s more wishful speculation on the part of their fans than anything else. So, the question needs to be asked: without any real movement on a new contract for Dunn and the Nat’s suddenly without a viable trade partner for him, could the Yankees sneak in at the last minute and grab him?

It certainly seems a plausible enough situation. The Nationals are motivated to move him if they can’t sign him now, since he is a pending free agent and has expressed a desire to test the market at season’s end. The Yankees have expressed interest in bringing Dunn to the Bronx. Certainly, enough knowledgeable baseball types like Dunn (Mike Axisa at River Avenue Blues practically drools over him). As anyone who’s read my previous posts knows, I’m not that crazy about him. This is a player who takes a sort of perverse pride in being lazy, is more or less a statue in the field and strikes out at rates that make Dave Kingman look like a contact hitter. Of course, there are pluses: Dunn has inordinate power from the left side, draws a ton of walks and is impervious to injury. In other words, he’s Nick Johnson with more power and without the ability to get hurt simply by walking on a piece of bubble gum.

So, for the right price, I wouldn’t mind having Dunn on the team. I just don’t think it should be a very high price, given that this would be a two-month rental. And I’m beginning to think this is must-move for the Yankees. Not because they need Adam Dunn – the current DH rotation seems pretty effective – but because Brian Cashman hasn’t made a good personnel move since signing Mark Texeira two offseasons ago, and Cashman has already struck out twice this trading dealine (Cliff Lee and Dan Haren). I realize Hal and Hank aren’t as impetuous as their dad, but eventually they’re going to wonder if Cashman has lost his mojo – so the pressure may well be on in the front office for Cashman to show that he can still play with the big boys.

Somehow, I’m not going to be surprised to wake up Sunday morning to find out the Yanks sprung an 11:59pm deal to put Dunn in Pinstripes.

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  Adam Dunn #44 Of The Washington Nationals HitsWith the non-waiver trade deadline now only two weeks away, this seems an opportune time to look at some of the current rumors surrounding the Yankees. Below are the players most recently linked to the Yankees by various sources, including MLB Trade Rumors, River Avenue Blues, ESPN and FOX Sports. I’ve included some personal thoughts on whether I think the player would help or hurt the drive for 28. By the way, I suspect that with AJ Burnett‘s tantrum yesterday and Andy Pettite‘s injury meaning he’s likely lost for at least a month, this list will be changing rapidly.

Adam Dunn (1B/OF, Washington Nationals): Easily the most controversial player on the board, but it may be a moot point. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is pretty much asking for the moon for a guy that would essentially be a rental, since his contract ends this season. What Dunn brings is home runs and a lefty bat, but that’s about it. The guy runs as well as a fire hydrant and strikes out at a seemingly impossible pace (he owns three of the top five strikeout totals in ML history). And forget about that “1B/OF” designation; the only position he can field adequately is Hot Dog Stand. The reality is, Dunn is this generation’s version of Dave Kingman. Still, the Yankees can pencil him in as DH, hit him 7th or 8th in the order and learn to live with his all-or-nothing approach. Only thing is, Dunn has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t want to DH. That stance would pose a real headache for Joe Girardi. Opinion: Skip him. A one-dimensional player with the ability to turn into a clubhouse cancer isn’t what the team needs and besides, the asking price is likely outrageous.

Joakim Soria (RHP, Kansas City Royals): If you can pry him loose, this one may be a no-brainer. Soria is currently the closer for yet another woeful Royals team and possesses a 93mph cutter and devastating change. (Remind you of anyone currently on the roster?) Unusual for a closer, he also features two other secondary pitches – a sharp breaking slider and a curve. He’s only 26 and under team control for another two seasons after this one. He not only fits as a terrific 8th inning guy, but projects as Mariano Rivera‘s heir apparent. (Hey, he is 25 for 27 in save opportunities for a horrible team). The problem is with prying him away from KC – they are likely to ask for half the roster from Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Still, it might be doable. KC is well stocked at catcher, 3B and 1B and would likely want outfield and/or pitching help. Opinion: If he can be had for anything less than Jesus Montero or Austin Romine, Brian Cashman needs his head examined if doesn’t trade for him.

Wes Helms (3B/1B, Florida Marlins): I have to admit this one has me scratching my head. Yes, he can play third and the Yankees have spent all season looking for a suitable backup for Alex Rodriguez. But the guy is hitting .243 this year with a .690 OPS. While those numbers do represent an upgrade from Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo, it isn’t by an overwhelming amount. Helms is 36, has been declining for the past few years and would represent a rental – his contract expires at the end of the season. Bringing Helms aboard would also mean wasting a roster spot for a guy to back up third base – the Yankees can play either Nick Swisher or (gulp) Marcus Thames at first, if needed. Opinion: skip him. He doesn’t offer enough versatility to be a bench player on this team.

Leo Nunez (RHP, Florida Marlins): Nunez is an interesting player. Over the past 1 ½ seasons, he’s racked up 47 saves for the Marlins. Prior to that, he pitched to a 1.4 WHIP and 4.92 ERA in 106 appearances for the Royals. He features a plus fastball but can be a bit wild at times. In other words, he represents more upside than most of the relievers on the trade market, but is still somewhat typical of why trading for relievers can be a roll of the dice. If he winds up in the Yankee pen, does he replicate his Marlins numbers? Or does he revert to his KC form? If the former, he would easily be the 8th inning guy for Joe Girardi. If not, then the Yankees have an older version of Joba Chamberlain on their hands. Since at this point the Marlins aren’t conceding the NL East, you have to wonder why they would put their closer on the market. Opinion: Nunez could be a good play for the Yankees, provided the asking price isn’t too high. If he can be had for, say, Jonathon Albaladejo, I say make the trade.

Cody Ross (CF/RF/LF, Florida Marlins): So, how much would you pay for a 29 year old outfielder who is not exactly known for plate discipline, but has shown some power in the past and is having down season? Ross would essentially replace Thames on the Yankees roster and despite his down year, represents a significant upgrade over the incumbent. While he will never be mistaken for Willie Mays, Ross isn’t a defensive liability, having played a slightly better than major league average OF, regardless of which position he’s slotted. I would imagine of particular interest to the Yankees is Ross’ career .950 OPS against left-handed pitching, since he most likely would slot into a semi-platoon with Curtis Granderson. I can also understand the Marlins wanting to move Ross; they’ve had a logjam in the outfield ever since they recalled Mike Stanton. Opinion: Getting Ross would be a good move for Brain Cashman, but getting the Marlins to agree on a price could prove difficult. They still view him as a starter while the Yankees would use him as part-timer. Could a Nunez/Ross deal be swung for Albaledejo, Reegie Corona, Zach McAllister and another low-minors prospect? That would be worthwhile, I think.

Well, there’s my take on the rumors as of Sunday afternoon. As always, your feedback is welcome – let me know if you agree or disagree!

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