Tag:Adam Dunn
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:05 pm
 

So are the White Sox really rebuilding?

Kenny Williams said the White Sox were rebuilding.

He never said they were trying to lose.

He definitely never said that the White Sox were looking at a long-term rebuilding project.

The White Sox's decision to sign John Danks to a five-year, $65 million contract, after spending the first part of the winter trying to trade their left-handed starter, certainly caught people by surprise. But it may not be the complete about-face that it at first seemed to be.

First off, Danks is still just 26. Even when Williams was talking about rebuilding, he was primarily talking about getting younger. A 26-year-old lefty who has averaged 195 innings a year over the last four seasons fits in perfectly, once you're sure you won't lose him to free agency in another year.

Second, the White Sox knew they were never going to be able to trade high-priced players like Alex Rios, Adam Dunn or Jake Peavy, and almost certainly weren't going to trade Paul Konerko, either. It's not like they were ever going to slash their payroll down to nothing.

Third, the word in both the international scouting community and among White Sox people is that the Sox could be very involved in the bidding for 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who should become a free agent next month.

Fourth, the White Sox play in the American League Central. Yes, the Tigers look strong, the Royals are getting better and the Indians are trying harder, but this is not the toughest division in the game.

In fact, some White Sox people cringed when Williams began talking openly about "rebuilding."

"We are not rebuilding," one of them said forcefully.

Now, with Danks signed, some of those White Sox people were actually talking Thursday about what needs to happen for them to win in 2012.

Chris Sale needs to effectively take Mark Buehrle's spot in the rotation. Peavy needs to be better, a year further on from surgery.

Dunn and/or Rios need to bounce back.

Oh, and someone needs to take Sergio Santos' place as closer.

The Santos trade, to Toronto for pitching prospect Nestor Molina, is the only deal the Sox have made so far in their "rebuilding" winter. It fit the rebuilding mode, although it is worth remembering that while Santos has just two years in the big leagues, he is a year and a half older than Danks.

Perhaps the White Sox will still trade Gavin Floyd. It still wouldn't surprise anyone if they deal Carlos Quentin, especially with Dayan Viciedo waiting (and maybe Cespedes, too).

But a complete rebuilding?

No, that's the team on the other side of town.
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Despite .145 start, Dunn 'all-in' as Sox DH

NEW YORK -- In his first year as a full-time designated hitter, Adam Dunn is hitting .145. He has two hits, and 15 strikeouts, in his last 30 at-bats.

Maybe there's a connection there, especially for a guy who for a long time said he didn't want to be a DH.

Dunn doesn't accept that.

"It's a learning experience, but it's something I want to be good at," he said Monday. "It's a learning process, and I'm committed. I'm going to be good at it."

It may be that Dunn's slump is more related to the appendectomy that cost him seven days in early April than it is to his new role. In the four games he played before the appendectomy, Dunn was 4-for-14 with a home run and five RBI.

But Dunn admitted that the transition to DH isn't easy, and said he's still trying to develop a routine that works for him.

He's not alone. Dunn is one of four AL players adjusting to a DH role for a first time, and perhaps it's no coincidence that he and the Yankees' Jorge Posada (.153) entered play Monday with the fourth- and fifth-worst batting averages for players with 60 or more plate appearances.

Meanwhile, Victor Martinez was hitting .250 when he went on the disabled list with the Tigers, while Michael Young is off to a fast start (.356, 12 RBI) with the Rangers.

In any case, Dunn said, he has no regrets about signing as a DH.

"I'm committed," he said. "I'm all-in."


Posted on: April 25, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 10:16 pm
 

The White Sox in crisis -- as usual

NEW YORK -- Every year, we go through this with the White Sox.

Every year, we go through this with Ozzie Guillen.

"Every year at some point, somehow, I'm getting fired," Guillen said Monday.

Yes, crisis time is here again for the White Sox, although Monday night's 2-0 win over the Yankees will help a little. Now the White Sox are 2-10 over their last 12 games, matching those other Sox, who went 2-10 over their first 12 games.

But even if there was panic all over New England until the Red Sox began winning, it's safe to say that no one does crisis quite like the White Sox. The only surprise is that Ozzie hasn't said anything -- yet -- that would have people asking if this time, he really is going to get fired.

The assumption from people who know White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has always been that only something Guillen says -- something really, really bad -- could get him fired. But some of those same people are wondering this week whether this team could play poorly enough that Guillen's job would become an issue.

"Is Ozzie's voice getting old?" one of those people asked Monday.

The word in the White Sox clubhouse is that it's not, that Ozzie is the same as ever and that this is just a bad stretch of games like other bad stretches the White Sox have endured.

"He's the same guy he's been since my first year here," said Matt Thornton, now in his sixth year as a White Sox reliever. "He just has a little more gray hair, most of it my fault."

Other White Sox players and coaches say the same thing, and Guillen's pregame media session Monday was like any number of others he has held when White Sox times have been bad.

He expressed confidence in his team ("We need to go out and let the talent take over"), defended hitting coach Greg Walker ("Some [players] out there are making $12-15 million. Greg Walker's only making $100,000. We're not struggling because of Greg Walker"), and joked about his lack of a true closer ("Somebody's going to be out there, and we have to pray, because we need a win").

And, asked whether general manager Ken Williams would want to talk to him about changing coaches, Guillen said, "If they're going to blame anybody, I take the blame. If somebody's got to be fired here, it's Ozzie."

Williams arrived in New York after a flight delay ("Two and half hours with angry Sox fans," he said), and also expressed confidence that the White Sox are much better than their record.

"We have the ability, we have the talent," Williams said. "Call me crazy, but I happen to think we've got a pretty good team out there. They're what we think they are."

We've heard it all before, and we've seen this all before. Just last year, the White Sox started 8-13, the same record they had before Sunday's loss in Detroit.

The difference this year is that the Sox now have the highest payroll in the division (a club-record $127.8 million), and also that they pushed their players harder in spring training in hopes of getting off to a fast start.

"We got off to a slow start last year, and it ended up costing us the division," said starter Jake Peavy, who believes he needs just two more rehab starts before making his 2011 debut.

They have been here before, but has it been this bad?

Scouts who watched the White Sox over the last week described them as "uninspired" and said there was "no energy."

"They're going to snap out of it . . . I think," said one scout who has followed the White Sox for years.

You have to figure they will, because you have to figure that some of their big hitters will start hitting. While the bullpen was the problem early in the season (and while the White Sox still have just one save in seven opportunities), the biggest recent problem has been a severe lack of offense.

And while it's true that the White Sox have faced great pitching during this 2-10 slide (David Price, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Justin Verlander, and then A.J. Burnett Monday night), it's also true that they've scored just 27 runs in that span.

New designated hitter Adam Dunn had a ground ball that brought in a run Monday, but he's still hitting just .158 with 24 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. Alex Rios had a hit Monday, but that broke an 0-for-22 skid. Gordon Beckham has just one hit in his last 29 at-bats.

"Hitting is so mental," Walker said. "Right now, our team doesn't feel that good about themselves. But deep down, they know they're good."

They should be good. They should be much better than this.

But weren't we saying the exact same thing a couple of weeks back about a different group of Sox?

The Red Sox lost 10 of their first 12. The White Sox has lost 10 of their last 12.

Is it that different?

"I saw them a lot in spring training, and I thought they'd have a heck of a year," one scout said Monday.

Just to be clear, he was talking about the White Sox.


Posted on: April 6, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: April 6, 2011 2:31 pm
 

White Sox's Dunn has appendectomy

The White Sox are hopeful that Adam Dunn won't miss much time after an emergency appendectomy early Wednesday.

The initial indication is that Dunn may miss less than a week. The White Sox announced on their Twitter account that Dunn will miss "up to five games."

Matt Holliday of the Cardinals had his appendix out last week, and the Cardinals are similarly hopeful of a quick return. Last September, Andres Torres of the Giants missed 12 days after an appendectomy.

Dunn is off to a decent start after signing with the White Sox as a free agent last winter. In four games, he has a 1.045 OPS, with one home run and 5 RBI.

Posted on: November 17, 2010 4:09 pm
 

Tigers to sign Benoit for 3 years

The price of middle relief continues to rise.

The Tigers have agreed to terms on a deal with Joaquin Benoit for $16.5 million over three years, baseball sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.

While Benoit had an outstanding season as the Rays' eighth-inning specialist, with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP in 63 appearances, he has yet to have back-to-back good seasons in his career. He didn't pitch at all in 2009, and thus has pitched barely 100 innings in the last three years combined. A year ago, Benoit signed with the Rays on a minor-league deal for $10,000 a month.

If Benoit is anywhere close to as good with the Tigers as he was with the Rays, he substantially strengthens a back end of the bullpen that also includes closer Jose Valverde, as well as Ryan Perry and Joel Zumaya.

The Tigers have money to spend and are trying hard to win next year. They're also talking to free agent Adam Dunn, but they're not yet believed to be close to a deal with him.

The Rays would have liked to retain Benoit, but their decreasing payroll gave them little chance in an exploding market. The Rays need to rebuilt their entire bullpen, and need to do it on a very limited budget.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 31, 2010 4:50 pm
 

Rizzo wasn't kidding, Nats keep Dunn

Mike Rizzo wasn't kidding.

The Nationals general manager told teams early on the same thing he was saying in public -- that he wouldn't move Adam Dunn unless he got a huge return. He asked for the moon, and by all indications he never backed down.

In any case, he didn't trade Dunn before Saturday's 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. Now, unless the Nationals sign Dunn to an extension -- there have been talks, but there's a major difference on the number of years -- Dunn will likely leave as a free agent.

Rizzo has said all along, and said to me again on Friday afternoon, that he would have no problem accepting two draft picks if Dunn leaves. That's somewhat understandable, because Rizzo has a scouting background, and has had great success in the draft, both in Washington and in his previous role as Diamondbacks scouting director.

But as a wise baseball man said, if there's anything less certain than a minor-league prospect, it's a prospect out of the draft.

It's fair to wonder whether Rizzo made the right call. It's impossible to know exactly what he could have gotten in return for Dunn. He kept demanding such a high price, that it's hard to know what teams would have offered had he shown an inclination to compromise.

He said Friday that there would be no compromise, and that if no team met his stated price, he'd be happy to keep Dunn.

Now the deadline has passed, and the Nationals still have Dunn.

Mike Rizzo wasn't kidding.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Dunn may well be dealt, but not for Garza

Teams that have spoken to the Nationals about Adam Dunn believe there's a good chance Dunn will be traded by the end of the week.

They also think that the price Nats GM Mike Rizzo is asking for Dunn right now is ridiculously high. Rizzo has been telling teams that to trade Dunn, he would need to get a young starting pitcher who is either major-league ready or close to it.

How ready? Well, according to a source familiar with the talks, last week the Nationals asked the Rays for Matt Garza.

Obviously, that wasn't happening, even before Garza threw the first no-hitter in Rays history on Monday night against the Tigers.

While there's no way for them to know for sure, rival teams believe that Rizzo plans to move Dunn, who is in the last year of his contract. Because of that, they believe that Rizzo's asking price will eventually drop, and that a deal will get done.

The Rays and White Sox have shown interest in Dunn, but a scout from another American League team said he thinks it would be a mistake for an AL team to trade for him. Dunn has said many times that he has no interest in being a designated hitter, and the scout believes that Dunn wouldn't be happy with an AL team.

The Giants, who have also checked on Dunn, would seem to be a better fit. But Giants GM Brian Sabean has been reluctant to move any of his best pitchers, and it's hard to believe he would include them in a move for a rental player like Dunn.

*****

In other trade talk Tuesday, opposing teams increasingly believe that the Phillies want to move Jayson Werth. The asking price for Werth has been similar to what Washington wants for Dunn: a young starting pitcher. Werth will also be a free agent this winter, and while there's believed to be little chance he'll re-sign with the Phillies, one scout said: "He should never leave that ballpark." . . . Other teams still don't count out the Phillies in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes, even though it's well-known that Oswalt would prefer to be dealt to St. Louis, Atlanta or Texas. The Cardinals have interest, but some people who know Astros owner Drayton McLane don't believe he would send Oswalt to the Cards -- or to the Rangers. And the Braves have not shown interest.
Posted on: June 4, 2009 11:46 pm
 

Dunn: 'He thought it was a strike'

WASHINGTON -- Adam Dunn is right. It's a little much to say that history turned on one strike-three call by Tim Timmons.

But it's also true that if not for that call, Randy Johnson would still have 299 wins -- for now. If not for that call, the fine people of Arizona would be eagerly anticipating Johnson's second try at a 300th win, Tuesday night in the ballpark he once called home.

Here's what happened: Eighth inning Thursday, Giants leading the Nationals, 2-1. Two out, bases loaded, Johnson in line for the win and Giants closer Brian Wilson on the mound facing Dunn, the Nats' cleanup hitter. Ball four means a tie game, and a no-decision for Johnson. Strike three means three outs to go for a 300th win.

The pitch sure looked low. Timmons called it a strike. Dunn appeared to disagree.

"Good pitch," he said later.

Seen a replay?

"Nope," Dunn said. "Don't need to. Good pitch."

Any chance that Timmons' call was influenced by the moment?

"C'mon," Dunn said. "Tim's not going to think that quick. He thought it was a strike. Therefore, it is a strike."

A strike that made history.

"If that goes down in history, then baseball needs a new history," Dunn said. "I'll give you this: If [Johnson] doesn't win another game in his career, I'll say it's historic. But I'm going to say he's going to win another game."

So are we. But we're also going to say Timmons' call -- and Dunn's strikeout -- are now part of 300-win history.
 
 
 
 
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