There’s been a lot of talk in recent days regarding the Cubs and Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn. Dunn’s two-year deal with the Nats will expire after this season, and it’s likely that the two sides will part ways this winter.
Dunn was a candidate for the Cubs’ spot in right field last time he was a free agent. We all know how well that worked out, with the Cubs choosing Milton Bradley over both Dunn and Raul Ibanez. However, it’s a little bit different this time.
The main concern with Dunn was his defense, essentially taking away a chance of signing with the Cubs, when they already have a stone glove in left field with Alfonso Soriano. Dunn has made the transition to first base, a position the Cubs now find vacant with the trade of Gold Glover Derrek Lee.
For the Cubs, throwing away a season and rebuilding is not an option. They’ll have to do their rebuilding on the fly. There are some that say the Cubs need to grow their talent rather than buying their talent like they’ve done so much in recent years. While I do agree that it is completely necessary for teams to grow their own talent (See: Minnesota Twins), Jim
Hendry is going to have to spend some money. He’s already said there will be a few significant moves made. No doubt, these moves will be to save his job, similar to Jerry Angelo with the Bears.
The power numbers of Adam Dunn speak for themselves. The slugger has hit 40 dingers in every season since 2004, with the exception of 2009, in which he “only” hit 38. He’s on pace to do that again this season, with 32 thus far. A move to Wrigley could be a scary thing for opposing pitchers.
Tyler Colvin is not the longterm answer at first base, but appears to be the longterm answer in right field. Unless the Cubs plan on using Micah Hoffpauir at first, which would obviously not solve anything, Dunn appears to be the man for the job. He won’t bring the defense that Lee had, but he’ll bring a presence to the left side of the plate that the Cubs have lacked in recent years.
Dunn has made no secret of his love for Wrigley Field, either. Dunn told the Sun Times of Wrigley, ”I’ve always really enjoyed playing there. The atmosphere is great there for any player. The fans are always hard on the other team, which makes it fun.”
Whether or not Hendry is able to move any of his big contracts (a.k.a. Soriano) shouldn’t impact a signing of Dunn. He won’t command Albert Pujols-type money, but he’s still going to cost a pretty penny. However, signing Dunn could end up being one of the best signings of Hendry’s tenure as general manager.
A signing of Adam Dunn would transform the lineup. Yes, there a lot of strikeouts, but that comes with the territory when you bring in a guy like Dunn. At Wrigley, he could blast 50 homers. He could completely change the face of the lineup. Planting Adam Dunn in the middle of the lineup, with Aramis Ramirez for a full season, makes the Cubs an offensive threat again. Not only is a Dunn signing necessary, it could be vital.