Adam Dunn: Numbers don’t matter to meContinue reading.
White Sox trade Adam Dunn to Athletics
In the end, Adam Dunn will get what he hoped for when he signed the ballyhooed four-year, $56 million contract with the White Sox in 2011 — the chance to play in the post season.
It will be with the Oakland Athletics, who acquired the left-handed slugger Sunday on the final day players are eligible for post-season rosters.
And it will be the final chapter of his 14-year career.
Dunn had hinted in recent days that this season would be his last, and he confirmed it Sunday as he spoke about the trade.
“This is probably going to be it,” he said as his former teammates faced the Detroit Tigers. “I’ve played a long time and haven’t had this opportunity, so I’m going to try to make the most of it.
“I think you know when it’s time,” he added of his decision not changing. “I feel like now is as good a time as any.”
Dunn’s 2014 stats: .220, 20 home runs, 54 RBI, 65 walks in 106 games.
Dunn ranks 36th all-time with 460 home runs and 42nd all time in walks with 1,311 over 14 seasons.
Dunn waived his no-trade clause to assure the deal, saying “it feels literally like opening day” is Monday when he’ll join the slumping A’s, who have fallen behind the California Angels of Anaheim in the American League West.
The Sox had hoped Dunn would be part of their own championship formula when they signed the productive free agent first baseman/designated hitter in 2011 to a four-year, $56 million contract.
“I think we’re both disappointed we didn’t accomplish on the field what we hoped for that day four years ago,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
The deal is reminiscent of the late August, 2009 trade of Jim Thome to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team heading to the playoffs and what Thome thought might be his last chance for another World Series.
The Thome deal brought in return a minor league infielder whose career got to Class AAA Charlotte and ended at Class AA Birmingham.
This time, the Sox acquire right-handed pitcher Nolan Sanburn, 23, ranked the No. 10 prospect in the A’s system and someone Hahn said is “a young power arm with some good pitch-ability and good secondary pitches.”
But the deal is as much about clearing the last of Dunn’s owed salary (the Sox will pay about half of his remaining $2.5 million) and providing playing time in September for prospects like Andy Wilkins, who was recalled Sunday and started against the Tigers.
Hahn acknowledged the deal is similar to the trades of Gordon Beckham to the Angels and Alejandro De Aza on Saturday to the contending Baltimore Orioles.
“It not only frees up a little bit of cash going forward but also provides an opportunity for some of our younger players to get September at bats, and a chance to evaluate them at the big league level,” he said.
For the Sox, Dunn never was the player he was with Cincinnati and Washington, though his 20 home runs so far will rank third on the A’s.
“I blame myself,” he said of his 106 homers, 278 RBI, 321 walks — and 720 strikeouts — with the Sox. “But I met a lot of great people here and I wish I could have done better.”
His teammates feel he never let the Sox down.
“People on the outside can think what they want, but for me it’s simple,” Sox captain Paul Konerko said. “He showed up to play every day.
“This game is tough. It’s tough to hit. You can hash it all day long, but for me, with so many guys saying this or that or not toeing the line, he showed up every day. Except for the time when he had his appendix taken out [his first week with the Sox], he didn’t miss games. From a teammate standpoint, that’s what we care about and most guys care about. That’s what we feel.
“I don’t care if he strikes out four times. We all do. We all have bad games. It’s not an easy game. But the fact he never backed down and played, really at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
“And it wasn’t all bad,” he said of Dunn’s tenure, which included his All Star selection in 2012. “His first year wasn’t good, but look at his whole time here and he did what he was supposed to do. We look at it differently [as players]. You look for guys who show up and don’t back down from the fight.”
Hahn said he and Dunn talked about their disappointment in not reaching the baseball goals they envisioned four years ago.
“But from the clubhouse standpoint, he was outstanding,” he said. “He had the most difficult year of his career his first year here and there were high expectations that went along with it. He certainly heard about it [from fans] and put pressure on himself because of that.
“But he carried himself with class throughout the entire time he was here. He was a great asset in the clubhouse and to the entire team while he was here. He was a tremendous fit.”