Posted By Jeff Fletcher on January 12, 2009 8:50 pm
What if there were a left fielder out there who was money in the bank for 40 dingers, but his outfield defense was pretty questionable?
There is, of course. Actually, there are two of them.
One is the Dreadlocked One: Manny Ramirez. I think there has been enough web space and ink devoted to this silly rumor. I firmly believe that the Manny to the Giants thing was nothing more than a trial balloon floated by Scott Boras to get more money out of the Dodgers. So let’s forget about Manny.
How about Adam Dunn?
You scoff, of course, because to you Adam Dunn is some sort of cartoon, a guy who looks like Will Farrell and strikes out a billion times a season and turns routine fly balls into doubles. Forget all that, though.
Over the past five seasons, do you know how many players have had at least four seasons with a slugging percentage over .500 and an on-base percentage over .370? There are only 11 (who are still active, discounting the Giants last left fielder):
That’s pretty good company. Forget about his whiffs and propsensity to hit .240. Ryan Howard does the same thing, but people fall all over themselves to love him. The game is about getting on base, scoring runs and driving them in. Dunn does that.
In years past, Dunn might have cost the Giants big money, but nowadays you can go down to Costco and pick up nice free agents right next to the 40-gallon drums of olive oil. If Pat Burrell is getting $8 mil a year and Jason Giambi is getting $4 mil, I’ll bet Dunn could be had for $12 million. Say, four years, $48 million. Less than Aaron Rowand.
Yes, getting Dunn would cost Fred Lewis his job. Well, Lewis is 28 and coming off major foot surgery. How much better do you think he’s going to get? Here’s a newsflash: We’ve seen what Fred Lewis is. He’s got some speed and some power, a solid fourth outfielder on a good team.
So if the Giants were even considering signing Manny for whatever ransom Scott Boras is asking, there is no reason they shouldn’t also be strongly considering Dunn, who has to be getting more affordable by the day.