Thursday, July 07, 2005

I made a long post about the Adam Dunn rumors, and Blogger decided to screw me yet again. Here's the gist of it:

Adam Dunn is a very, very valuable property, just had a 956 OPS, 108 walks, and 46 HR's last year AT AGE 24, and his most similar player (according to baseball-reference) is Reggie Jackson. I also think that based on his stated desire to play in Houston we should be able to sign him to a long-term deal. A team built around Berkman / Oswalt / Dunn / Lidge / Ensberg and filled in with cheap, young, role players could be an excellent one.

Who should we be willing to trade? Well, in order of guys I'd least like to trade:

1) Ezequiel Astacio - his trade value is quite low right now, and hidden behind his ugly ERA so far in the majors is an excellent BB / K ratio. Plenty of pitchers struggle in their first exposure to the big league.
2) Fernando Nieve - He's young, and has excellent minor league numbers.
3) Chris Burke - I don't think this is a great fit with the Reds, but I wouldn't mind trading Burke to get Dunn if that's what it takes. Burke is still not hitting much and there is simply no space for him to play here. He is not a left fielder.
4) Jason Lane - I was a big Jason Lane fan coming into the year, but we're 83 games in and he still is'nt drawing walks and has a sub-.300 OBP. Good power, but not Dunn-like. Oh, and he's 29 years old. Not a youngster.
5) Taylor Bucholz - his 6-0 record at AAA is misleading - his rate stats are ugly.

So I guess my ideal trade would be Burke, Lane, and Bucholz for Dunn. Keep Dunn in LF (where he's been above-average for his career), move Berkman to RF (where he's also been above-average), and find a 1B (Self, Lamb, trade for Aubrey Huff, Ryan Howard, etc.).

My main point is that as good as Dunn is, we shouldn't trade ALL our pitching prospects to get him. Just most of them, if we have to, because 25 year-olds with the potential to put up 8 years of 1000-OPS seasons in a row are fairly rare.

7 comments:

Bailey said...

Do we really want to trade for Dunn?

First, we have a real shot at him when he goes into Free Agency, since he has said that he has interest in coming back to Houston.

Also, since we are not looking at a playoff run in 2005, shouldn't we keep our propects and not trade them away?

Scott Barzilla said...

Jack,

Good work on the numbers by the way. I think Dunn represents the best blockbuster move we could make. We could also tweak the bullpen some if we don't want to surrender our top notch free agents.

Don't look now Bailey, but we're five games out of the wild card and have only two teams in front of us.

Bailey said...

Scott,

I know that are 5 games out of the Wild Card, and that we are better than we were at the break in 2004. But I really feel that last year we were an underperforming team, and this year, we are a .500 team.

Our minor league system is one of the worst in the majors, and we are looking at some SERIOUS contract problems in the next few years with deferred money (Bagwell, Kent, Clemens, Pettitte, etc). Even if we somehow made the playoffs, I just don't see us in the same class as the Cardinals and the top teams in the AL.

I think that we should try to drop some salary, not add it. And we should try to go younger. And rookies who are 26-29 don't count.

Scott Barzilla said...

Bailey,

I'm sort of with you on that concept. I mention Dunn specifically because he would be a part of our future core and he is still relatively young. I definitely think we need to be selective in who we add in regards to their contract status because rentals would be extremely damaging at this point. Yet, I just don't think you'll get much support for dumping right now.

Bailey said...

You are never really going to get support for dumping, even when it is the right path.

I'm not sure if Dunn is the kinda player that we want to build a core around. He is dogshit with the glove, strikes out WAY to much, and hasn't had a sack fly in 1,000 at bats.

That being said, if we could get him at a reasonable price in Free Agency, then I would be interested. But I do not think that we should look to deal our prospects for him.

Also, how many people are talking about this just because he is a local talent. It is sad, but many Houston fans are only interested in players with a local link, or players they see all the time in the NL Central. I heard a lot of talk about picking up Steve Klein in the offseason. Would people even know who he was if he played in the AL Central.
Hell, how many people knew how good (Or who) Beltran was before he got here?

I think we missed the boat on Brian Giles 2 years ago, and Scott Podsednik this offseason.

I think we don't make a move this season, and hope to dump some salary in the offseason, and pick up some young talent. And we really need to hope that Bagwell doesn't come back, or we owe him 19 million.

We are not the Yankees, and can't expect to make a big move every year. We need to give the minor league system some time to develop, because over the past few years we have either called up or traded away all the talent.
The best we have now is Luke Scott, and that isn't saying much.

Scott Barzilla said...

Bailey,

I can't speak for everyone else, but Dunn is strong in the categories I look at the most (OBP and SLG), so yeah, I would know who he is and would be interested. The local thing is simply leverage to re-sign him.

Fortunately, we don't have to make many deals to pare payroll this offseason. Even if Clemens comes back he will likely come back for less if you convince him you will use part of his salary to sign more players. Currently, Brad Ausmus, Craig Biggio, Clemens, Palmeiro, and Vizcaino are free agents. Out of those guys, I only would want Clemens and possibly Biggio back.

That leaves Pettitte as the only 30s veteran under contract for big money besides Bagwell.

Like you said, the key is Bagwell, but if you can get Clemens to take a paycut you could afford to bring in someone like Ramon Hernandez at catcher and perhaps a middle of the road corner outfielder if Bagwell can't play again.

Bailey said...

Scott,

I wasn't saying that you didn't know who Dunn was. I was just pointing out that most Astros fans seem to have a small view of baseball, as opposed to Cardinal or Red Sox fans.

As for Clemens, there is NO WAY he is going to take less money next year, even if you tell him it is for better players, his mom or Kobe.

Clemens is an amazing pitcher, and doing great things at his age, but he has always been about the money. People talk about his huge hometown discount in 2004. He was a 40 year old pitcher making close to 7 million. When we signed him, we had no idea he was going to have a Cy Young year, so 7 mil wasn't exactly a huge bargin. Looking back, it was.

If he cared about winning, he wouldn't have tried to bend us over for 20 million this last offseason, knowing that we were making a run at Beltran.

If he keeps this up this season, he'll ask for 30 million for next season.

You are right that we have many guys who are going to be gone at the end of the year. I just worry that Drayton is going to tighten up the strings, and not replace those players with free agents, but rather bring up our weak AAA players.

I would be alright with bringing Biggio back, but only if he could be a back-up. But that is a WHOLE other topic.