Dunn “had offer from Nats”

From John Heyman of SI.com

The market has been mostly quiet for free agent slugger Adam Dunn, but a baseball source said Dunn did receive a contract offer from the Nationals, who badly want a power hitter. The Nats targeted Dunn after making a spirited free-agent run at Mark Teixeira, who signed with the Yankees. But so far, Dunn hasn’t seemed eager to sign with Washington.

Dunn could still wind up in Washington, but the Nationals’ offer has sat there so long he’s sent a clear message he’d prefer to go elsewhere. One other possibility for Dunn could be the Dodgers if they aren’t able to work out a contract with Manny Ramirez, who is by far their first choice to enhance their offense.

One quibble I have with Heyman as he writes later…

Dunn was hoping to hit the jackpot in the free-agent market, and one baseball executive said he believes former Dunn teammate Brandon Phillips‘ contention that Dunn was hoping for a $100 million contract.

I thought Bronson Arroyo made the comment after Dunn was traded and not Brandon? Am I wrong?

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Gammons: Dunn “Most Intriguing Free Agent”

In the latest issue of Baseball America, writer Peter Gammons lists Adam Dunn as his fourth “most intriguing free agent”:

He is spending the winter at Athletes Performance Institute trying to get into the best shape of his career.  The Diamondbacks liked him; they’re just not willing to spend the money.  But they felt his on-base percentage and power and enjoyment of the pennant race were good.  Dunn wants to play for a contender, so Washington may be out.

So apparently Dunn does have enthusiasm for the game.

Gammons mentioned Washington because earlier rumors said that Leatherpants was interested in adding one more former Red to his team in the nation’s capital.

I really wish the best for Dunn since he is a product of the Reds’ farm system and hope he can contribute to a team in contention.  It won’t be easy for me to see him in another uniform left to wonder “what could have been” if certain people hadn’t run him out of town.

It is hard to imagine that he is a worse player option for the Reds at this point given that a potential outfield of Dickerson, Freel, and Bruce are what is projected for 2009.

The other free agents mentioned in Gammons’ article were Furcal, Lowe, Ibanez, and Milton Bradley.

Blame Adam Dunn

I am shocked-SHOCKED-that there haven’t been any “I told you so” articles written or comments made by the Cincinnati Media when the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to make the post-season, losing the NL West to the L.A. Dodgers.

Unless I haven’t been paying attention, there haven’t been any of these types of comments being made….yet.

It will be interesting when the season officially ends and the free agent signing period beings this winter to see how much interest Adam generates and if there will be any outrage from the CM on a future deal for the former Reds slugger.

Things I Learned On Friday

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to attend another Reds game, my second of the season, by getting a free ticket, free ride, and some free food to boot.  This was the only way I would go to another game after the abomination this season has been.

Edinson Volquez is tired.  He didn’t look right from the first pitch to the very last he threw.  Maybe it is different seeing a pitcher for the first time in person rather than on TV but he didn’t look right.  He still had incredible velocity but seemed to almost immediately wear down after throwing a lot of pitches early.  What he needs to learn now is how to be more efficient.  He still has a huge upside and could easily replace Harang in the future as the number one starter.

Adam Dunn has been essentially erased by the Reds.  By that I mean he has had his picture replaced on the official scorecard sold on the GABP concourses.  I don’t know if this is normal, but I do remember Brandon Phillips being on all the scorecard covers that I bought last year.  Perhaps they just cycle the covers for different games or series.  I didn’t see if they changed the banner on the front facade honoring Griffey’s 600 home runs since I entered from the outfield side, but inside the stadium the mark on the outfield wall is still there and the home run counter in center has been replaced by “Good Luck Griffey”.

Corey Patterson is not upsetting any of the Reds fan base.  At least at Friday night’s game.  Perhaps fans are too beaten down to realize how horrible he is or something.  I don’t know.   But only hearing one or three people boo him (including myself) scares me a bit.  Dusty Baker insists on Corey getting to play in every game.  The bumper sticker “If you’re not outraged, you haven’t been paying attention” applies to this situation.

Barry Zito is a joke.  The worst contract that I can think of outside of the Reds organization.  No velocity, no movement.  Perhaps the Pirates would be interested in taking on Zito much like they did for Matt Morris.

Cincinnati residents really love their fireworks.  I haven’t a clue as to why.

Sunday Deep Thoughts

Just to wrap-up the week that was in Reds baseball.

Chris Dickerson is looking really good, but I don’t expect it to last and neither does Red Leg Nation.  Sometimes athleticism can be viewed as baseball skills and that seems to be the case with Dickerson.  He may have a hot start, but is he or any of the guys on the DL (Freel, Hopper) really the long-term answer?

Adam Done It is definitely sad to see Dunn go to Arizona.  The same people who ran him out of town are being a bit revisionist and now questioning how the Reds will score runs.  Small ball only works in a few instances (bunting over a man late in the game; ie high leverage situations).  So if other teams in the Reds’ division have a power threat (Lance Berkman, Derrick Lee, Prince Fielder et al.) how are the Reds going to match their power when no power threat exists?

Aaron Harang Should be shut down for the rest of the season.  He obviously did not recover from the 18 inning debacle in San Diego when he was forced to pitch in relief and then return on three-days rest.  There is a high potential that he could get severely injured and this wouldn’t bode well in Jocketty’s master plan of being “one or two players away” for 2009.  This is perfect cover for the Reds to bring Homer Bailey back to pitch through the end of the season. Something they should have done instead of pitching Fogg.

I also recommend that they limit Volquez as much as possible down the streach.  He pitched very well Sunday versus the Cardinals, but let him rest.  Remember, he is in his first full major league season and he also pitched winter ball.

Meaningful September Baseball For the Louisville Bats.  Going into Sunday’s game with the Columbus Clippers, the Bats are 13 games ahead of the second place team in the International League West division, which (in all likely hood) secures them a spot in the playoffs.  The Bats will have at least two games at home with a maximum of five if they go on to win.  If local news coverage was any indication, you would never know this to be the case.  Ticket packages are now available on their website.

I’m a little selfish  in not wanting mass September call-ups to happen so that the Bats can have a run to the championship.

Speaking of the Bats Beat writer CL Brown has been promoted to head beat writer for the University of Louisville at the Courier Journal.  Brown covered the Bats until former beat writer Brian Bennett was hired by ESPN.com to write for their Big East Blog.  If you remember, Bennett was the blogger/writer who did a live blog of the University of Louisville baseball team during the 2007 Super Regional game and was asked to leave the pressbox by an NCAA official.

Dunn for Manny?

Shysterball has an interesting take:

If I’m Theo, I call up Jocketty right now and offer a straight-up Manny for Dunner deal. Manny is pro-rata $20M for the rest of the year with club options the Reds can decline. Dunn is $13M pro-rata, with a $500K buyout. If the money is an issue for the Reds, I’m sure Boston would throw a little their way to get the deal done. Dunn would have to approve — he can list ten clubs to which he would accept a trade — but I would sincerely hope he would approve a deal to the Red Sox for the chance at a ring, even if his long term future is with the Rangers or something.

An intriguing scenario, however, I still say that the Reds need to re-sign Dunn.  His .941 OPS ranks ninth in the NL and he is currently OPS+ of 141, exactly where he finished his 2005 season and five points below his 2004 season.

The Least Exciting Comeback Victory Ever

I really don’t know any other way to describe last nights 3-2 victory over the Padres.

Despite Adam Dunn’s monster shot off all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman in a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth, there wasn’t much emotion and that is sad. You would think that in a night where both starting pitchers were really good (or the hitting was really bad) that such a dramatic turn of events would get me off of my couch well past midnight and in a celebratory mood. Even a win that ended a 4 game road losing streak on the dreaded west coast would prove to be a cause for happiness. That was not the case at all.

Was it the expectation that the insufferable bullpen would find a way to lose in a 2-2 tie? Was it due to the most illogical 29 minute rain delay ever? Was it due to that little voice in the back of my head saying, “You’re tired. Go to bed. You’ll find out how they blew it in the morning.”? Perhaps it is routine outs at the top of the batting order and constant base running blunders that will cause any fan to question their dedication.

Even Marty Brennaman, with his signature line after a Reds victory and a Francisco Cordero strikeout to end the Padres threat in the ninth, did not send me to a state of euphoria.

Its not as if there weren’t a lot of things to be excited about. Edison Volquez continues to be filthy on the mound by striking out 12 in a no-decision, a career high for the first year Red. His breaking ball and change-up made the Padres’ bats look silly. Volquez blew his fastball right past the San Diego hitters, topping out at 96. Dunn’s ninth inning home run was the first earned run given up by closer Trevor Hoffman since April 23.

Yeah, this was a strange game indeed.