Chicago Tribune blogger -- he's a blogger, right? can someone who writes 200 words a day legitimately be called a blogger? -- Steve Rosenbloom's post today is on the topic of Adam Dunn, something that has, with rare circumstance, gotten little attention in the Chicago media in the 2008-09 offseason. Rosenbloom believes the Cubs should have signed Dunn instead of Milton Bradley, and if you can get past the oh-so-cute headline ("Dunn and Dumber"; tip your waitresses, folks), Rosenbloom is actually on to something here:
But just for blogument’s sake, Dunn hits 40 homers a year; Bradley didn’t play even 40 games in the outfield last year. Dunn has driven in at least 100 runs in five of the last six seasons; Bradley has never driven in more than 77 in a season. But here’s the thing: The part of Bradley’s game the Cubs prattle on about favors Dunn, as well, with a career .381 on-base percentage compared to Bradley’s .370. And as far as some of the stuff you’re looking for in the middle of the order, Bradley is eating Dunn’s pine tar -- a .457 slugging percentage compared to Dunn’s .518 and a 118 on-base-plus-slugging percentage compared to 130.
(Note: That last stat isn't actually on-base-plus-slugging, that's on-base-plus-slugging plus, which is adjusted on a leaguewide basis and given an average of 100. In either case, Dunn's 130 is better than Bradley's 118, so Rosenbloom is right in the end.)
Of course, the problem with Dunn in his defense -- he's a horrid defensive player, and always has been, and as he ages he's likely to only get worse. It would be possible to minimize some of that effect by putting him at first base, but the Cubs don't have a spot for him there, so that won't work.
Still, though, the Cubs may have overpaid for Bradley, given the terms of his deal and the rumors that Dunn could be available for as little as $5 million a year. That's astoundingly low for someone of Dunn's caliber, someone who hits for power and gets on base all the time. He's one of the more productive players in the game over the past five years, and that contract doesn't reflect it. That's steal.
So yes, it would be nice if the Cubs at least took a flyer on Dunn this offseason. $5 million, or six, or whatever -- Jim Hendry gave that much money to Jason effing Marquis. Even if it would require some lineup shifts and some platoon situations, bringing Dunn on board could still be a boon, even with Bradley. It's not too late. At least not yet.