Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kenny Williams Got It Dunn

Hey, I could write headlines for ESPN with that kind of gold.

Adam Dunn finally got his big boy contract today when Kenny Williams offered up 56 million White Sox bucks over four years. Dunn was looking for a fat cash contract during his free agent adventure two years ago but only managed to get a two-year, $20 million deal from the Nationals after being non-tendered by the Diamondbacks. Oddly enough, he posted a slightly worse season this year but still managed to score the monster deal. I have some theories as to why. They might be obvious and you've probably already read them elsewhere today but I'm lazy and everybody loves lists. Right?

1. Kenny Williams is a free spending lunatic.
He traded for the bloated contract of the already declining Jake Peavy. They're still on the hook for $37 million after they buy out 2013. Then Williams picked up Alex Rios' silly contract which will pay out $51 million over the next four years. And to top it off he's going to pay Juan Pierre $8.5 million next year instead of the box of movie theater nachos he's actually worth. All of that not-his cash just burns a hole in Kenny Williams' pocket.

2. Adam Dunn is a force at the plate.
Dunn has hit 38 or more home runs for seven consecutive seasons. Over those seasons, this was the first time he didn't have an OBP over .360. He slugged under .510 once over that time frame. Sure he's going to strikeout 150+ times per year but he's also going to lead the White Sox in walks every season too.

3. Dunn fills a need.
The White Sox got a pathetic .247/.332/.396 line from their DH spot in 2010 thanks to the likes of Mark Kotsay. Dunn should thrive in US Cellular Field or whatever the hell the White Sox stadium is named now. The south side park is hitter friendly and Dunn should get back to his 40 homers per year after only hitting 38 each of the past two seasons.

4. Dunn is more valuable when not wearing leather.
Defensive metrics are still far from a perfect measuring stick especially at first base. But I watched some Nationals games last year and they would have been better off sticking a glove on a traffic cone and sitting it against first base than playing Dunn there. With Dunn spending most of his time at DH instead of in the field, he won't have to hit 80 home runs to make up for his defensive craptitude.

5. The White Sox had to outbid, um, the A's.
Adam Dunn in his early prime was Billy Bean's wet dream of a player. Dunn is the definition of the three true outcome player. He's either hitting a homer, walking or striking out. He used to be undervalued too. With the Tigers signing Victor Martinez, that left the A's as, seemingly, the main competition for Dunn's services. But the A's were never going to offer a contract anywhere close to what the White Sox offered. Which brings us full circle back to theory number one.

I don't mind the deal because I'm not a White Sox fan and, even if I was, it's not my money. I do plan on watching a lot more White Sox home games though. Dunn is going to blast some homers out of that park. Obviously, I'll have to watch the games on mute because Hawk Harrelson makes me want to throw my TV out of a window.

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