Adam Dunn is hitting .173 with 100 strikeouts in 67 games, including a ridiculous 1-for-53 mark against lefties, but White Sox general manager Ken Williams said yesterday that he’d sign the struggling slugger to a four-year, $56 million deal again.
“I would make the same move tomorrow,” Williams told Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, adding:
If you look at his timeline since he’s been in the big leagues, it’s a pretty damn good body of work. What he’s going through now, when it is said and done, will be a little blip on that line. I told him I do not regret the decision in any way, shape or form. I believe we needed him, I believed it when we got him and I still believe he will play the major part we thought he was going to. It just hasn’t turned out to this point.
Williams is absolutely right that Dunn’s track record is both excellent and consistent, with an OPS above .800 in each of his first 10 seasons before falling apart this year. On the other hand, when a player has been awful through about 12.5 percent of a $56 million contract it seems sort of disingenuous so suggest you’d gladly do the deal over again.
Of course, perhaps Williams is really saying that, if they did the contract over again and played the first half over again Dunn probably wouldn’t hit .173. And he’s right. Odds are Dunn will come around and give the White Sox plenty of value for the remaining 3.5 seasons of the deal, but so far they’ve paid about $7 million for 67 games of arguably the worst player in baseball.
Yasiel Puig made a public appearance today. He was a guest barista at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Angeles as part of a charity . . . thing. I dunno. I just hope that, after finishing the foam on someone’s latte he airmailed it past his fellow barista at the counter and got it to the customer on the fly 300 feet away, after which he flipped the espresso machine. Gotta stay on-brand.
After that he talked about baseball. Puig, who was demoted last season and then brought back up in a part-time role, said that it’s his goal to be a starter again, if not in Los Angeles than someplace else. As for the someplace else, the Dodgers explored a Puig trade last season and it was thought they’d try again this offseason, but it’s been all quiet on that front.
What is Puig, for his part, doing to become a starter again? Getting in shape. From MLB.com:
Puig has been working out at Dodger Stadium the last two weeks. He is conditioning his leaner body to avoid injuries that have plagued him and working with batting coaches in search of regaining the impact bat that once had him on the verge of superstardom . . . The 6-foot-2 Puig, who last year was listed at 240 pounds, now has a personal chef to prepare healthier foods.
A leaner Puig. That’ll certainly be a game-changer, right?
Yet as a new season dawns, the team still hopes he can recapture the form he displayed as a rookie in 2013. The organization asked Puig to slim down and focus on durability rather than musculature. Friedman sounded pleased with the result. Puig had suggested he weighed about 240 pounds, down 15 from his listed weight in 2015.
Oops. That was from January 30, 2016.
If he keeps getting leaner each offseason eventually he’ll just disappear, right?
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.