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.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.