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.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.
Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.