Adam Dunn took Royals reliever Tim Collins deep in the eighth inning Saturday for his 400th career home run.
He also reclaimed the major league lead with his 35th homer of the year after Josh Hamilton caught him at 34 Wednesday.
Dunn became just the eighth player to hit 400 homers in his first 12 seasons in the majors, joining Albert Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson. He has the 14th most homers through age 32, and he figures to pass both Juan Gonzalez and Willie Mays on that list before the season ends.
Of course, given his low batting average and his lack of defensive value, Dunn has quite a ways to go before he’ll be worthy of any Hall of Fame consideration. Still, his bounce-back season has at least put him back on the map as far as that is concerned. With so many factors working against him, he’ll probably have to get to 600 homers in his career in order to have a shot.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.