Ken Rosenthal reports thatAdam Dunn is considering retirement. He calls this season “a big letdown” and does not have any compunction about walking away from the money guaranteed on his deal — $15 million for 2014 — and doesn’t matter if he falls short of 500 homers, which is two seasons or so away for him.
I’d chalk this up to frustration. And his comments later in the article suggest that after he washes off the stink of this year he’ll be back come spring. But it’s definitely been a downer of a year. If you forget about his inexplicably nightmarish 2011 season for a moment, 2013 is his worst season as a major leaguer and it doesn’t help that the Sox are out of contention.
He still has the homers — 30 so far this year — but he’s now had three straight years in which his OBP is below career norms. He’s still useful, even if overpaid, but he’s several years removed from being truly valuable.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”