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Let’s Rid Ourselves of Adam Dunn Thoughts for Now, Shall We?

August 5, 2010

Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, players can only be dealt to other teams through the waiver wires.  It is fairly common for teams to place their players on waivers if only to gauge potential interest in the following offseason, or to see if another organization is willing to pick up a player of theirs that is vastly overpriced (this is how the Chicago White Sox nabbed outfielder Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, for example).  There are a number of rules and restrictions, listed below (courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors):

  • Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
  • Players acquired after August 31st can’t play in the postseason.
  • Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don’t have to give up every player who’s claimed.
  • Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August (or even September).
  • Teams don’t have to trade players who are claimed. They can hand the player and his salary over for nothing.
  • If a team places a player on waivers after he is claimed, but not traded, the team loses the right to pull its player back. In other words, the waivers are revocable at first, but not revocable afterwards.
  • Clubs have two days to deal claimed players, but they can only negotiate a trade with one team.
  • If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
  • If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.
  • If a player’s only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the team with the worst record.
  • Teams cannot pass players on the disabled list through waivers.

A team like the Giants, who are in a position to make a run for the postseason, must make a trade before the end of the month if they wish to include that player on their postseason roster.  So they’ve got about a month to work something out with another organization.  Now take a look at the third bullet point from the bottom: if more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.  This makes things infinitely difficult for the Giants- if they wished to acquire a player from an American League team, the player would have to be left unclaimed by all American League teams and by all National League teams with a worse record.  Now, why does this make things more difficult for the Giants than other teams?  Well, let’s take a look at the NL records:

The Giants currently own the second best record in the National League, only behind their division rival San Diego Padres.  If the Giants want to acquire a difference-maker, they’ll have to hope that he passes through fourteen other teams.  Any and all other playoff hopefuls can and will block the Giants from getting that bat we’ve been wanting for so long.  And this is why I don’t believe the Giants will acquire Adam Dunn from the Washington Nationals.

Despite being eight games out of the division lead, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been acquiring players like crazy- working as buyers rather than sellers.  They could claim Dunn in an attempt to actually acquire him, or they could claim him and then fail to work out a deal in order to prevent him from falling further.  The Colorado Rockies are in the same position.  Philadelphia?  They could very well be interested in acquiring him as well, if only to prevent Atlanta from getting him (and the Braves could stand for an offensive upgrade at either first base or left field) or to boost their production in left field.  That’s four teams that could stand to benefit from Dunn, all of whom are before the Giants.  And all it takes is one team to claim him.

Even if Dunn were to fall to the Giants, I find it hard to believe they’d be able to work out a deal for him.  Brian Sabean found the Nationals’ price for Dunn prohibitive before the deadline- Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner- and there’s no reason to believe things will have changed since then.  I just can’t see this working out right now.  It seems like the Giants’ chance to acquire a bat to bolster the lineup has indeed passed, at least in the form of Adam Dunn.  I imagine other hitters of similar (or slightly lesser) quality will almost be impossible to acquire as well.

To be honest though, I’d love to be wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than to see the Giants pull off a late-season deal for another bat- but the odds are clearly not in their favor.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 4:12 PM

    I had the same thought as well.

    I did some rough calculations and found that if the price is still Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner there is essentailly no benefit to the team in the short run and most likely a very big drop off in the following years.

    The big cost is that there is no pitcher waiting to replace the production of Sanchez or Bumgarner. We would essentailly replace them with a replacement level guy which costs the team between .5 and 1 win right there over the last 2 months.

    In addition I would imagine that the person who would loose out on playing time would be Travis Ishikawa and Pat Burrell, while Dunn is worth more then both it is only about .75 wins the rest of the way.

    I don’t see the nationals lower the price all that much all of a sudden. So even if things do fall I don’t think it is worth while in the short run or long run.

    • triplesalley permalink*
      August 6, 2010 4:45 PM

      I completely agree. The only real added benefit of Dunn is perhaps a marginal upgrade, especially at this point in the season- and two draft picks, if/when he signs elsewhere. I honestly cannot see the Giants wanting to retain him on a multi-year contract, as they highly value defense at first base and…well, we all know just how “efficient” he is. And he would considerably weaken our pitching staff, which we need if we wish to have postseason success.

      Also, one thing I forgot to mention in the article is that either Bumgarner or Sanchez would have to clear waivers to go to Washington as well. Given the current standings, that seems rather plausible- but a team like the Pirates would certainly love to have Bumgarner, and I could see the Diamondbacks or the Cubs putting in a claim on either.

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