Could Adam Dunn end up on the north side playing 1st base for the Cubs at Wrigley Field? One Cubs player – starter Carlos Zambrano – clearly thinks that it could happen. Zambrano had this to say about the Cubs going after Dunn this off-season: “I want that guy. He wants to play for us, not only this year but two years ago. He told me he wants to play at Wrigley Field badly.”
Dunn had another good year for the lowly Nationals in 2010. Dunn hit 38 home runs with 103 RBI’s, while racking up 145 hits in 558 at-bats. He had an outstanding .356 on-base percentage despite striking out 199 times and walking only 77 times. To put it in perspective, in 2010, Aramis Ramirez led the Cubs with 25 HR’s and 83 RBI’s on one of the worst offense in baseball.
Dunn had 2 productive seasons with the Nationals (in 2009, he had a .367 batting average with a .398 on-base percentage; 38 HR’s, 105 RBI’s, 116 walks and 177 strikeouts), but will once again be a free agent this off-season. He turns 31 in November, so you worry about age a little bit, but his drop off from 2009 to 2010 was more in the number of walks/strikeouts and not his offensive output. With the departure of Derrek Lee, Dunn would be a solid addition to the Cubs both defensively and offensively. When Dunn was a free agent back at the start of 2009, the Cubs had long-term deals with Lee at 1st base and Alfonso Soriano in left field and Kosuke Fukudome in right field, so there really wasn’t a position for Dunn with the Cubs. Things have changed since then. Lee is no longer with the ball club. And while there has been some discussion that the Cubs could move Tyler Colvin to 1st base to play everyday, Dunn would make a much better defensive option than Colvin. If the Cubs did bring in Dunn, then they would have to find a position for Tyler Colvin to play everyday. That means finding a team to take on the final year of Fukudome’s contract worth about $12 million. The Cubs would certainly be willing to eat a portion of that in order to make a deal happen. If they could somehow move Fukudome in the off-season and make a play for Dunn, that would be a significant lineup upgrade for the Cubs. You would have 2 lefties in there on a daily basis (Dunn and Colvin) and that would provide great protection for the likes of Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano in the middle of the lineup. I guess it is a bit of a pipe dream, but you have to consider these types of moves if you want to make a bigger splash during the regular season in the National League in 2011.