I guess you can give Mike Rizzo credit for sticking to his guns.
The Nationals general manager has maintained all along that he’ll have to be blown away to trade Adam Dunn, which means the White Sox won’t get him for a reasonable package of prospects.
I don’t know how comfortable I would be with including Dan Hudson in a deal for Dunn, given that he’d likely be replaced in the White Sox’s rotation by Carlos Torres. And if you consider Dan Hudson a B+/A- prospect, he’s too steep of a price to pay for a half-season of Dunn.
Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs was spot-on when he wrote that B-level prospects plus filler would be what Rizzo should look for in exchange for Dunn. Instead, Rizzo isn’t even looking for A-level prospects.
He’s looking for major-league talent that’s under control for multiple years. For the White Sox, that means Carlos Quentin or Gordon Beckham, as has been previously rumored.
I have to wonder how that conversation went between Rizzo and Kenny Williams. Maybe something like this:
KW: So, Mike, we want Adam Dunn.
Rizzo: Okay. He‘s only under contract through the end of this year and he’s losing interest in signing an extension with us. So…how about Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin?
Rizzo: Hello? Hello? OKAY, HOW ABOUT GAVIN FLOYD?!
I really fail to see where Rizzo is coming from in asking for so much for a rental player, no matter how valuable Dunn’s production would be for a contender. The Nationals are years away from contending, and if/when they do contend, chances are Dunn won’t be a part of that team.
(And if he is, he’ll be the defensive liability who just produces enough offense to not be worthless)
Look, I know the White Sox don’t have a stable of great prospects from which to deal. And Brent Morel, one of the few prospects who might be an attractive target for a team looking to unload a rental player, doesn’t have much value to the Nationals with Ryan Zimmerman cemented at third base.
The Nationals could probably do better than a deal centered around Dayan Viciedo and a few filler prospects, though. They may not be able to do better than a deal centered around Tyler Flowers, though.
Ideally, the White Sox would hang on to Flowers and he could take over for A.J. Pierzynski after the 2010 season. Pierzynski shouldn’t be a starting catcher beyond this year–his offensive decline (.284 wOBA) could be BABIP-related, or it could be the normal offensive decline catchers experience around age 33.
But if Flowers is dealt, the Sox would have to bring in a catcher from out of the organization, either via free agency or a trade. John Buck would be a nice addition, but after him, the 2011 free agent catcher crop is pretty weak.
Williams has shown a willingness to deal from the minors to improve the major-league club before, though, so even if there’s no viable replacement for Pierzynski in place, he still could deal Flowers. That’s not necessarily bad, either, as Flowers is far from a surefire major leaguer.
I guess, though, ultimately I’d like to see the Sox hang on to Flowers. They’re going to have to be patient with the 24-year-old, as if he does assume the starting catcher role in 2011, he’s going to go through some serious growing pains. But he should be a better option than whoever the Sox would pick up off the free agent catcher scrap heap.
So back to Dunn: if the White Sox can sell the Nationals on a package of Viciedo + two C-level prospects, they should make the trade. If the Nationals want Flowers (or Hudson), Williams should shift his attention to lower-level players like Adam LaRoche or Luke Scott, both of whom would cost less in terms of prospects than Dunn but still would be significant improvements over Mark Kotsay/Andruw Jones.
But at this point, it doesn’t look like Rizzo is going to lower his demands from “ludicrous” to “a little more than reasonable” before the deadline.
- Jim offers his take on Dan Hudson’s Monday start and trade availability.
- Matthew Carruth of FanGraphs looks at the seasons of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and J.J. Putz. (h/t: South Side Sox)
- The White Sox are not after Prince Fielder, says Ken Rosenthal. That’s probably a good thing.
- Alex Eisenberg at The Hardball Times looked at the differences in Gordon Beckham’s swing from 2009 to 2010. (h/t: Sox Bronze Titan)
- I was *supposed* to make an appearance on Adam & Jeff’s latest podcast, but some computer issues screwed that all up.
- DOWNLOAD MY TRADE DEADLINE PRIMER!