The offseason isn’t quite here yet, though September has the distinct feel of offseason for Chicago Cubs fans given the team’s elimination from playoff contention. For that reason, it’s already time to start talking about the hot stove. Or at least the lukewarm stove.
With an opening at first base this winter, and no clear internal candidate to replace Derrek Lee, the Cubs are expected to be heavily active in the trade and free agent markets. And the top dog at first base in the free agent market? A big ‘ole lumberjack by the name of Adam Dunn.
One name that keeps coming up in scouting circles that won’t go away is Washington’s Adam Dunn who appears to be a perfect fit for what ails the Chicago Cubs.
A long home run on Tuesday, made it seven straight years Dunn has had at least 35 homers. At age 31, the Washington first baseman is completing a two-year, $20 million deal.
Washington, reportedly, has been trying to re-sign Dunn, but the slugger most likely will test the free-agent waters. Dunn has told baseball people close to him that he’s not interested in DHing in the future. That stance may limit his American League options.
Cubs players have no objections to Dunn’s possible addition.
“I got a chance to play with Adam for a year and a half in Cincinnati,” said starter Ryan Dempster. “He’s a great guy and he’s become a better hitter than he used to be. That’s kind of scary considering that he was a pretty good hitter before. He’s hitting for better average, and he’s a good dude. He wants to go somewhere that wants to win. So I guess we’ll see what happens. But it’s nice to know people want to come here and play here.”
The Cubs are [using] two of their top scouts to look at some of the more attractive free agents such as Dunn. According to some industry sources, Dunn is the Cubs’ top priority as far as free agent position players go. ESPN Chicago.
Cubs fans will remember – painfully – that Adam Dunn expressed sincere interest in joining the Cubs in the winter of 2009 before the Cubs opted for Milton Bradley, and Dunn signed a cheaper deal with the Nats. The decision was made more reasonable at the time by the fact that Dunn would have been expected to play right field, rather than first base.
Now that the opening is at first – where Dunn has been adequate defensively this year – the Cubs have little reason not to heavily pursue Dunn. Still, they’ll have to resist the urge to dump a Soriano-esque contract on the slugger, whose paunchy physique does not exactly scream “I will age well.”