Rumors have been circulating Cardinal Nation for days now, that Dunn could potentially became a Redbird by the trade deadline on July the 31st.
ESPN points out that at the age of 25, Dunn is already one of the game's top sluggers, and makes only $4.6 million this year. With Dunn eligible for arbitration, his salary is likely at least to double for 2006. If the Reds aren't interested in signing him long term, they might be better off trading him. Since they are in last place in the NL Central, there's a good chance their payroll will drop from this year's team record $61.8 million. That would mean someone making big money – Dunn, Sean Casey, Ken Griffey Jr. or Eric Milton – may have to be traded to balance the budget and among this group, Dunn is the most attractive player of the bunch.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a published report said the Astros have been working on a deal to acquire Dunn for prospects Ezequiel Astacio, Taylor Buchholz and Fernando Nieve. But Houston GM Tim Purpura said the rumored trade was a "media fabrication."
It would seem highly unlikely to me that the Astros being 12 1/2 games back of St. Louis in the Central Division race and a long shot for even the NL Wild Card, would entertain any deal that would involve Adam Dunn and his contract.
The Cincinnati Reds have had scouts in Memphis recently looking at pitching prospects Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes in anticipation of a potential deal with St. Louis that could involve Adam Dunn.
While it is highly unlikely that the Cardinals will part with their Top Prospect, Anthony Reyes, it is possible in my opinion that a deal could be made with Reds to bring Dunn to St. Louis.
Dunn has been referred to in Cincinnati as "The Franchise" and for good reason. Last season in spite of setting a new major league record for striking out with 195 K's, Dunn managed to hit 46 home runs and 34 doubles. His .266 batting average in 2004 was a 51 point rise over his .215 average in 2003.
Despite his 195 K's, Dunn does have decent strike zone management in that he managed to walked 108 times in 04.
To the casual fan these stats may come as a surprised. Last season Dunn ranked third in the major leagues in the number of pitches seen (2,888) and most pitches seen per plate appearance (4.24), and of course while the Reds or the Cardinals would like to see him at least limit his strikeouts somewhat, clearly Dunn is one of the best sluggers/players in the game, in spite of all his strike outs.
More than just a Dave Kingman type slugger, last season Dunn led the Reds, in runs scored (105), total bases (323), RBI (102), walks (108), intentional walks (11), times on base (264), plate appearances (681), games played (161), slugging percentage (.568), on base percentage (.388) and cleanup slugging percentage (.563).
The most significant Adam Dunn stat that could make the difference for the St. Louis Cardinals in the post season in 2005, is his clutch hitting stat. Last season in the clutch, clutch being defined "as a players batting average in the late innings of close games defined as the seventh inning or latter with the batting team ahead by one run, tied or with the tying run on base, at bat or on deck", Dunn hit .313 in 80 at bats in clutch situations.
Dunn this season is hitting .245, and has already hit 22 home runs and 17 doubles going into the All Star Break, and you put him in a lineup surrounded by the likes of Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Larry Walker and the sky could be the limit for this young slugger if he played in St. Louis.
Going into yesterday's game Dunn ranked among the National League leaders in home runs (21), walks (58), runs scored (56), slugging percentage (.560) and extra-base hits (40)...has hit safely in 9 of his last 12g (11-40, .275, 3hr, 7rbi), including a current 3-game hitting streak (3-11, .273, 1hr, 2rbi) and would make a welcome addition to the often injured and aging outfield in St. Louis.
If you missed the monster blasts of Mark McGwire, the 6'6" 240 pound Paul Bunyan - like, Adam Dunn could help ease your pain. The former football star last season hit a 535 foot bomb in McGwire type fashion, off of Jose Lima to dead center, that flew out of Great American Ballpark, eventually landing on a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River and ended up somewhere in Kentucky.
Dunn is entering into his prime and is expected to continue to improve in all the facets of his game and he could be one of the most prolific power hitters for years to come.
The Cardinals could afford to part with one of their top five minor league prospects and a couple of other mid-tier minor league players to get this deal done by the trade deadline.
Cardinals' General Manager and Vice President, Walt Jocketty has a history of making the right deals at the right time and the time may be right for another one of his creative deals that could make the difference in the post season.
A word of advice to Cardinals' General Manager Walt Jocketty, in reference to a potential deal for Cincinatti's Adam Dunn, "Giter Dunn".