It is safe to assume that Dunn has been added to the roster to help fill the power void created by the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Dunn is hitting .220 but has a .340 OBP and 20 home runs. The longest active player without a post season appearance, Dunn may also offer a strong veteran presence to help pull the A’s out of their miserable August slump.
There should be some concern that with Adam Dunn’s 36% strike out rate that the A’s have simply added another liability to their lineup but his potential power, especially in front of Donaldson or Moss, may be enough to change the pitching menu the Athletics lineup are currently dining off of. Where my worry comes from is the fact that Dunn, in August, has been slumping with a wRC+ at 48 for the month. The wRC+ (weighted runs created) stat looks at the runs produced by a player and compares it to the league average (100) to get a more accurate feel for a player’s ability. At 48, Dunn’s wRC+ suggests that he scores 52% fewer runs than the league average. Brandon Moss has an August wRC+ of 80 and Josh Donaldson is sitting at 165 for the month.
Adam Dunn’s monthly wRC+’s: March/April: 155 May: 104 June: 129 July: 118 August: 48
— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) August 31, 2014
As much as Beane likes to say he’s only trading to win the division, today’s trade is a clear grab for the post season. Players added to the roster after September 1st are not eligible to play in the post season so the only reason to make this trade on this particular day is to insure that Dunn is in green and gold in October. The very smart and nice smelling Jason Burke predicted this trade last week. He notes, in an article you should read right after this one, that Dunn would be best suited in the DH role against righties as a compliment to Gomes against lefties. According to Mike DiGiovanna, it would be possible to have Dunn in this afternoon’s 12:30 game in Anaheim, at least to pinch hit late in the game, but we would definitely see him in the upcoming Seattle series.
*UPDATE* Susan Slusser reports that Dunn will join the team in Oakland on Monday.
Adam Dunn has four weeks to prove his worth here in Oakland but with a rumored retirement after this season, it will be his last chance at a ring and that may be just enough to ignite his bat and help the A’s go all the way. As always, Susan Slusser seems to sum it up best with this tweet:
@NTQ03 not a clue and am a little surprised by it. He’s not their kind of guy and would seem a little maybe desperate.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 31, 2014
Special thanks to Jennifer Trumpp for her help with this article.