While everyone else is preheating their hot-stoves, I’m plugging in the toaster here at the FBB. Last year, I referred to my hot-stove posts as “hot soup” reports. I’m moving on from that title mostly as a favor to all the people who mistakenly land on this site by Googling soup recipes. From here on, it will be Hot Toaster Reports. Why toaster? Because my reporting is about as comprehensive as toast (read: not very.) So grab your margarine and blackberry jam and sit back.
From what I understand, mon Cubbies will be trying to fill three holes this off season. Jim Hendry’s shopping list consists of a first baseman (preferably left-handed), an extra arm for the bullpen, and another starting pitcher. A trade or two is also likely in store.
My topic of concern today is the possibility that the Cubs will sign Adam Dunn.
I shake my head that Mr. Dunn is being considered (and, from what I’ve heard, coveted) now. Because now I do not particularly want him. Two years ago when, for reasons unknown, Milton Bradley was the Cubs number one target, I desperately wanted to get Adam Dunn instead. And Mr. Dunn wanted to be a Cub himself, if my memory serves me (it usually does.) Why did I so greatly desire his services? At the time, I was head-over-heels in love with the idea of secondary average. Chalk that up to an overdose of Bill James (if such a thing is possible.) Adam Dunn has one of the greatest career secondary averages in history (he is 7th all time, behind only guys like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Barry Bonds and Ted Williams and ahead of guys like Lou Gehrig.) So, there’s that.
While I’m sure I would still enjoy seeing a long-time Cub killer actually on our side, taking obscene numbers of walks and routinely depositing baseballs onto Waveland Avenue, I am not on the Adam Dunn happy-train today as I was a few years ago. And it isn’t even his defensive skills, strikeout rate, or lack of offensive versatility that are making me wary. If he signed a one or two year deal for a reasonable rate, I could tolerate those things. But the idea of signing a player of Mr. Dunn’s age and skill-set for a lot of years and a lot of money frustrates me. I mean no offense to Mr. Dunn. I wouldn’t want the Cubs to sign Carlos Pena, either, and I love Carlos Pena. I’m not going to pretend to know what the best course of action in filling the vacancy at first actually is, but I’m pretty certain that it is not acquiring Adam Dunn.
*Yes, I will be taking the toast metaphor as far as I possibly can.
Just a quick thought about Cliff Lee. The premier name in the free agent pool, it is assumed by pretty much everyone that Mr. Lee will be a Yankee. Everyone will probably turn out to be right. I just think it’s important to remember that he was already “a Yankee” once this year. You know? So I’m not just gonna out and say, “Hey! Have fun with that the next few years, American League East, ” even if I am thinking it. Which I am.