Hopefully Billy Beane has found his answer for the A’s struggling offense in the form of power hitting left-hander Adam Dunn.
The A’s will send minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for the final month of Dunn’s career (announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2014 season), plus cash considerations.
For Dunn, this represents his first opportunity to play in the postseason during his 14 year career. For the A’s, it represents the ability to add a player who has eclipsed the 40-homer total in a season six times and sits with 460 career home runs (good for 36th on the All Time list).
“I know he’s excited about being with us, I talked to him earlier this morning,” says A’s manager Bob Melvin. “For a guy to waive his no-trade clause to come over here means he’s pretty excited, and that is the case.”
Melvin says Dunn will fit in in the middle of the order, probably at least initially against right handed pitchers and in the DH role.
Melvin describes his new DH as, “Another power guy that’s used to hitting in the middle. He’s used to hitting either cleanup, 4th or 5th, he’s a production guy.” Melvin added, “He fits in here too in that he’ll take a walk, gets on base quite a bit.”
Most importantly for the A’s lineup, plugging Dunn into the middle will allow the rest of the lineup to transition back into the roles they were accustomed to before the Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes trade at the July trade deadline.
It would be unfair to compare Dunn and Cespedes directly because they are different types of hitters, but Dunn adds that deep threat back into the lineup that Oakland has lacked since Cespedes’ departure. The threat that he could send a ball sailing into the bleachers on any given swing of the bat and change a game will force pitchers to approach the other hitters in the A’s lineup differently.
Dunn comes to Oakland with a triple slash line of .220/.340/.433 this season to accompany his 20 homers and 54 RBI. He is expected to join the A’s when they return to Oakland on Monday.
Nolan Sanburn was 3-1 with six saves and a 3.28 ERA in 42 appearances for the Stockton Ports this season. He was the A’s second round draft pick in the 2012 draft.