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White Sox GM on signing Adam Dunn for $56 million: “I would make the same move tomorrow”

Jun 28, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

Adam Dunn, Ken Williams

Adam Dunn is hitting .173 with 100 strikeouts in 67 games, including a ridiculous 1-for-53 mark against lefties, but White Sox general manager Ken Williams said yesterday that he’d sign the struggling slugger to a four-year, $56 million deal again.

“I would make the same move tomorrow,” Williams told Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, adding:

If you look at his timeline since he’s been in the big leagues, it’s a pretty damn good body of work. What he’s going through now, when it is said and done, will be a little blip on that line. I told him I do not regret the decision in any way, shape or form. I believe we needed him, I believed it when we got him and I still believe he will play the major part we thought he was going to. It just hasn’t turned out to this point.

Williams is absolutely right that Dunn’s track record is both excellent and consistent, with an OPS above .800 in each of his first 10 seasons before falling apart this year. On the other hand, when a player has been awful through about 12.5 percent of a $56 million contract it seems sort of disingenuous so suggest you’d gladly do the deal over again.

Of course, perhaps Williams is really saying that, if they did the contract over again and played the first half over again Dunn probably wouldn’t hit .173. And he’s right. Odds are Dunn will come around and give the White Sox plenty of value for the remaining 3.5 seasons of the deal, but so far they’ve paid about $7 million for 67 games of arguably the worst player in baseball.

  1. ricofoy - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Worst player in baseball? Not even close. Chone Figgins holds that title hands down.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      He also has one of the most stupid spelled names in all of baseball.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      Dunn: .173; .308; .624; 100Ks/42BBs in 279 plate appearances
      Figgs: .186; .232; .481; 36Ks/16BBs in 273 plate appearances

      I could have sworn Dunn was worse, but you sir are correct. Figgins is f’ing craptacular. He should get his own craptastic post on HBT for being such a poopshooter.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Let’s call him the worst hitter and make the worst pitcher debate a separate issue, shall we?

  2. sosascork - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Mercy!

  3. dodger88 - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    What else can he say? Unless he was announcing his release, he has to stand by the signing publically whether he had any misgivings or regrets about the move. For what it is worth, I think Dunn will break out and prove to be a decent signing if not better.

  4. Jack Marshall - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Good for Williams; it’s the right answer. You judge a decision based on the data when you made it—he is saying that he refuses to second-guess his reasoning, and he shouldn’t. I would assume that the Red Sox would say the same about Carl Crawford. When a good decision doesn’t pan out, that doesn’t make it a mistake. It’s just a decision that fell victim to bad luck, random events, and chaos.

    • pisano - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      Well said, but in retrospect both the Sox teams would cancel their deals, but they’d never admit it.

  5. spudchukar - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    And the definition of insanity is…

  6. silverdeer - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    I gotta throw Detroit’s Raburn into this ring too.
    .200 .229 .556 76k/11BB in 220 Plate appearances and then add 7 errors and a .955 fielding percentage and yet Leyland keeps running him out there. Must be something more than tobacco in those Malrboro’s of his.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      I think Figgins still may out-suck Raburn. Those are some piss poor numbers though, especially with the defensive liability that he is.

  7. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I posted this on here last night and dont know if anyone read it, so i will post it again. This is Joe Posnanski’s take on Adam Dunn.

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/06/least-exciting-player-ever.html

    Agree or disagree, its is interesting.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      Anything Joe writes is worth reading.

  8. randomdigits - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    “plenty of value for the remaining 3.5 seasons of the deal”?

    Even before he fell off a cliff this season I do not think many experts thought he would be near worth his salary by year four. That is the way it goes these days with veteran free agent signings, the team just plans to suck up the last 1-2 years of the deal.

  9. jimbo1949 - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    What no comparison to the guy the Gnats signed to quiet the crowds calling for Rizzo’s head when he failed to re-sign Dunn? I’m referring to the flopitudity of the more expensive equally crappy Jason Werth.

  10. yettyskills - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Dunn was a red light player to MANY teams and GM’s.

    Williams ignored what everyone said about Dunn,and have been saying about Dunn for years.

    Williams made a idiot move and of course he says what he is saying.

    But he is either lying or stupid, but in reality he is both.

    Anyone here who says they would have made the same offer, you’re an idiot too.
    Blue Jays spilled the beans on what NL GMs already knew years ago.
    My guess is most of the posters here have no clue about Dunn

  11. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    What’s Ken supposed to say, Aaron?

    “Ah crap, my bad Chicago. I signed a slumping doofus. Man was this stupid of me!”

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