Jul
29

An Adam Dunn Alternative

By

As the trade deadline approaches we’re going to see the Yankees connected to many, many players just because of who they are. Every other team wants to get the Yanks involved simply because it drives up the prices for everyone else. We know they’re prioritizing bullpen and bench help, but that hasn’t stopped Brian Cashman from window shopping for other stuff. Sometimes there’s a deal you just can’t pass up.

Jon Heyman said the Yanks were still in the hunt for Adam Dunn yesterday, and one ESPN Radio report even called them the front-runners to land him. Of course we’ve already seen this movie twice this year; the Yanks were also rumored to be the the front-runners for Cliff Lee and Dan Haren earlier this month, and we know how that turned out. I’m taking these reports with a hefty grain of salt from now on.

Anyway, I’ve already said what I had to say about bringing Dunn to the Yankees, though now it sounds like the cost is going to prohibitive. They apparently asked the Rays for Matt Garza, which zooms right past crazytown and into insultinglydelusionalville. There’s another big time lefthanded power threat out there though, one that might even fit with the Yanks better than Dunn. His name: Luke Scott.

(AP Photo/Rob Carr)

The former Astro and current Oriole is one of the best hitters in the game that no one talks about. He’s hitting .287/.354/.567 on the season, a .393 wOBA that would be bested by just one Yankee, Robbie Cano. Although this, his age-32 season, is likely a career year, Scott has posted a .364 wOBA over the last three seasons, better than guys like Paul Konerko, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui, Victor Martinez … the list goes on and on.  He also doesn’t have much of a platoon split (.371 wOBA vs. RHP, .341 vs. LHP in his career), so he’s a viable everyday designated hitter. Clearly, the guy can flat out hit at the big league level and in the AL East. He’s done it for three years now.

Defensively, Scott isn’t as bad as you might think. His three year UZR in left is rock solid at +3.8, but he’s not going to supplant Brett Gardner anytime soon. It is nice to have that option available though, in case of injury or if the Yanks decide to sell high on Gardner and trade him this offseason or something. Scott can also handle first base in the pinch should Mark Teixeira ever need a day off.

There’s about $1.525M left on Scott’s contract this year, and he’s still under team control as an arbitration eligible player in both 2011 and 2012, so he’s not a rental player. Should he get too expensive through arbitration, which is very possible considering this season’s performance, the Yanks could always non-tender him and try to re-sign him at a discount, or just flip him in a trade. There are always takers for guys who can hit.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

No, Scott is not likely to maintain a .390+ wOBA level of performance over the next two seasons, but he still has plenty of value if he slides back into a .360-ish wOBA level. A player that posts a .360 wOBA with league average defense in left for 200 plate appearances and another 400 at designated hitter is a 2.1 WAR player based on Sky Kalkman’s calculator, which is worth about $8.4M in production based on the current market. His trade value comes in at $6.4M assuming he is a no-compensation free agent or is not offered arbitration, which is equivalent to a Grade-B pitching prospect. Would you deal David Phelps or Ivan Nova within the division for Scott? I know I would.

Of course there’s a big obstacle standing in the way of any Yanks-O’s trade: Peter Angelos. The Orioles’ owner despised George Steinbrenner and his team, and the Mike Mussina signing only exacerbated the problem. The two teams have made just one trade during Cashman’s tenure, the Jaret Wright-Chris Britton blockbuster back in November 2006. Perhaps a deal could be worked out with acting GM Andy MacPhail having exclusive control of the baseball ops, maybe even a multi-player trade involving Ty Wigginton as well.

I don’t expect the Yanks to make a major splash before Saturday’s deadline, but I’m hoping to be surprised. Scott doesn’t have the name recognition of Dunn, but he’s performing at a similar level this year and has a more favorable contract situation. As far as we know, the asking price isn’t as ridiculous either. If the Yanks do decide to make a move for a full-time designated hitter in the next two days, they won’t be able to do much better than this guy right here.

Categories : Trade Deadline

107 Comments»

  1. Total Dominication says:

    Awesome, let’s do it.

  2. RalphieD says:

    ok…im sold..

  3. rek4gehrig says:

    I’m in (but then again I was in for Lee trade). Let’s wait and see

  4. This has been the year of divisional trades. Why not!?

  5. S.King says:

    I love it. Let’s make it happen!

  6. Tampa Yankee says:

    This is what I’m talking about, I’d really like this move and I’d give up Phelps before Nova as I like that Nova is closer to making a spot start if needed.

  7. Tom Zig says:

    Beam me up Scotty!

  8. It could work. I don’t think I’d give up more than one B- to B level prospect for him, but if that’s the price, it’s not bad.

  9. mikebk says:

    can we give up Z-Mac before the other 2?

  10. bexarama says:

    I’m sold, but Angelos is an asshat so I give this deal a like 1% chance of happening.

    • rbizzler says:

      You are correct, Angelos is the big obstacle in this move. Not only is he stubborn and spiteful, he is not shy of his distaste for the Yankees. The inevitable summer invasion of Camden Yards by Yankee fans doesn’t help matters either. Despite the fact that increased attendance helps line the pockets of a notoriously cheap and short-sighted owner, he will be loathe to do anything to make the Yankees better. Even if it means passing on an opportunity to improve his franchise in the long term. If the Yanks inquire on Scott expect a Hughes + Montero-type request in response, followed by a sigh and a quick hang-up by Cashmoney.

  11. If we can keep Nova and ManBan, by all means…

  12. zs190 says:

    I’ve been advocating for this move for a while now so naturally I would love for it to happen. I think a ZMac or Phelps and maybe a low level prospect would be a fair offer but seems like Jays/Os are really stubborn about not trading with Yanks/Sox unless it’s a highway robbery, so I’m not all that optimistic this gets done, would really like to see it happen instead of pay through the nose for Dunn.

  13. j_Yankees says:

    Unless Peter Angelos dies between now and Saturday, i just don’t see it.

  14. Esteban says:

    Done. The Orioles can have Nova Phelps or both if it comes down to it.

    • Don W says:

      Two quality pitching prospects for a guy who probably won’t hit. I’d vote no on that.

      • Zack says:

        “Probably won’t hit” What does that mean?

        • Don W says:

          The guy hasn’t hit on the road since he got to the AL. His #’s are a product of his home park and his .943 OPS there.

          • steve (different one) says:

            True, and the yankees play in a park that is notoriously hard on left handed hitters. I’m convinced.

            • Don W says:

              It sure hasn’t helped him when he plays there to date. The guy doesn’t hit on the road to the tune of a being a 4th or 5th outfielder.

              Why would you pay more than a players worth just because he MIGHT do better in half of his games. The VERY BEST you could hope for is he hits the same way in YS3 as he has in Camdan, (highly doubtful, he’s raked in Camdan), and then gets by on the road. I certainly wouldn’t trade Phelps & Nova for him. One or the other maybe but certainly not both. I personally wouldn’t trade either for him, maybe Z-Mac who I’m not high on.

  15. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    Sterling Home Run Call: Great Scott!

    Do it.

  16. A.D. says:

    I feel like the can we try and gouge the Yankees trend will continue & given that Scott is a pretty good hitter, that can play LF & is under team control, the team may then want more than just a type B prospect.

  17. Randy A. says:

    I like the idea and I’m all for Scott as a cheaper option to Dunn, but his home/road splits are a little troubling:

    Home – .338/.401/.704 13HR
    Road – .227/.295/.403 4HR

    Only a difference of 30 plate appearances this season between the two, also. Might just be a bit of BABIP bad luck on the road though.

    Still, I would roll the dice on him for a B-level prospect but nothing more.

    • Big Juan says:

      Also, YS3 is a hitter’s park just like Camden. It’s not like he’d be moving from Camden to Petco. His swing projects nicely at the stadium.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        While it’s very helpful for lefties which is what Scotty bro is, I don’t think we can call YS3 a pure hitter’s park just yet.

        • Big Juan says:

          I agree, though my wording doesn’t really send that message. Obviously in terms of left-handed power hitters we’re on the same page though.

      • Randy A. says:

        My rebuttal isnt great for this arguement because of sample size constraints, but he has only hit .219/.306/.406 at YS3 and even though there are slight differences between YS3 and Yankee stadium, he only hit .094/.171/.188 at old Yankee stadium. He had around 35 AB in both parks so those numbers together arent the best. Im not opposed to the move to bring him in to the Yankees, but just because a park is a hitters park doesnt mean he’s going to put up amazing numbers…or even numbers equivelant to his season averages.

        • Big Juan says:

          I would venture to say that the splits at Yankee Stadium are more a product of the pitching he faced rather than the fact that he won’t hit there.

          • Randy A. says:

            So using that logic…if the Yankees make the playoffs he is going to hit .219/.306/.406 at Yankee stadium in the playoffs because generally teams that make the playoffs have above average pitching. I’m not exactly buying that argument.

            • Big Juan says:

              You’re making way too much of my comment. It’s a very SSS, therefore I put no stock into it. I then made an observation. I’m not offering up an insight.

              The faulty logic is using his 35 AB to justify your concern.

              • Randy A. says:

                I stated that it was a small sample size and thats a constraint in evaluating the numbers. But regardless his inability to hit up to his career numbers in either new Yankee Stadium or Yankee stadium is just as relevant of an observation as his supposed lack of success against Yankee pitching. This is a circular argument though so hopefully it works if the Yankees make a move for him but I dont think it will make a huge difference either way.

  18. phughesisgod says:

    I’d take Scott, but Peter Angelos does not want to trade within the division, especially the Yankees. That said, I think it would serve him well to do so and package Ty Wiggington or maybe a bullpen arm along with Scott, because he would probably be able to get Nova/Phelps, Nunez and another prospect. Hell, I know that if that trade was proposed to me for Scott and Wiggington, I’d do it in a heartbeat, depending on who the other prospect is.

    With all this being said, I do not expect that the Yankees will make a deal, unless they somehow get something done with KC for Soria, the price for relievers come backdown to earth, or Baltimore decides they would trade Ty Wiggington within the division.

  19. Don W says:

    Hold the phone.

    The guy has never hit in either Yankee Stadium (SSS warning)

    More importantly, he has OPS’d .943 @ Camdan while struggling mightly on the road against everyone but Toronto in the AL East. Even against Toronto he has OPS’d nearly 200 pts lower than his Camdan #’s.

    His road OPS’s
    08 – 0.753
    09 – 0.727
    10 – 0.699

    Ummmm, no thanks I’d keep Nova rather than have a guy who’ll probably put up an OPS of less than .750 the rest of the way.

    • keithr says:

      NYS is a better hitter’s park then Camden yards.

      • Don W says:

        You’re kidding right?

        • Don W says:

          Rather than getting off on a tangent I’ll redirect by saying:

          It doesn’t matter if YS3 is more a hitter’s park than Camdan. What matters is that Luke Scott over the last 2 1/2 years has shown that he can’t seem to hit well ANYWHERE but Camdan Yards.

  20. j_Yankees says:

    He still under team control as you note, mike. Why exactly would the O’s want to trade him?

    its not like he’s blocking some prospect at a position. He’s a DH. and with Buck coming in i just don’t see the point of the O’s trading right now.

  21. larryf says:

    Has Nick Johnson picked up his cereal spoon yet with his damaged wrist? Is he officially done for the year?
    Just curious…

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      The latest news I think we got about him is that he had a setback. He may come back but even if he miraculously does in 2 days he’ll break his legs jogging or something. No one is expecting from him anymore. What a shame tough. Maybe we can transplant his superb batting eye to a cloning facility and transplant everyone in the Yankees to a .400 OBP player.

    • I think the DH trade talk tells us that the Yankees are definitely not confident in Johnson returning.

  22. I see the fact that he’s on the Orioles being a major hurdle in this case.

    • I think his contract situation, which makes him more attractive to the Yankees, is what’s going to hold the deal up. The O’s will, and probably should, be hesitant to trade him when he’s got team control left.

  23. Frank says:

    I’ll stick by what I said yesterday- Yanks will get Damon back next month after the Tigers concede it’s not their year. Their sinking further as each day passes and no one trade can make up for losing Ordonez, Inge, Guillen and Zumaya to the DL with at least 1, and maybe 2, of those players done for the year.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Pass. Especially since it’ll make the people advocating for Damon during the offseason ‘right.’

      • ZZ says:

        They were right and Cashman believed this as well since he offered Damon more money than any other team.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          It’s tough to determine right from the offseason when anything can happen. Granted Damon probably would be better than Johnson but you can’t call the signing of Nick Johnson wrong.

      • Frank says:

        Who cares. As a LH DH who is familiar with the whole NY pressure cooker and has post season experience. If they can get him for a marginal prospect and pick the remainder of his salary, why not?

        • bonestock94 says:

          The Tigers aren’t selling by Saturday and he’d get claimed by a lot of teams if they tried the waiver thing.

          • Frank says:

            I didn’t say Saturday. And he’s owed about 3 million for this year. I’m not so sure that many teams would be willing to take that on.

          • steve (different one) says:

            I could easily see boston blocking damon to the yanks. Why wouldn’t they? After all, we did it to chris carter last year to f@*k with them

      • radnom says:

        Pass. Especially since it’ll make the people advocating for Damon during the offseason ‘right.’

        Wow, immature much?

  24. bonestock94 says:

    Just bring back Matsui. HE WAS THE WORLD SERIES MVP FOR GODS SAKE!!! Clutch! RBIIIS!

  25. Frank says:

    Well, with Buck getting the O’s job, I’d say Luke Scott to the Yanks has gone from 1% to 0% chance of happening.

  26. jim p says:

    Does anyone think Posada will be catching 5 days a week from this point? I don’t see it. So which are you sitting any given day, a new acquisition for the position, or Jorge?

  27. cranky says:

    Have the Yanks had trouble scoring runs this season?
    In 2011, and beyond, is A-Rod going to need some DH time? What about Jeter? Posada? Montero?

    I’m not suggesting that trading for Luke Scott or Adam Dunn would be a bad idea, only that it would be a completely unnecessary deal which would create some problems in the near future.
    As for Scott, yes, good hitter. But the guy who owns his contract is notoriously difficult to deal with and never wants to trade with the Yankees.
    As for Dunn, the Nats have never indicated that they’d accept a reasonable package for him (i.e. Ivan Nova, Mark Melancon, Gerald Laird).

    Better moves for the Yanks now: Craig Breslow + Jorge Cantu

    • Big Juan says:

      Pass on Cantu.

      And Dunn doesn’t really fit your argument in terms of creating problems as he’s a free agent after the season.

  28. mustang says:

    The Luke Scott thing sounds good, but unfortunately the great Peter G. Angelos majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles doesn’t like trading within the division. Even when his team is 33 games back of first place.

    You just can’t make this shit up.

    • Dela G says:

      it’s unbelievable how bitter that man is towards the yankees. It’s like the yankees slept with his wife

    • Yeah, I pretty much ignore all trade proposals involving the Orioles and Blue Jays. They always charge the Yankees/Sox/Rays a hefty premium (as they should).

      • mustang says:

        I never understood that. I can see it MAYBE if your trading young talent or a top player to the Yankees that might come back and hunt you someday, but spare parts.
        Your 33 games back, man, take the best offer from whomever and rebuilt.

        GET OVER IT!

        • But you’re also strengthening your direct rivals. Every good player you give to the Yankees/Sox/Rays is a player who will be used against you in your later quest to beat them for a playoff spot.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            I think what he is saying is that by the time the O’s are ready to seriously compete with the Yanks, Luke Scott won’t be around, but there is an outside shot that one of the prospects they receive in a trade for him might be.

            • Fair enough. I bet the O’s/Jays reluctance to deal with us (and Boston) is sharper, though, since we have deep pockets and could retain Scott permanently if we so chose (ditto Scott Downs).

              It’s only really in their interest to trade us guys who clearly aren’t good long-term, and we wouldn’t be interested in those guys anyway.

              • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                Luke Scott is 32 years old, so I don’t think he’s going to be around that long.

                Or at the very least, he won’t be on the Yankees thrarting the O’s shot at a division title.

              • mustang says:

                But they can retain them as free agents why not get something useful for them even better from your rival so you can really rub it in their face.

                You have to put faith in your baseball people to make the best moves for the team and not be so damn bitter about your fiscal situation.

            • mustang says:

              Give that man a prize!

          • mustang says:

            Maybe, but that can also be turn around. Whatever you get from the Yankees/Sox/Rays can be used against them. Wouldn’t that be the best revenge?

            At 33 games back I’m looking to better my team period. The sources where I get the players to do that shouldn’t matter. We are also talking about the Birds I could see it more if it were the Yankees and Sox trading.

            And again we are talking spare parts.

          • mustang says:

            You know you would of hated watching Jesus hitting .350 vs. the Yankees long after Roy couldn’t throw a fastball in the 90′s.

            Even after about 2 more rings.

            LOL

            just an example

  29. Guest says:

    I looked into Luke Scott for fantasy related reasons a couple of days ago. I decided to pass.

    Here’s why: He had a, to quote Stu Scott, RIDONCULOUS, seven game stretch where he:

    1. Went 14-27, raising his batting average a full 22 points.

    2. He hit 5 of his 17HR’s, and 3 doubles, raising his slugging percentage 65 points. Slugging percentages tend to be artificially inflated when you get 8 extra base hits in 27 at bats.

    This, when combined with his career numbers, led me to believe he is in line for…lets say it together folks…a regression.

    Im not saying that he isn’t a productive bat. He certainly is. Well above average and much better than our current options.

    But the ludicrousness of this seven game stretch (repeated for emphasis: 5 HR and 8XBH in 27 ABs) should cause us to look at his 2010 numbers with a grain of salt. (Unless he has discovered a new hitting skill in the middle of the season at the age of 32, which I highly doubt).

    His numbers from the ’07, ’08, and ’09 seasons do a much better job of telling us what he is. Which is a .255/.340/.490 kind of guy. Certainly helpful, but less impressive than what his 2010 numbers (heavily impacted by the hotstreak) might lead us to believe.

    BTW (Extremely SSS alert), since I decided to pass on Scott, he’s 0-7 w/ 2K’s. The regression, maybe she is beginning?

  30. j_Yankees says:

    and Rosenthal:

    “These things are always fluid, but for now #Yankees are out on Dunn. Checking into other alternatives. #WhiteSox #Nationals #MLB”

    probably means the yankees will get Dunn. /kidding or am i?

  31. Yankee27 says:

    Just wait until August and give up a B prospect to get Matsui back. The Angels are fading quickly, and would be happy to make that deal. In the playoffs, Cervelli will be on the bench. That means Posada behind the dish and the need for a solid veteran DH. Matsui would come cheap, get a hero’s welcome, and DELIVER.

  32. jay destro says:

    this piece of shit player pulled up lame on a home run trot. no fucking way do i want this orange bird asshole on my precious yankees.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      I was going to try and write-up something witty in response this but I couldn’t get past just how incredibly dumb this is. So I’ll just go with an oldie but goodie:

      Oaktag

    • steve (different one) says:

      Yes, this could be like mike mussina all over again. Wait, what?

  33. Cecala says:

    What about Jack Cust?

    Here are his splits

    .299/.408/.503 with a .400 wOBA

  34. Mister Delaware says:

    As much fun as it would be to get a real player t-jersey with my last name on the back, Luke has always seemed really douchey. I vote no.

  35. bonestock94 says:

    This would be incredibly awesome, especially for a Nova type prospect. I can’t imagine it happening though.

  36. ReallyCoolGuy says:

    Does anyone think the Blue Jays might listen to offers for Adam Lind? Despite the fact that Lind is having a very poor offensive season, he will probably cost more than Scott because he is a lot younger. But since the “playa hating” Peter Angelos is not the owner of the Blue Jays, perhaps in the end he would be more easily attainable than a trade with Baltimore. I really doubt this would happen. But he is another powerful left-handed DH/OF/1B to perhaps think about.

  37. Frank the Yank says:

    But think of the John Sterling home run call “It is high, it is far, GREAT SCOTT!”

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