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Dunn done in Cincy?

Reds put premier power hitter on trade market

Posted: Monday June 11, 2007 11:55AM; Updated: Tuesday June 12, 2007 11:07AM
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Adam Dunn's power stroke makes him an enticing commodity, though his strikeouts and poor defense detract from his value.
Adam Dunn's power stroke makes him an enticing commodity, though his strikeouts and poor defense detract from his value.
Don Lansu/WireImage.com
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Also in this column:
• Indians interested in Gagne
• Sheffield speaks out of turn
• Hoffman gets my Hall vote
• More news and notes

The Reds are ready to take offers on Adam Dunn, whose terrific power should draw decent interest despite the significant flaws in his game.

Lots of big names could be bandied about this trading season -- Jermaine Dye, Mark Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen, Mark Teixeira and perhaps even Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera are among the stars who are candidates to be moved -- but Dunn's is one name that's already out there as available, league sources told SI.com.

Dunn is what you might call the leadoff man in what could be a thrilling time for trades.

Power is about the most sought-after skill right now, and Dunn has it an abundance. However, Dunn comes with a couple drawbacks, including the major question of where to play him. He's a poor and indifferent outfielder, and a few teams are now considering whether to try to acquire Dunn as a first baseman, though one scout warned, "He's terrible there. I wouldn't use him at first base."

Added one general manager, "I see him as more of an American League player and a DH."

All three Southern California teams could have interest in Dunn, as could anyone else seeking power. Dunn, who's making $10.5 million this season and has an option for $13 million next year with a $500,000 buyout, is batting .250 with 15 home runs and 38 RBIs. (If Dunn is traded, however, the option would be voided, thus making him a free agent after this season.) While his power is elite, Dunn hasn't hit in the clutch. He's batting only .212 with runners in scoring position and .208 with runners on base.

Trading Dunn makes sense for the Reds, especially if they can get solid pitching in return -- they have allowed the most runs in the National League this season. They are one of baseball's most underachieving teams, and a bit of a shakeup could do them good, anyway.

If it's Game Over for Gagne in Texas, Cleveland will call

The Rangers (23-40) don't appear to have too much going for them. However, they do carry the potential to hold one of baseball's best fire sales.

Teixeira's presence on the market could incite a battle royal within the AL East, with the Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees all expected to make a play. However, as one GM pointed out, it's rare to see position players of that stature traded in mid-year (Carlos Beltran was an exception three years ago when he went from Kansas City to Houston).

Even if Teixeira winds up staying, the Rangers' sale will draw significant interest. Texas has a handful other players of value to deal, including Kenny Lofton, Kevin Millwood, Brad Wilkerson, Akinori Otsuka and even Sammy Sosa.

But the only player other than Teixeira whose availability could create a feeding frenzy is comebacking closer Eric Gagne, who has an astounding 96.5 percent career save percentage (167 for 173, which has to be the best in the history of the game, including six for six this year). One caveat: Gagne has the right to veto a trade to 12 teams.

One team that's sure to have interest is the Indians, which rebuilt its bullpen this winter but is looking for reinforcements.

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