Boy, the Tigers don’t waste any time, do they? Just hours after signing reliever Joaquin Benoit to a three year deal, word is spreading fast that Dave Dombrowski is in “serious” talks with free agent slugger Adam Dunn.
The rumor was first mentioned by Joel Sherman of the New York Post in a tweet, then followed up by Jon Heyman, who added “Dunn talk appears serious. Tigers could have very big day.”
As is typically the case with the Tigers over the past few years, Dombrowski is attempting to strike early in the off-season in an attempt to get the players he wants, rather than waiting to pick through the scrap heap in February.
Dunn is known to be against the idea of becoming a full-time designated hitter, but with talks cooled in Washington, there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for him as a first baseman. I could see the Tigers going to four years to nail down the slugger, who has compiled nine consecutive seasons of at least 38 home runs and 92 RBI. Dombrowski was reported to have been close to trading for Dunn at the trade deadline this past season before talks fell apart.
Dunn’s .365 OBP was still very solid in 2010, but is was significantly below his career .381 line despite a career-best BABiP last year. There is a risk that he might be beginning to slow down a bit. That said, Dunn is a Type-B free agent, just as Benoit was, so signing him wouldn’t cost the Tigers a draft pick. ***Correction– Dunn was projected as a Type-B, but did, in fact, qualify for Type-A status. As such, the Tigers would surrender their first-round draft pick to the Nationals should they complete the deal. My bad.***
Additionally, Dunn’s presence might signal a pursuit of an outfielder as the Tigers next target instead of catcher Victor Martinez, as it was assumed that Martinez would be targeted as at least a part-time DH. Using Dunn in the outfield would eliminate much of his overall value, as he is an extremely poor defender.
Stay tuned to MCB, we’ll keep you updated as things progress. When the Tigers are involved, as we saw with Benoit, it can be mere hours between hearing about a rumor and actually seeing a signing.