This past offseason the Washington Nationals shocked the baseball world signing Jayson Werth to a 7-year, $126 million contract. The Atlanta Braves traded for Dan Uggla before the year started and confounded some by promptly gave him a $62 million 5-year contract extension. Adam Dunn signed a four-year, $56 million free-agent contract with the Chicago White Sox. Based on his consistent record of power production, in the eyes of many, Dunn may have been the only one of these three where the amount of money and length of contract seemed justified; or so we thought.
Jayson Werth has been around since 2002, but the 32-year old only became a fulltime player during the middle of the 2008 season. While Werth put up some decent numbers the past few years, he certainly isn’t someone to base your team around from an offensive standpoint (unless you’re the Washington Nationals). Here’s Werth’s last three years.
2008 – .273 BA, 24 HRs, 67 RBI, 73 RS, 20 SBs
2009 – .268 BA, 36 HRs, 99 RBI, 98 RS, 20 SBs
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2010 – .296 BA, 27 HRs, 85 RBI, 106 RS, 13 SBs
This year Werth is hitting .226 with 13 HRs, 42 RBI, 47 RS, 14 SBs and 109 Ks. At his current pace Werth will end up hitting .226, with 16 HRs, 63 RBI, 71 RS, 21 SBs and 165 Ks . This year has been a total flop for Werth.
The Florida Marlins struck gold getting Dan Uggla from the Arizona Diamondbacks as a rule 5 pick. In five years with the Marlins Uggla hit, 154 HRs, had 465 RBI and scored 499 runs. On the down side, he’s never hit for average and he’s almost always the worst defender on the field. The guy can’t catch a cold, but he’s a power hitting middle infielder and somehow that’s gotten over looked.
Dan Uggla is hitting .215 with 23 HRs, 52 RBI, 57 RS and 99 Ks. At his current pace Uggla will end up hitting .215 with 33 HRs, 76 RBI, 83 RS and 145 Ks. In Dan Uggla’s case at least there is some production to point to in his season. Uggla entered July with a .180 average but is hitting .315 (35-for-111) since. Now hitting .215, hit HR numbers will be somewhere right around his career average of 32. If he ends up with an RBI total only in the mid 70’s however, that would clearly be a disappointment as he only had one previous year less than 90 (2007) and that year he had 88.
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If Jayson Werth’s season has been a flop, they need to create a new word for Adam Dunn’s season. From now on when someone goes into a prolonged slump they will say, reference Adam Dunn. For instance, “Jason Bay is Dunn.” Heck no one will talk about the “Mendoza line” anymore, it’s going to be the “Dunn line.”
Adam Dunn had one of the most most consistent power run’s the game had ever seen. The past eight years he’s produced literally just about 40 HRs and 100 RBI each and every year. This year however Adam is having the worst season of any full time player in baseball. Dunn is hitting .166 with 10 HRs, 38 RBI, 28 RS and 138 K’s. At his current pace Dunn will end up hitting .166 with 14 HRs, 56 RBI, 41 RS and 205 Ks.
The one-time lefty slugger has the lowest batting average by a qualifying hitter in the last century is Rob Deer, who hit .179 in 1991 for the Detroit Tigers. Dunn is hitting just .039 (3-for-77) with 35 strikeouts against left-handers this season. When asked to comment on how he feels about Dunn’s performance, the enigmatic Ozzie Guillen stated this week, “I want to cry.”
When talking about Dan Uggla’s recent quality play and the fact that he’s turned things around of late, Florida Marlins manager Freddie Gonzalez said yesterday, “You believe in the back of the baseball card. You believe in his history.”
Freddie may believe in the back of a baseball card but after this year, MLB GM’s are going to start believing in caveat emptor. All three guys should return the money they were given, and at this point Adam Dunn should probably be paying the Chicago White Sox for letting him continue to play.
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