The Athletics acquired Adam Dunn from the White Sox on Sunday, giving the A's offense a needed Texas-sized boost for the stretch run. Dunn, who announced after the trade that he would retire after the season, waived his no-trade clause for the chance to play in the postseason for the first time in his fourteen-year career.
A playoff chase in Oakland! Big Adam Dunn in those Oakland all-whites! A victorious Billy Beane carrying Adam Dunn off into the sunset! What else can we expect from the Adam Dunn/Oakland A's September marriage?
1. Playing time
Billy Beane is not interested in bolstering his bench: Adam Dunn is going to play. The A's have suddenly and tragically forgotten how to hit baseballs, scoring just four runs in this week's pivotal four-game sweep to the Angels. In that four-game sweep, A's designated hitters did not knock a single base hit. For the season, Oakland's DHs carry a .216 average and .287 on-base percentage, both team-worsts. In August, the A's hit .223 as a team, and went 12-17. Billy Beane raised the urgent green-and-gold HELP WANTED banner, and Dunn will answer.
2. Dunn will produce in his playing time
Casual--and even non-casual--baseball fans likely still have a three-day-old espresso taste in their mouths from Adam Dunn's catastrophically offensive 2011 season (.159, 11 HR). But Dunn has recovered nicely, and has pretty much returned to being the same three-true-outcomes player he always was. On the season, Dunn is batting .220/.340/.433, with 20 home runs to boot, massive upgrades from what the post-Yoenis A's have been trotting out there every day.
3. But still, lots of this
4. But also lots of this!
5. We can only hope for more of this
6. Dunn will make the playoffs for the first time in his career
It's hard to believe that in 14 years, half of which he spent in Cincinnati, Dunn has never been to the postseason. Has never worn the hat with the playoff logo stitched into the side. Has never had a meaningful October strikeout/homer/walk. That will change in this, his final season. Despite the A's recent struggles, they'll make the playoffs, riding their pitching and the inevitable regression-by-addition to the mean of their offense.
7. Jeff Samardjiza and Dunn play catch, immediately become best QB/WR tandem in Oakland
Dunn, the former Texas quarterback, and Samardzjia, a Biletnikoff-finalist at Notre Dame, will toss the pigskin in the outfield before an upcoming A's game, immediately becoming the best quarterback/wide receiver tandem in the city of Oakland.
8. Dunn will have a Giambian moment down the stretch
Well, not that kind of Jason Giambian moment, Oakland fans. We realize that name hits close to home. We were talking about the Cleveland player-coach Jason Giambi moment from last season.
9. The A's will not ride the "Big Donkey" off into the sunset
Dunn will provide a major boost to the withering A's offense. Oakland will give the veteran slugger the postseason trip he deserves. The A's will advance to the ALCS, but will fall short again, missing out on Billy Beane's--and Adam Dunn's--best shot at a ring.