Adam Dunn’s passion for the game of baseball has been in question for many years.
He’s often viewed as out of shape and underdeveloped for a player who entered the league in 2001.
Yet, he’s also been voted an All Star, has averaged 40 home runs the past five seasons and most importantly, he’s averaged more than 152 games played per year through seven full seasons.
So, is Dunn passionate about his profession or not?
I think Dunn understands that he’s got it good earning a paycheck to play baseball, but his true passion for the game is still in hiding.
This better explains why the Big Donkey joined the god-awful Washington Nationals (59-102)?
Specifically, they’re two reasons: first off, the Nats paid top-dollar to get him and secondly, D.C. is a perfect sleepy market for Dunn to play his game without coming under fire to lose weight or improve defensively: comments that slowly ate away at Adam’s ego during his final months with Cincinnati.
Considering Dunn’s biggest supporter is GM Jim Bowden and that he’ll be reunited with good buddy Austin Kearns, and you find yourself one – fat, content and underdeveloped - happy ballplayer.
For the next 16 years the Cincinnati Reds own Ken Griffey Jr. $5 million per year, it’s all deferred money from Griffey’s original contract signed with the Reds in 2000.
Still, the sure fire HOF is yet to be signed this off season, a bit surprising considering Griffey isn’t in need of more dough and could be reeled-in on the cheap.
I still believe Junior would have been a better sign for the Cubs than Milton Bradley, but the Cubs’ miss is another club’s opportunity, yet who those teams are is still unclear.
The latest reports out of Griffey’s camp say four teams are interested in him for at least the 2009 season.
Seattle is obviously one of the bidders, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.
What we do know about Griffey is he’d prefer to play closer to his home in Orlando, wants to play for a winner and wants a regular deal, meaning no minor league deal or an invitation to Spring Training.
So, here’s what I’m thinking:
After watching the Red Sox gamble with Brad Penny and John Smoltz it seems reasonable they’d also take a shot on Junior.
Plus, Griffey could fill the void left from Sean Casey’s recent retirement and the Red Sox will again be contenders for a World title.
Tampa Bay appeared to lose interest with Griffey after signing Pat Burrell, but the Rays would be such a solid fit it’s hard to imagine there’s still not an opening for Griff, if for no other reason than location.
Speaking of which, location alone has the Marlins in positioned to be considered as well.
Not only is the location prime for a Griffey signing, but the organization’s strong personnel efficiency typically fields a competitive team.
And should Philly fall into a post World Series let-down the Marlins are sure contenders in the division against the questionable Mets and rebuilding Braves.
Of course, for years the Braves were included in Griffey trade talk but never appeared to be serious.
Although, Atlanta is about a close as Griffey can get to Florida without playing for either the Rays or Marlins.
Lastly, however, is Houston: perhaps close enough to Florida and a likely contender in the NL Central.
Not to mention, there’s still an opportunity for Junior to once again pal up with his good buddy Adam Dunn, an unsigned free-agent and a Houston native to boot.