Dunn: Please no ‘ambush’ if Sox don’t want him back
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter September 24, 2013 10:20PM
SOX AT INDIANS
The facts: 6:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Dylan Axelrod (4-10, 5.72 ERA) vs. Danny Salazar (1-3, 3.09).
Updated: September 24, 2013 10:34PM
CLEVELAND — If Adam Dunn isn’t part of the White Sox’ plans in 2014 — and he hopes he is — all he wants is some advance warning.
‘‘They don’t owe it to me; I just hope the communication line is there,’’ Dunn said Tuesday. ‘‘I don’t want to come into spring, everything fine and dandy, and then, ‘Oops, see ya. Up and gone.’ But I don’t think it will be like that.’’
Dunn will be owed $15 million on the fourth year of a $56 million contract. Only John Danks at $15.75 million is set to make more. That’s a lot of cash for a 34-year-old designated hitter for a team that is looking to get younger and more athletic.
Playing Tuesday after a three-day rest, Dunn struck out four times in four at-bats in the Sox’ stunning 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Jason Giambi’s pinch walkoff homer in the ninth inning against Addison Reed. That continued Dunn’s .115 tailspin over his last 29 games. He’s hitting .216 but easily leads the Sox with 32 homers and 83 RBI. They need to add left-handed hitting next season, not dump it.
Dunn said he doesn’t have a feel ‘‘one way or the other’’ if he’s going to be part of general manager Rick Hahn’s plans. He thinks he might have been gone by now if the Sox didn’t want him.
‘‘I would think there had to be a little opportunity somewhere before the trade deadline and probably after,’’ he said.
If there’s a trade this offseason, ‘‘I just don’t want to get ambushed by it — getting the 11:30-at-night call,’’ he said.
The Sox dropped a surprise attack on the Indians, getting a tying homer by Dayan Viciedo and a go-ahead blast by Alejandro De Aza against Indians closer Chris Perez in the ninth, then got ambushed themselves. The wild-card-chasing Indians beat the Sox for the 13th time in a row — a club record for the Sox against any one team.
‘‘You just lose. I’m tired of saying it,’’ said manager Robin Ventura, whose team lost for the 95th time with five games left. ‘‘It’s kind of indicative of our season.’’
Despite it all, Dunn says he’d like to return because he believes the Sox aren’t terribly far from rebounding.
‘‘I would like to be back,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t want to be here if it’s going to be one of those [rebuilding years], but I don’t think it’s going to be like that. Next year, with all the young guys we have and all the young pitchers getting a lot of experience, I can see a very exciting jump in the record next year. That’s exciting to me.
‘‘Especially defensively, I think we’re way better. When things go bad, they snowball. A fresh start will be good for everybody.’’
NOTES: Infielder Jeff Keppinger will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Thursday in Chicago, manager Robin Ventura said.
Keppinger, 33, who signed a three-year, $12 million contract as a free agent last offseason, has dealt with soreness since spring training. It affected his throwing more than his hitting, Ventura said. He fell short of the production the Sox expected for that price, batting .253 with four homers, 13 doubles and 40 RBI. He walked 20 times and had an on-base percentage of .283.
◆ Left-hander David Purcey has a strained left ulnar collateral ligament. As of now, surgery is not required and Purcey (1-1, 2.13 ERA) is expected to heal with rest.
◆ Hector Santiago (3.56 ERA) gave up three runs over 61/3 innings in his final start.