Dunn sees bright future for Sox
August 6, 2013 10:26PM
YANKEES AT WHITE SOX
The facts: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: CC Sabathia (9-10, 4.78 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.28).
Updated: August 7, 2013 12:09AM
Adam Dunn has seen his best White Sox pal, Jake Peavy, traded to Boston. He has watched veteran relievers Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton get dealt, too.
Dunn said his feelings won’t get hurt if he goes, too. But if he were the general manager, he’d keep himself around. Dunn doesn’t think the Sox, who beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Tuesday night for their second straight win, are that far away from being good again no matter what the record says.
“If we keep the same core group, there is no way we can be this bad with our pitching,’’ Dunn said. “Offensively we have guys who can play. We just couldn’t get the big hit. And defensively I don’t think that’s going to happen again.’’
The trade deadline has passed, and Dunn is still part of the core. He never was much of a target before the deadline, but as his average and production continues to climb — as it has since early June — the possibility of going to another team in a waiver deal increases. The Texas Rangers need a bat, and other contending teams could benefit from the left-handed slugger’s presence. If those teams are willing to assume at least a sizable chunk of the approximate $19 million left on his salary, including the $15 million owed him on the last year of his four-year deal, he could be sent away.
Dunn’s name has popped up here and there on the rumor circuit.
“I figured,’’ he said.
As always, it depends on what GM Rick Hahn can get in exchange, and whether he’s able to tiptoe through the complicated waiver process.
Dunn believes this season is something of a fluke, and that the Sox can win if the core returns with a couple of additions.
“Unless it’s a complete youth movement, I would like to be here next year, 100 percent,’’ Dunn said. “I think I would love a youth movement, but I definitely don’t want to be here where it’s doing this [losing] again. I can’t take it … and I don’t think anybody can. I don’t think Rick will take that. I don’t think Jerry [Reinsdorf] will take that.’’
If Hahn sacrifices 2014 for 2015 and ’16, “then obviously I’m not here,’’ Dunn said. “I get that. If it’s a complete youth movement I won’t be here. It won’t hurt my feelings.’’
Hahn’s top future resource, his good, young pitching, was on display again Tuesday. All-Star left-hander Chris Sale, while never finding his best command, had his good stuff and held the Yankees to one run on five hits over 71/3 innings. Sale, who was 1-9 over his last 11 starts despite a 3.23 ERA, lowered the starters’ collective ERA to 2.60 over the last 12 games. Remarkably, the Sox earned only their second win during that stretch.
Conor Gillaspie singled in Dunn, who had singled, in the fourth; Paul Konerko beat out a double play to get a run home in the sixth and Alejandro De Aza doubled in Gordon Beckham (double) with two outs in the seventh.
Dunn, who was hitting .306 over his last 49 games, said he feels the same at the plate as when he was going bad early. He’s hitting the ball the opposite way regularly, beating the shift with more frequency and finding open spaces. His .331 on-base percentage was second only to Beckham on the Sox. Meanwhile, he’s on pace for 38 homers and 100 RBI.
“He’s taking his walks and putting some balls in play the other way,’’ manager Robin Ventura said, “which is starting to move that shift back over a little bit.’’