Dunn AND Griffey Plan

Just for fun, from the Jumanji-fied word of the Jen-Man :- )

=== Do-ability Dept. ===

This is as do-able as acquiring Dunn by itself is. In terms of acquiring both players, that is, with roster configuration problemos aside. If you win the bidding for Dunn, there's no big reason you can't talk ownership into popping for a year or two of Griffey. Chuck Armstrong would go to bat on that one, we know that much.


=== Crunching the Numbers Dept. ===

vs RHP, about 75%-80% of games:

Batting order ... RC/27 ... Player, Pos (RC/27 rationale)

1 ... 6.2 .... Ichiro, rf (career RC/27 = 6.6; 2008 = 5.6 in depressing year)

2 ... 5.0 ... Lopez, 2b (4.9 = 2008; 5.3 = 2H)

3 ... 7.0 ... Griffey, lf (8.0 = 3-yr vs RHP; 5.2 = 2008 overall; 6.6 = 2007 overall; 6.6 = 2008 vs RHP)

4 ... 7.8 ... Dunn, dh/1b (7.3 = 2008 and career overall; 8.1 = 2008 vs RHP despite bad luck)

5 ... 4.2 ... Beltre, 3b (5.2 = 2008 and career; career platoon splits are small)

6 ... 7.0 ... Branyan, 1b/dh (5.8 = career overall, but huge platoon split)

7 ... 5.0 ... Clement, c (estimate)

8 ... 3.5 ... Gutierrez, cf (4.2 = career overall; normal platoon split; young improving player)

9 ... 3.6 ... Betancourt, ss (4.0 = career overall; platoon splits tiny)

T ... 5.7 runs per game = 923 runs/year

T ... 5.56, Texas (2008 AL leader in runs scored)

T ... 5.22, Boston (2008 AL runner-up in runs scored)

Against RHP, Griffey, Dunn, Branyan and Clement are all going to pile up the BB and HR like Ichirolls behind the main concourse. That's quite a lefty TTO guantlet for the Lackeys and Millwoods of the division, wouldn't you say?

That's an offense that is, in effect, a 900+ runs offense even if you don't get a breakthrough from Clement. Or from Lopez, or Dunn, or anybody else, for that matter. You're talking 925 runs with some tight estimates there, because the fact is, Russ Branyan is an impact hitter vs RHP. Five of those guys ARE big-time hitters vs RHP, not counting Jose Lopez (who hit like Miguel Tejada in the second half of 2008).


=== Quibbles & Bits, Dept. ===

It's become almost cyber-blasphemy to speak of a Safeco outfielder who isn't defense first. :- )

But with a repaired knee, you can put Griffey in left, next to two terrific OF's beside him. It's only in cyber-Seattle that you're going to find a 4.5 40-yard time as an entry requirement to a major-league outfield. Other cities put bats in the corners without feeling like they've just added 0.50 to their staff ERA's.


A tough lefty reliever creates a "situation", in the late innings, against those 4-of-5 lefty mashers in your lineup. But you can, and do, pinch-hit for Branyan and Clement in the 8th inning against a LOOGY: Shelton and Joh hit for them.


You can't really sit Johjima that many games, we realize, and it's not like you're going to see those four lefty TTO mashers play 100 games together. But if Joh plays half-time, and pinch-hits, you can get Clement in there for Griff, Dunn, and Branyan in spots.


You are going to want a utility infielder who plays every position, with this plan, and you might have to play with two catchers instead of three.

The roster is:

OF Ichiro, Gutierrez, Griffey, Wlad/Chavez, Dunn;

IF Beltre, Betancourt, Lopez, a Hairston-type IF who plays OF;

1B/DH Branyan, Shelton, (Dunn);

C Johjima, Clement

Yeah, you have in effect used one of your bench slots for a pure bat -- Shelton -- in old-timey Earl/Terry Crowley style.  So sue me.

Interchangeable/replaceable gloves are not the Grand Theme of this roster.  Scoring more runs than the other team is the Grand Theme, and the gloves are workable.

If you have to have a 3rd catcher, Shelton is the one who goes.


=== More Than Good Enough the Other 20% of the Time, Too ===

Against LHP, the lineup becomes, for example:

1 Ichiro, rf

2 Balentien (Chavez), lf

3 Lopez, 2b

4 Dunn, dh/1b

5 Beltre, 3b

6 Shelton, 1b/dh

7 Johjima, c

8 Gutierrez, cf

9 Betancourt, ss

A virtually all-RH lineup, and you have Griffey, Branyan, and Clement on the bench to hit for Wlad, Shelton, and Gutierrez late.


I expect the M's to do this, as much as you do. :- ) But you put that hyper-platoon system in place along with up years from Felix, Bedard, and Morrow, and I don't think anybody wants to face them in the playoffs.




misterjonez's picture

Pat Burrell just signed with Tampa Bay for 2yrs @ $8m/year. Makes Dunn look more like a $10m/year guy on a 2-4yr contract, depending on how the team feels.
Also makes Giambi a bit more of an interesting idea, but it sounds like the A's are hot after him right about now.
Jump on Dunn.


I understand the appeal of Griffey, but it seems to me that Rocco Baldelli is a guy you have to grab. How often do you get the opportunity to sign a young, super-talented player who has performed consistently in the majors at a huge discount? Like Jose Lopez, it seems like he has been around forever so people have forgotten the star-caliber trajectory he was on as well as the fact that that his peak is still ahead of him. Unlike Lopez, though, he has actually come close to delivering on his promise when he's been on the field by playing great defense in center, being above average with the bat and burning up the basepaths. In 2003 he was considered part of the elite class of prospects along with Mark Teixeira, Jose Reyes, and Joe Mauer (with some rating him the very best, above those three) and Lou Piniella insisted he play in the majors despite not even having 100 at bats in AAA. Lou got his wish and Baldelli hit near the league average at the age of 21 despite playing in a park that is brutal on right-handers. At the age of 24 he hit .302/.339/.533 despite injuries piling up and his health deteriorating. The guy has been 85% of what Greg Halman's max upside and if he has finally got the proper diagnosis for his illness then he may now take things to the next level and achieve the star status he is capable of.
On paper Rocco is a much better choice than Junior. Baldelli's over all value in the short term is the same or greater than Griffey's and his long term upside is waaay bigger. Griffey's advantages are entirely intangible: it would be much, much more fun to win with him on the team and he absolutely needs to retire as a Mariner. Weigh those as you will.
Here's my lineup:
vs Righties
RF Ichiro
LF Baldelli/Balentien/Chavez
1B Branyan
DH Dunn
3B Beltre
C Clement
SS Hulett/Betancourt
2B Lopez
CF Gutierrez/Baldelli/Chavez
vs Lefties
RF Ichiro
LF Baldelli
1B Dunn
3B Beltre
DH Balentien
2B Lopez
CF Gutierrez
C Johjima
SS Betancourt
There are 13 players listed which leaves room for Chris Shelton (or any other platoon first baseman), Rob Johnson or a 12th pitcher.
Note: I want to point out that Tug Hulett is not only a great bench player who should be guaranteed a spot on the roster (instead of constantly being overlooked), but he's probably better than the current version of Betancourt. Getting Hulett time at short would not only help the team, but it's probably the only thing that will spark Yuni to get his butt in gear.

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