The Shifting Market for Dunn & Danks

I keep returning to this subject, because to me it seems so obvious that Dunn should be traded. He's hitting a solid .229/.366/.440 on the year, good for an OPS+ of 124. He's 5th in the majors in pitches seen per plate appearance.* He's also going to be a free agent this offseason, there's no way the White Sox make him a qualifying offer in an attempt to gain a draft pick, and the White Sox probably aren't making the playoffs this year. Despite all of this, I haven't heard as many trade rumblings about Dunn as I might have thought.

*4.34 as of the drafting of this piece - also...Mike Trout is #1 at this too? What a beast.

One of the potential trade partners for Adam Dunn has just acquired a DH - the Mariners brought back Kendrys Morales from the Twins in exchange for Stephen Pryor. I had the Mariners pegged as a good fit for Dunn as they are in the race, and desperately need production from the DH spot. Coming into tonight, Mariners DHes are hitting .194/.274/.289 (!!) on the season.

Given Morales' 2014 production so far, though, the Mariners may still have a need at the position. After Scott Boras vastly overestimated the demand for his services this past winter, Morales wound up missing the first two months of the season and is so far hitting .234/.259/.325. He was always more of a high contact/power guy, and never someone with much patience, so when his batting average drops things get ugly fast. He's only 31 and was a good hitter as recently as last year, so he may snap out of it, but it's been looking grim lately.

Even though the Mariners may not have solved their DH problem, they're likely to give Morales more than two weeks to show he has something left in the tank - meaning, if the Mariners want to bring in Dunn as Plan B, they will have to do so via a waiver trade in August.

There are still possible destinations for Dunn - Milwaukee comes to mind, and to a much lesser extent, I could see the Yankees, Reds, or Pirates finding use for him. But the Mariners seemed so perfect. I guess Jack Z had other ideas. Oh well.

We have also discussed John Danks rumors at length here. The Yankees are clearly looking to bring in pitching, as they have already acquired Brandon McCarthy - who has been fantastic since that trade - and just added Chris Capuano as well. Capuano had only pitched out of the bullpen so far this season, but the Yankees announced he will immediately go into the starting rotation for them. Depending on how many starts Capuano buys himself with the Yankees, that may diminish their need for Danks. Michael Pineda is inching closer to return as well. 

Still, the Yankees have clearly not given up on this season - they just traded for Chase Headley too - Sabathia is definitely not coming back this year, and unfortunately it is looking increasingly like Tanaka won't be pitching for a long time either. 

Danks bounced back from a brutal showing to throw a decent start in Minnesota on Friday night, going 7 innings and allowing 4 runs. I could see how someone would want him. I probably wouldn't trade for him if I were a GM - but it wouldn't be the craziest thing to do, and there are some teams where you could see it working well for both sides. There is a rumor the Dodgers may be taking Dan Haren out of the rotation soon, and as is so often pointed out, they are a team that wouldn't necessarily be offput by Danks' contract, for instance. Or some other contending team could lose a starting pitcher to injury and not have an in-house replacement on hand. 

There are less than two weeks left before July 31, but the market can change overnight.