Well, that didn't take long. The only guy who wasn't going to be around on his current contract with the White Sox next season was traded at the absolute last minute for them to do so. Adam Dunn's contract didn't work out the way the team hoped it would, and he was overpaid over the four years, but that doesn't mean he was terrible. After his historically terrible 2011, Dunn managed an OPS+ of 111 over the next three years. Not great, but playable. Now he goes to Oakland to help revitalize their stuttering offense, and hopefully will succeed with them.
Dunn picked the worst season to have his worst season. The White Sox built their competition window to push their chips in for 2011, and his implosion, paired with Alex Rios' implosion, and other huge problems on the team yielded a hugely disappointing year. But otherwise he churned along and was a serviceable, albeit highly flawed DH. As time went on, from the outside anyway, it looked as though he had become a popular player, was kind and generous to rookies, etc.
While a one month rental of such a player isn't worth too much, but the White Sox at least got an interesting return. Nolan Sanburn was Oakland's 2nd round pick. He has his problems - there's a reason he was the return for a month of Adam Dunn - he has a bum throwing shoulder, and the A's have moved him to relief to protect him. But, he throws really hard, sitting in the mid-90s with the ability to reach back for more, and a few breaking pitches that show promise.
I think it's extremely optimistic to think that he can hold up under a starter's workload. It may be overly optimistic to think he can stay healthy while maintaining his plus stuff. But, unlike many of these types of trades, the return actually has high upside. Sanburn is striking out approximately a batter an inning in High A, and should be ready to start the season in AA next year.
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