CHICAGO -- Once the word was out that Adam Dunn had cleared waivers, many people -- including some in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse -- were hoping he would get an opportunity to play for a contender. The affable gentle giant has played more than 12 seasons in the major leagues but has not had a chance to play in the postseason.
"I am here and I don’t think about anything but today," said Dunn, who has one year remaining on the four-year, $56 million contract he signed before the 2011 season. "I definitely don’t have any control over it [a trade], so I don’t think about it or worry about it."
Watching veteran teammates get traded has been difficult for all the remaining White Sox players. Dunn, like those still in Chicago uniforms, must continue his pursuit of getting better while former comrades in arms get to play for a championship in 2013.
"That is essentially what you play this game for," he said. "You play for a chance to win a ring. The only way that you can win a ring is to get into the postseason. That is what everybody who plays wants; I haven’t been able to get there yet. Before my career is over, that would be a definite must for me."
Four years ago, Dunn was traded from Cincinnati to Arizona. The Diamondbacks were adding players in hopes of going to the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. That attempt fell short, and Dunn signed a two-year, $20 million contract with Washington after the 2008 campaign.
"I am happy for those guys that got to leave and play for a championship," Dunn said. "You get to go out and play, not to be just a spoiler, but to have the opportunity to go out and win a ring. If you are not a little jealous of those guys, then you should check yourself out and look in the mirror.”
Dunn’s teammates want him to stay and win in Chicago, as opposed to playing for postseason glory elsewhere.
"I want him to be here next year," Gordon Beckham said. "I want him to personally have a shot at the playoffs. For me and the rest of the guys on the White Sox, he is a good teammate and player. He is the type of guy you want around to help you win. I hope he is here next year and we can go to the playoffs with him in the next season -- that is the goal. I have seen too many guys go recently, and I don’t want him to be the next one."
At this point, the White Sox probably would prefer to clear some more payroll for next season and move a younger player such as Dayan Viciedo into the first base/designated hitter role. If Paul Konerko retires or signs elsewhere after the season, the team can still move Viciedo and platoon him between the two new roles with Dunn. At age 34, Dunn will make $15 million in 2014. That kind of one-year commitment should be a no–brainer for a club in need of a 35-home run, 100-RBI performer like him.