I was tinkering around with one of my head-to-head teams the other day, trying to improve my lackluster production, and I started to look at the career of one of my bench players: Adam Dunn. I got so sidetracked that I didn’t even end up making any changes to my team, but I did discover something fairly interesting. Dunn, who used to be thought of as a top tier player, in both fantasy and reality, has never been to the playoffs in his 11-year career. This isn’t some enormously enormous finding, but it is when you couple it with these two facts: 1) Dunn has only once been on a .500 or better team and 2) each organization that Dunn left, via trade or free agency, either made the playoffs or went .500 or better (the 2011 Washington Nationals went 80-81 without Dunn)—or both—within two years of being Dunn-less.
What makes it even worse is the Cincinnati Reds were 85-77 in 2000, the year before he broke into the Bigs. The Arizona Diamondbacks, the team Dunn was traded to mid-2008 to help them make the playoffs, ended up stumbling down the stretch (22-22 with Dunn) and missed the playoffs by two games to the dreaded Dodgers. In 2010, the Chicago White Sox were 88-74 (you guessed it!) without Dunn. Last year, in his first year with the club, the ChiSox went 79-83 and he hit a paltry .159, gathering only 66 hits, while striking out 177 times.