A Dunn deal could be what the Cubs need

September, 15, 2010
9/15/10
7:54
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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As the Cubs prepare to retool for 2011, the team had some of its best scouts following the top talent in baseball that may become available through free agency and trades over the offseason.

[+] EnlargeAdam Dunn
Diamond Images/Getty ImagesAdam Dunn is one of baseball's most prolific power hitters.
One name that keeps coming up in scouting circles that won’t go away is Washington’s Adam Dunn who appears to be a perfect fit for what ails the Chicago Cubs.

A long home run on Tuesday, made it seven straight years Dunn has had at least 35 homers. At age 31, the Washington first baseman is completing a two-year, $20 million deal.

Washington, reportedly, has been trying to re-sign Dunn, but the slugger most likely will test the free-agent waters. Dunn has told baseball people close to him that he’s not interested in DHing in the future. That stance may limit his American League options.

Cubs players have no objections to Dunn’s possible addition.

“I got a chance to play with Adam for a year and a half in Cincinnati,” said starter Ryan Dempster. “He’s a great guy and he’s become a better hitter than he used to be. That’s kind of scary considering that he was a pretty good hitter before. He’s hitting for better average, and he’s a good dude. He wants to go somewhere that wants to win. So I guess we’ll see what happens. But it’s nice to know people want to come here and play here.”

The Cubs desperately need left-handed pop and RBI punch in their lineup. Adding Dunn would only make the rest of the order that much better.

On a daily basis, Wrigley Field presents its share of problems for left-handed pull-hitters, due to wind currents that rarely blow out that way.

“When he hits them, it doesn’t matter,” Aramis Ramirez said. “Adam Dunn! I don’t think anybody has more power than this guy has. When the big boy hits it, the wind doesn’t matter.”

Dunn hit a ball 480 feet in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz called it the longest homer he’d ever seen at Turner Field.

“We don’t have a first baseman right now,” Alfonso Soriano said. “Adam Dunn is a great home run hitter. He’d be a great guy to have on the team.”

The Cubs are two of their top scouts to look at some of the more attractive free agents such as Dunn. According to some industry sources, Dunn is the Cubs’ top priority as far as free agent position players go.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Anthony Rizzo
BA HR RBI R
.283 25 55 67
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 55
RA. Rizzo 67
OPSA. Rizzo .924
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104