Let's get this out of the way. Someone will bring it up.
Chicago Tribune writer Phil Rogers has a "whispers" column. He suggests that the Astros will sign Adam Dunn to play RF and replace Bourn with Pence in CF.
I believe this will happen. Not.
But here is his quote:
Houston is planning a sneak attack on the Cubs and might improve its chances of success if it signs Adam Dunn to a one-year deal before camp starts. Dunn, a 40-homer man for five straight seasons, would allow the Astros to move Hunter Pence to center field and Michael Bourn to the bench. That would mean a huge lift to run-production. Dunn has multi-year offers on the table, including one from Washington, but clearly isn't crazy about them. …
If you have seen some of my previous posts about Phil Rogers, you know that I am not a fan of his columns. Sometimes it seems like he just makes crap up.
Let's see the problems with this rumor. First, Adam Dunn and Carlos Lee in the same outfield should never happen. Pence isn't great in CF, either. The resulting defensive alignment would be untenable. I have liked the idea of Dunn as an Astro hitter for some time, but I have to accept the fact that it is unlikely to happen as long as Lee holds down LF. Second, anyone who has heard Wade talk about the Astros' budget constraints has to say, "who have you been talking to, Phil?" The Astros don't seem to be willing to pay $3million, much less the high figure that Dunn might command.
It's not that I don't think Dunn's offensive profile wouldn't look good in the Astros lineup. The anti-OBP lineup could use a dose of Dunn's OBP. And the HRs would help too. But the Astros don't play in a league with a DH.
If the Astros were to acquire Dunn (I know, I'm probably entering fantasy land), I would probably put Dunn in LF, Berkman in RF, and Lee at 1st base. The outfield defense would still be very sub-par, but that it probably the best to make of it. Dunn is an amazing -64 runs per 150 games in RF, according to UZR (yeah, that is a smaller sample size, but you get the idea: he has been more damaging in RF than LF). Dunn also hasn't played 1st base well when he has done that. Lee has hardly played 1st base, but he does have some infielder background. Berkman in RF would be somewhat of a risk, but recall that he played an acceptable CF for the Astros earlier in his career.
OK, forget about it.