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Rockies Free Agent Target: Mike Dunn

Andrew Dill Avatar
October 17, 2016


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The Colorado Rockies signed Boone Logan to a three-year, $16.5 million dollar deal back in 2014 to be a set-up, lefty specialist in the back end of the bullpen. With Logan set to become a free agent, barring the club re-signing the veteran, Colorado will be on the hunt for a left-hander in late-game situations.

Enter Mike Dunn — Dunn has spent the last six years with the Miami Marlins. The 31-year-old southpaw is coming off a 6-1 season out of the pen, yielding 16 runs on 43 hits over 42.1 innings pitched. Dunn finished with a FIP of 3.88 which is pretty average, and finished with a WHIP of 1.27 — also average.

Over his career, Dunn is a combined 28-25, accumulating a 3.40 ERA while posting average FIP and WHIP numbers. The only concerning factor about the potential of signing Dunn is that his strikeout numbers have declined. Over his career, Dunn averaged roughly 10.0 K/9, posting a 10.6 K/9 in 2014 and 10.8 K/9 in 2015.

With that being somewhat of a concern, another red flag would be the number of hits he allowed this past year. Though his innings were limited, specifically due to the emergence of Kyle Barraclough, he surrendered 9.1 hits per nine — second most in his career.

A bright spot this past season, however, was his ability to limit the walks. Dunn was generally a guy who averaged roughly 4.4 walks per nine, but this year was far better. In his 51 games played, the southpaw walked just 11 batters, posting a 2.3 BB/9 — the best in his career. This can be a major key to success at Coors Field.

As far as the asking price for Dunn, he should be pretty affordable. Dunn made $3.45 million this past year, compared to Logan’s $6.25. Anywhere in the range of a one or two-year deal worth that amount is reasonable.

If you were wondering about Dunn’s performance at Coors Field, well, it hasn’t been too shabby. Dunn has appeared in nine games at 20th and Blake, giving up two runs on five hits in seven innings pitched. One thing also worth mentioning, though in small sample size, is that Dunn has struck out eight in those seven innings, walking just two.

Colorado could look elsewhere for a left-handed arm, especially within their own organization. Sam Moll is a candidate to earn a look despite a somewhat rough season in Triple-A Albuquerque. Moll gave up 26 runs on 55 hits in 47.1 innings pitched, walking 19 while striking out 39 — 1.56 WHIP. Not to mention his strikeout numbers, 7.4 K/9, were down from his career average of 8.6. Also worth noting, Moll gave up 10.5 hits per nine, opposed to his career average of 7.8.

Chris Rusin is also in the mix but it’s worth wondering if removing him from his current swingman role would be unwise.

This offseason will be crucial for the Rockies to address their bullpen needs. Colorado’s young arms — Carlos Estevez, Jairo Diaz, and Miguel Castro pending development, should and will be players to keep an eye out for in the 2017 season.

Mark Melancon is an intriguing high-profile free agent, and Dunn — or someone like him — could prove to be the final piece of the puzzle. Of course, so much depends upon the budget the Monforts are willing to pay and the willingness of any free agent pitchers to choose Colorado. But there is an absolute plethora of exciting options both inside and outside the organization that could shore up the Rockies one glaring area of need.


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