Dunn excited about joining White Sox
At 6-foot-6 and 287 pounds, Adam Dunn barely was able to fit through the door leading to the press conference room at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday.
He's a big man, and Dunn is expected to play a huge role in helping get the White Sox back to the postseason.
"I know I'm joining a team that's already been very successful," said Dunn, who officially signed a four-year, $56 million contract with the Sox on Friday before meeting the media at the Cell. "This is a great opportunity to not just win, but to win a World Series. That's everyone's goal and that's what I plan to do.
"This was my No. 1 place I wanted to go. I love the city and like said, I'm coming to a team that's already proven."
A standout high school quarterback who played a year of collegiate football at the University of Texas, the 31-year-old Dunn decided to stick with baseball and has been a terror with the bat since being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1998 draft.
A marvel of consistency while averaging 40 home runs and 101 RBI over the past eight seasons, Dunn is really expected to flourish in a hitter-friendly setting like the Cell.
"This is actually my first time ever being at this ballpark," Dunn said. "I talked to a couple guys who played here and they started laughing, saying it's one of the better hitting ballparks in baseball. That's pretty exciting for me."
Dunn deferred some of his salary for 2011, as did catcher A.J. Pierzynski, in order to give the White Sox a better shot at re-signing Paul Konerko.
But even if Konerko decides to sign elsewhere, Dunn figures to be a force in the middle of the Sox' lineup.
"Consistency," White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said of Dunn. "Consistency with getting on base, the power and driving in big runs. He's done it consistently for the last eight years. We needed that offense, period, but to get it from the left side certainly is a bonus."
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was at the Cell on Friday, and he tried to downplay Dunn's expected impact.
"It's great," Guillen said. "I will tell him the same thing I tell everyone else, don't come here and think you're going to be the man. Obviously, he's a big part of this lineup and I'm very excited to have him.
"It's very interesting. To see him swing the bat in the summer, his presence at the plate is going to be important. I'm very, very surprised. We never thought we were going to get him. I think Jerry (Reinsdorf) and Kenny went out of their way to get him and we're very glad to have him."
Guillen said he'd wait to see what happens with Konerko before he decides where Dunn is going to play.
Known much more for his prodigious power than his defensive prowess, Dunn fits the profile as a full-time designated hitter.
While he likes playing first base, even at a substandard level, the 31-year-old Dunn said he's open for anything.
"I don't care," said Dunn, who batted .260 with 38 home runs and 103 RBI for the Washington Nationals last season. "I'm to the point now where I'm on a team that's got a chance to win the World Series and I'll do whatever they want me to do, however often they want me to do it.
"I told Kenny the other day I'd catch, but I see A.J. signed. I'm OK to do anything. This is my first chance to really contend for the World Series, so I'll do whatever they want me to do."
If that means picking up the phone and reaching out to Konerko, Dunn is up for that as well.
"I know how much he means to the White Sox' organization, to the clubhouse, the city and everything else," Dunn said. "I know he's a great person, a great guy. Hopefully things will work out. I'd love to have him back."