With Paul Konerko taking on a new role of designated hitter against left-handed pitching, and with Cuban slugger Jose Abreu taking over at first base, Adam Dunn will get squeezed out of some at-bats. Dunn can deal with that.
“Easily,’’ said Dunn, who led the White Sox in homers with 34 and RBI with 86. “Whatever to win, I don’t care. The good news is there’s no egos, especially with me and Paul.’’
Dunn, entering the final year of a four-year, $56 million contract, said last year he wouldn’t care to be part of a tear-down project in 2014. But the Sox aren’t going quite that far.
“I don’t think that it’s a rebuild,’’ he said. “I don’t think we completely blew the team up. Last year is gone, thankfully. I think the nucleus we have is pretty much the same as it was the year prior, with the addition of Avisail [Garcia] for the whole time, who’s a stud, and Adam Eaton is going to bring a whole lot of excitement. The pitching staff [will have] Johnny [Danks] going to be healthy. I like where we’re at.’’
If the Sox are out of contention, Dunn’s chances getting dealt before the trade deadline will increase, especially if he has a good first half. Dunn said all things related to his contract don’t concern him.
“No, that’s something you can’t control,’’ he said. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it. This will be just like any other year, try to make the playoffs and go from there.’’
Dunn said winning is the only measure of success. And while the Sox’ current plan to win is weighted for success after this season, he’s buying into the notion of being part of something with its arrow pointed up this year. First comes putting 2013 in the rear view mirror.
“I think for the most part [there’s a sense of] excitement, but you have a season like that, it’s tough on everybody,” he said. “As tough as everyone thinks it is on [the fans], we lived it every single day, not to say they didn’t. That’s kind of what we do. You’ve got to remember how it felt, but you’ve also got to put it past and look forward and be excited on what we have, because the talent that we have is exciting. Everybody should be excited, if they’re not already.”
This offseason Dunn enjoyed having a bit part in “Dallas Buyers Club,’’ which is up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Dunn played a bartender in the film. Asked if he was upset over not receiving any nominations, Dunn, who has never been known for his defense, said tongue-in-cheek, “I am. It seems like that always happens. The Gold Glove, every year I get snubbed on that, so I’m used to it.’’