Victor Martinez became the Detroit Tigers’ primary designated hitter for next season once he agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the team. According to general manager Dave Dombrowski, that meant the Tigers had no more interest in free agent Adam Dunn.
"[Dunn] is a very good player," Dombrowski said. "He would have been a DH with us. Once we signed Victor, that role was taken."
So putting Dunn in the outfield was apparently never even an option. And given the need for some range in Comerica Park’s left field, that was probably the correct decision.
Dunn didn’t play the outfield at all last season with the Washington Nationals. He played 62 games in left field for the Nats in 2009, but rated as the worst defensively at that position in the majors.
But as the Detroit News' Tom Gage points out, maybe it wasn't all about defense with Dunn. Martinez actually performed better than him in several key offensive categories, including batting with runners in scoring position and with two strikes.