ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Held to three runs or fewer in 17 games in August, the A's on Sunday made a trade for left-handed slugger Adam Dunn.
Dunn, who has 460 career home runs, waived his no-trade contract with the Chicago White Sox to join the A's, who sent minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn to Chicago. Oakland also got a cash infusion equal to about half of Dunn's salary for the final month. Dunn is in the final year of a four-year contract worth $56 million.
Dunn, 34, has never reached the postseason in a career that spans 1.975 games -- the longest drought among active players.
"This is a guy who is chasing 500 home runs and he'd rather have a World Series ring over that," A's outfielder Jonny Gomes said of Dunn, a friend. "And that's the kind of guy I want on my team. He's hungry for it."
The A's, who were shut out by the Angels on Friday and Saturday, have fallen four games behind the leaders in the AL West. Oakland averaged 5.2 runs per game for the first 81 games of the season but the average is just 4.1 runs now, just 3.6 in games in August. The A's are 12-16 for the month.
Dunn, who is batting .220 with 20 homers and 54 RBI, will join the team A's for Monday's game against Seattle. Manager Bob Melvin said the plan is for Dunn to serve as the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers. All but two of Dunn's 20 home runs this season have come against right-handers. The A's face Seattle right handers Chris Young and Felix Hernandez in a three-game series that opens Monday.
"We're trying to do whatever we can to get some offense going here," Melvin said. "He has a history of hitting homers and getting on base. I talked with him this morning and for a guy to waive his no-trade clause and come over here means he's pretty excited."
The only hot hitter in the middle of the A's lineup is third baseman Josh Donaldson, who is 10-for-20 with four doubles and a homer in his last six games. First baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss has 23 homers for the year, but none since July 25. Right fielder Josh Reddick is hitting .203 over his last 19 games. Catcher Derek Norris was 0-for-15 before a ninth-inning single Saturday. First baseman Stephen Vogt, a .357 hitter through July, is hitting .222 in August.
Without Dunn yet available, the 4-5-6 spots in the A's order Sunday were Vogt, Moss and Norris.
"It definitely can solidify the middle of the lineup," said Moss, who could lose some at-bats with Dunn's arrival. "A guy like that brings a presence to the middle of the lineup."
Dunn has mostly been a DH this season, but has started 22 games at first base and five in the outfield. All but two of his 20 home runs have come against right-handed pitching.
"He's a power guy who's used to hitting in the middle," Melvin said. "He's a production guy. And he fits in here, too, in that he will take a walk."
"I think it's really exciting for him at this point to come in and play meaningful games in September," Melvin said. "He wants to help a team get to the post-season. The longer you have played in this game, it's all about winning. And now he's with a club that has a chance. That's an exciting variable for him."
The A's had been in command of the American League West for most of the season, but a 12-16 August and a surge by the Angels has Oakland looking at having to make up a four-game deficit in the division. They hope Dunn can be a catalyst.
"He's a good player," center fielder Coco Crisp, another of the A's who knows Dunn reasonably well, said. "And he's a good guy. I like it."
Sanburn, 23, was 3-1 with six saves and a 3.28 ERA in 42 games as a reliever for Class-A Stockton this season. He was the A's second-round pick in the 2012 draft.
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