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Now that Jim Riggleman is officially back in the fold as manager of the Nationals for the upcoming year, he can start to turn his attentions towards the approaching free agent season. Though it's still a couple weeks away, the Nationals have started to formulate their plans, particularly what they intend to do at first base.
According to Ben Goessling at MASN, the Nationals would like to bring Adam Dunn bask at first base, but have other options lined up in case they can't secure his services.
We've got our sights on Adam," Riggleman said, "but there's going to be some pretty good talent out there."
Goessling continues to say that he believes the Nationals have a different idea of how much Adam Dunn is worth then those who represent him. Which is probably the reason why he will be in a different uniform next year. That, and the Nationals' desire to replace him with a more defensive oriented first baseman.
And I know most Nats fans don't want to hear this, but from what I've heard, the option at the top of the list of Dunn alternatives is Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena, who isn't expected to resign with the Rays.
Pena hit below the Mendoza line last year at just .196, but finished with 28 home runs. He plays excellent defense at first base, but Dunn's production at the plate will certainly be missed if they replace him with Pena. But it seems that Dunn will be paid more than the Nationals are willing to give him, so Pena might not be such a bad fall back option.
Adam Dunn's contract situation with the Nationals has been a roller coaster ride all season long. Adam Dunn's position with the club has been in flux for literally half the length of his original contract.
Now, Ben Goessling at MASN is reporting that the relationship between the club and their first baseman, will more than likely be over after this season.
According to sources familiar with the team's thinking, they're likely to let him walk.
The team continues to view Dunn's defense at first base as a sticking point, and is reluctant to give him the four-year deal he prefers because of it. Dunn has said he wants to stay in Washington and would be open to a three-year deal, but the feeling from the Nationals does not appear to be mutual.
Goessling reports that the Lerner family still loves Dunn and would like him to be back with the club next year, but that those in charge of baseball decisions are ready to let him walk in favor of a more defense oriented first baseman.
But the people making baseball decisions, like general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman, see Dunn's defense as being untenable, according to sources familiar with the team's thinking.
Dunn has improved defensively at first base this year, cutting down on his errors and trimming his Ultimate Zone Rating to -1.9. But he hasn't been nimble enough around first base to stop hard liners that better fielders might turn into outs, and according to the scout, Dunn's defense is worse than statistics can quantify.
"He costs them half a run a game," the scout said. "You're involved in so many plays - pickoffs, scoops in the dirt, fielding plays - it's worse than it looks on paper."
Personally, I don't buy the the defense argument the front office is trying to make. I understand Dunn is not even an above average first baseman, but I believe his offensive abilities more than make up for that, particularly in ticket sales.
A power first baseman that hits about 40 dingers a year draws more fans than one who prevents some runs being scored by the defense.
I'm not saying good defense isn't important at first base, I'm just saying it might be worth sacrificing if you can keep the offensive talent and excitement Dunn brings to the game. It seems to me that the club doesn't want to spend the $60 million that Goessling speculates it will take to sign Dunn, and they are using his defense at first base as an excuse.
The club is still likely to offer Dunn arbitration, if for nothing else than to get the two first round picks they will be rewarded if Dunn ultimately decides to take a more lucrative offer elsewhere.
Conventional wisdom as the clock ticks towards the end of another Nationals season is that Adam Dunn is unlikely to remain a member of the team past this season. As it stands, Dunn is without a contract and his productive year behind the plate could be parlayed into a lucrative contract with a more competitive team.
However, Dunn remains hopeful that he will remain a National next year. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is reporting that while a deal between the team and Dunn has not been finalized, negotiations have move along to a point where Dunn can express a hopeful resolution to the contract issue. When asked about the status of negotiations, Dunn sounds like a player likely to stay, rather than one that is moving on:
"I do," Dunn said. "More than I did a month ago. Talks have picked back up. We'll see what happens. We're obviously talking. We're going to work something out, I think."
One of the key points of Kilgore's piece is that Dunn is unlikely to sign with an American League team, as he would rather not move to the designated hitter position. This is important, in that it takes many of Dunn's key suitors at the trade deadline, the White Sox, Yankees, and Red Sox, out of the running during free agency. So while this may remain talk for the moment, Nationals fans can hope for a quick resolution to the contract talks, and look forward to the possibility of another year of Dunn batting fourth.
Reports emerged this morning that claimed the Nationals has decided not to pursue re-signing Adam Dunn and letting him walk this summer via free agency. It didn't take long for someone to go to Nats' GM Mike Rizzo for a response. Ben Goessling has reaction from Mike Rizzo, who says the team would like to have Dunn back, but they aren't desperate.
"We like Adam Dunn. We think he's part of the plan. We're going to stay in communication and try and get him signed. If we can't get him signed, it'll be unfortunate, but we're certainly going to have somebody at first base that's going to be a bat for us, and I hope it's Adam, because he's done a lot for the organzation and he's a heck of a good player."
Of course they like Adam Dunn. He's probably the best offensive player on the team. But Rizzo is saying here that they can live without him. They might be interested, but only on their terms. Goessling later agrees with the report that emerged this morning.
From everything I've heard inside the organization, I continue to believe the Nationals will let Dunn walk and pursue a different first baseman this winter, one who they feel can play better defense than Dunn.
The Nationals seem to want to build a defense first team. which might sting, but isn't the worst idea in the world. Will they miss Adam Dunn's home runs if in fact he leaves via free agency this summer? Yes. Will they also appreciate the fact that they put a guy at first who can defend his position and catch all the crazy throws Ian Desmond is going to make?
Besides, Bryce Harper is going to replace his production in a couple years when he comes up and immediately starts hitting 85 home runs a season. Which is totally happening. The Nationals need defense more than they need Adam Dunn. The money he would command, probably made this decision easy for them.
Adam Dunn, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, will likely not be signing an extension with the Nationals, and won't be pursued by the club in the off season. According to Tom Boswell, the Nationals will not look to re-sign Adam Dunn this off season, and it's because of his fit into the future of the organization just as much as it's about his price-tag.
All season, the Nationals have had an internal debate over a classic question of baseball theory: Do the synergies a 40-homer cleanup hitter brings to a lineup outweigh the damage done to a defense by a below-average first baseman with little range?
The Nats have decided. Not formally. Not finally. But for practical purposes, with 22 games left in the season, time has made the decision for everyone.
When the Nats look at their lineup of the future, they see golden gloves or spectacular defensive range or powerful arms everywhere they look - and Dunn doesn't fit that model.
According to Boswell, the Nats have come to the conclusion that Dunn's impact as a defensive first-baseman (negative), nearly outweighs his impact as an clean-up hitter (positive). They simply can not afford to pay a player with his defensive issues the money it would take to retain him.
When the team failed to trade Dunn at the deadline, there was a small uproar that they would end up getting basically nothing for an incredibly productive player. We call that the Alfonso Soriano corollary. It seems now like that may be the case. The team can still re-coup a couple first round picks when they let Dunn go, but it's hard to imagine that package is better what some teams were offering at the deadline.
There's just over a month left in the regular season and the Nationals still haven't come to an agreement with Adam Dunn on a new contract as he enters final weeks of his contract. With little progress over the past few weeks, it appears Adam Dunn will likely be heading to free agency, according to Adam Kilgore:
Dunn leaves negotiations to his representatives and generally avoids updates from them, but he said Friday nothing is imminent and he is "assuming" he will end the season without a contract extension from the Nationals. The Nationals can offer one-year arbitration to Dunn and they will have an exclusive window to negotiate with Dunn until 15 days after the World Series. But players eligible for free agency rarely pass up the chance to test their value.
According to Kilgore's report, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo says Stephen Strasburg's recent injury has not had any effect on the negotiations with Dunn. However, it will be interesting to see if Dunn still wants to hang around with a team whose window has been pushed back for at least a year as a result of Stephen Strasburg's likely upcoming Tommy John surgery.
There wasn't much of a chance Adam Dunn would go elsewhere anyway at this pount, not after the July 31 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline passed. Now, those slim chances are even more slim.
FOX Sports' Jon Morosi is reporting Dunn did not clear waivers because a team claimed him. It's not yet clear which team that is, but this means the Nationals can only deal him to that team by Monday. Considering the Nationals couldn't get a deal done with 29 suitors, they probably won't get one done with just one.
The team's other options are to let the claimed team have him or pull him back. Giving him to the other team would literally be giving him away for nothing, so expect him to come back once and for all.
It remains unlikely that Adam Dunn is traded to another team, but there remains a slight chance, even though the trade deadline has passed. Basically, he can still be moved until August 31, but he must clear waivers.
That process may have already begun. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Dunn has been placed on waivers.
Heard this: Adam Dunn hit the waiver wire today, giving teams 48 hours to place claims on the slugger -- and the wide expectation is that multiple NL teams will put in a claim on him -- Rockies? Giants? -- and that there is no chance that AL teams like the Rays or White Sox or Yankees ever get a shot at Dunn, who is working on his seventh straight year of 38 or more homers.
This is somewhat complicated, so let me try my best to break it down. (There's some good information on waivers here).
After the trade deadline, many players are technically placed on waivers. It's not huge news if the Nationals did indeed place Dunn on waivers, it's just worth pointing out. As I understand it, most of the league is placed on waivers, so this isn't necessarily a sign the Nationals want to trade Dunn.
Once they are on waivers, the teams in their league each have a chance to "claim" the player. Priority is done from worst record to best record, so the Pirates have the first chance to claim Dunn, then the Diamondbacks and going all the way up to the Padres. AL teams only get a crack if every NL team passes on "claiming" Dunn, which is why Olney says there's "no chance" they'll get their shot at him.
Once a team "claims" Dunn, one of three things can happen.
What this means about Dunn is that if he's going to be moved -- and that seems unlikely -- it'll happen in the next 72 hours.
Mark Zuckerman agrees, writing that there's little chance Dunn goes to another team, even if he was indeed placed on waivers.
The 4:00 trade deadline has come and gone, and Adam Dunn is still a National.
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Dunn emerged from the training room at 4:05 PM, put on his uniform, and headed back to work.
"I am happy that I'm still here. I don't know if a deal will get done, but I'm sure we will continue to work on it," Dunn said.
The slugger was rumored to be on his way to the Chicago White Sox as late as yesterday, and several other teams over the past few weeks, but Mike Rizzo and the Nationals were not able to get enough in return. According to Ben Goessling of MASN, Jim Riggleman seems thrilled to have Dunn on the team, and he will be in the lineup tonight.
"... I think everybody's happy with the way it's turned out. I know Mike is very happy with what Adam does for us. He would've had to have been very overwhelmed with something to get him to move a guy like Adam Dunn, and obviously that didn't happen."
If Rizzo and the Nationals are unable to finalize a new contract with Adam Dunn, they will be compensated with two first round draft picks next season.
Though it initially appeared Adam Dunn might be headed to the White Sox, the Nationals have told him that’s simply not the case. Dunn told ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian the Nationals advised him they are not sending him to Chicago for Edwin Jackson, as as previously rumored.
Matt Capps was traded to the Minnesota Twins for catcher Wilson Ramos and LHP Joe Testa. Click here for more information regarding the trade.
There has been trade talk surrounding Nationals slugger Adam Dunn for over a month, with many of the rumored trades sending Adam to Chicago. ESPN's Buster Olney is now reporting, that Chicago may no longer be a possible destination.
Heard this: The White Sox are saying internally that they are currently out of the mix on Dunn.
Of course, this is just something that Buster Olney has heard, and does not officially rule Chicago out of the running, but Olney is one of the best connected reporters in baseball, so this has to be considered.
Jim Bowden spent more than a decade in the Reds organization, drafted Adam Dunn and was in charge in D.C. when Dunn was signed by the Nationals. Allegedly, they remain close to this day. So when it comes to the rumors involving the Nationals moving Dunn, few people are as informed as Bowden without actually being privy to the organization's conversations.
At the same time, his opinion still must be taken with a grain of salt. In a series of tweets sent Wednesday afternoon, Bowden had this to say about the potential for a Dunn trade before the deadline.
Yankees, Rays and White Sox are all three in the mix for Adam Dunn in trade talks as of this hour
Nats strategy: wait until last hour, have trade in place for Dunn, then ask him "You want to DH in AL or sign here for this offer? Bye Bye
Nats told Adam Dunn in Spring Training they would make him an offer...Dunn gave them a proposal, they never countered
Everything he says seems to echo what we've heard about the situation from other sources. The closer we get to the trade deadline, the more it seems like Adam Dunn won't be playing in Washington come August.
The Nationals have reportedly been interested in Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports helps clarify what the Diamondbacks might be looking for in return.
The Nationals are first trying to obtain the necessary starting pitcher for the Diamondbacks through a trade for first baseman Adam Dunn. The D-backs, just as they did when the moved right-hander Dan Haren, want a potential 200-inning replacement.
Rosenthal lays out a scenario where the Nationals would send Adam Dunn to Chicago in exchange for Daniel Hudson, then either flip him to Arizona or send one of their own pitching prospects to the desert. Rosenthal points out that the Diamondbacks don't want a guy who can throw 200 innings eventually, they want a guy who can throw 200 innings starting next year.
Left-hander Joe Saunders filled that need in the Haren trade, and the D-backs preferred him to additional prospects. A potential Jackson trade would follow the same blueprint. The D-backs, even as they rebuild, do not intend to simply turn their rotation over to youngsters.
It appears the Diamondbacks want a high level prospect in exchange for Edwin Jackson that is major-league ready.
Bill Ladson reports that Adam Dunn is still seeking a four-year commitment from the Nationals, but there might be some wiggle room with the term:
"I think four years is what I want. Would I look at three? Yeah," Dunn said. "Do I want another two-year deal? [If I did], I'm in the same situation I'm in now. I don't want that. I want at least a four-year deal and we can talk about a three."
If it seems like Dunn is anxious, it's because he is:
Asked if he was getting a deal done with the Nats, Dunn said, "At this point, I really don't know. If you asked me this three months ago, I would have said no doubt. Now, I don't know."
But don't think he's looking for a way out of town. He remains adamant that he wishes to stay in Washington for the long haul.
"I like it here and I like the guys here," Dunn said. "Are we playing our best baseball? No. Do I think in the future? This team will not only be good, but great or I wouldn't be going through all this to just try to stay here. I really want to be here. I like what's going on here. That's why I'm making a conscious effort to stay here."
Adam Dunn's most reported potential destination continues to be the Chicago White Sox. Previously, the Nationals were adament about receiving Major League talent in any package back for Dunn. Now, however, they might be willing to settle for two top minor-league prospects, according to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine.
Washington Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn could be dealt to the White Sox if Chicago is willing to sweeten the pot and add a second substantial minor league player in return, according to a major league source.
Any deal for Dunn would have to include Daniel Hudson, the White Sox's top pitching prospect. The Nationals also want one of three White Sox prospects: catcher Tyler Flowers, outfielder Jordan Danks or injured infielder Brent Morel.
The White Sox predictably rejected the Nationals' offer of Dunn for Gordon Beckham straight up, according to the report.
On the heels of his earlier report, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has dropped a bombshell of sorts. According to Rosenthal, the Nationals haven’t even offered Adam Dunn a contract extension of any kind.
Source: #Nationals have yet to offer Adam Dunn a contract extension in any form – not a single proposal.
Dunn has repeatedly stated publicly that he likes playing in D.C. Earlier, Rosenthal reported that the Nationals could step up their efforts to trade Dunn if they cannot sign him to a long-term deal. So really, this most recent news is very significant if true.
There are two things we know about the upcoming trade deadline, as it relates to Nationals slugger Adam Dunn.
1. He is likely to get traded if the team can't reach a contract extension, and it seems like they might not be able to.
2. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wants the world for him.
This was confirmed, yet again, in a report by CBS baseball blogger Danny Knobler, that claims Rizzo asked the Rays for starter Matt Garza in exchange for Dunn.
Teams that have spoken to the Nationals about Adam Dunn believe there's a good chance Dunn will be traded by the end of the week.
They also think that the price Nats GM Mike Rizzo is asking for Dunn right now is ridiculously high. Rizzo has been telling teams that to trade Dunn, he would need to get a young starting pitcher who is either major-league ready or close to it.
How ready? Well, according to a source familiar with the talks, last week the Nationals asked the Rays for Matt Garza.
This looks much, much worse after Matt Garza threw the first no-hitter in franchise history yesterday. But even before that, he was still one of the better starters in the American League, and still only 26 years old. So that clearly wasn't happening, even before the no-no.
More importantly, it speaks to the haul Rizzo is looking to get in exchange for Dunn. I'm guessing that as the deadline approaches, and the market for Dunn becomes more solidified, that Rizzo will be forced to lower his expectations. But it's a good sign that he is trying his best to maximize Dunn's value.
It's already been presumed by some that the Nationals will trade Adam Dunn before the trade deadline if they cannot agree on a long-term contract with him before July 31. On that front, this latest update by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi is significant.
At this point, it doesn't appear that the sides have made significant progress. So, we can expect the Dunn market to heat up in the coming days.
It should be noted that, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has not actually set a deadline to complete a contract extension.
Over the all-star break, one Nationals employee said, representatives for Dunn approached Rizzo with a request. Dunn's side wanted to strike a contract extension, and soon, and they wanted a deadline set to hasten talks. Rizzo responded without ambivalence. The negotiation would be on the team's terms. No deadlines. If Dunn's side tried to set one, Rizzo told Dunn's agent, then the Nationals would trade him.
So yeah, believe who you want to believe. It's the silly season, folks!
We're five days away from the MLB Trade Deadline, so there will be a lot of misdirection plays by general managers to try to conceal their true intentions. This rumor about the Nationals' interest in Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson could be one of those misdirection plays. Or, it could be legitimate.
Either way, here's the scoop from Buster Olney.
Heard this: The Nats have made progress in their effort to trade prospects for Edwin Jackson.
I'm skeptical, if only because I'm not sure which prospects the Nationals have that are worth trading for Jackson, but I guess time will tell.
It appears a new team has entered the Adam Dunn sweepstakes. According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Detroit Tigers are very interested in trading for the Nationals slugger due to the recent injury to Magglio Ordonez.
With the injury to outfielder Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers have "great interest" in Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn, according to a baseball source.
The Tigers need a run producer after Ordonez fractured his right ankle in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays, knocking him out for an estimated six to eight weeks.
If the Tigers were to acquire him, Dunn would be a designated hitter and play in the outfield. They already have a first baseman in Miguel Cabrera.
General manager Mike Rizzo continues to publicly say the team has no interest in trading Dunn, and Dunn has reportedly been uninterested in becoming a deisgnated hitter. This is probably why FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal believes the Nationals are leaking this rumor to drive up Dunn's price with the White Sox.
The Nationals are fielding a lot of calls from other teams about Adam Dunn, but have rebuffed them so far because they would like to keep Dunn in D.C. However, it appears they might consider moving him if they cannot agree to a long-term extension with Dunn before July 31, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
Heard this: The Nationals may attempt to complete talks with Adam Dunn in the next eight days, and if they can't do it, they'll move him.
Keep in mind that, as Chris Needham notes, the Nationals can still get compensation in the form of two draft picks if Dunn leaves as a free agent this summer.
In Adam Dunn, Josh Williingham and Matt Capps, the Nationals have three of the most sought after commodities on the MLB trade market. If they decide to move them, the Nationals could receive a considerable amount of talent in return from a team looking to bolster their playoff stock.
But according to Mark Zuckerman at CSN Washington, the team reportedly won't go out of their way to make a trade.
According to sources familiar with Mike Rizzo’s thinking, the Nationals GM is not looking to deal any of those players despite serious interest from several clubs. When approached by teams about Dunn, Willingham and Capps, Rizzo continues to ask for a significant return, usually big-league-ready players.
“He’s getting plenty of calls about those guys, but he’s asking for a lot back,” one source said. “He’s not the one initiating any of the talks.”
Dunn has already drawn interest from a number of teams, most notably the Chicago White Sox. If Dunn, a free agent at the end of the season, plays out this season with the Nationals then leaves via free agency, the club will only have two compensatory draft picks to show for it.
Hopefully, this means that the Nationals are confident they will be able to re-sign Dunn this winter. Otherwise it would be smart to get as much in return for Dunn while his value is at his highest. But as Zuckerman writes, a potential Dunn trade isn't as cut and dry as it seems to the casual observer.
Compounding the matter is Dunn’s insistence he doesn’t want to become a designated hitter, which means those American League teams seeking his services now would have little chance of re-signing him over the winter.
Rizzo, though, still sees Dunn as a key piece of the Nationals’ immediate future at first base. The two sides have been trying to work out a contract extension, but the length and terms of such a deal continue to be a sticking point.
A trade is even less likely for Willingham and Capps.
Rizzo, though, doesn’t appear interested in moving either player unless he’s blown away with an offer. Both Willingham (who ranks third in the NL with a .404 on-base percentage) and Capps (who ranks fourth in the NL with 23 saves) remain under the Nationals’ control through 2011, though each stands to earn a sizeable raise this winter through the arbitration process.
Whether they decide to make trades or not, the Nationals figure to be awfully busy between now and the July 31st trade deadline.
In case it wasn't clear already, the White Sox really want to trade for Adam Dunn. How badly? According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is willing to give up any player in the team's minor league system.
According to a major-league source, Williams spent the last few days trying desperately to pry Adam Dunn from the grasps of the Washington Nationals, offering up "anyone and anything he has in the minor leagues in a package.''
And no one is untouchable, including pitcher Daniel Hudson or infielder Dayan Viciedo.
Hudson and Viciedo are two of the White Sox's premier prospects, and Cowley writes that it is "surprising" that Williams is willing to move Hudson considering the short-term and long-term ramifications of doing so. Clearly, it seems Nationals GM Mike Rizzo can get some good value for Dunn if he pulls the trigger on a trade.
However, Rizzo continues to hold out for Major League talent and is reportedly asking for either Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin in return for Dunn.
"The problem Kenny is finding out is that [Nats GM Mike] Rizzo is acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard,'' the source said.
Williams has made his offer. Now, it's time to see which general manager blinks first in this game of chicken.
I think most agree that Adam Dunn is a productive first baseman and a legitimate asset to the Nationals on the field. The problem, though, is that he's seeking a new contract, potentially for far more than what he's worth considering he's
in his mid-30s 30. That's where all the trade rumors are coming in. The team is trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to trade him now and get something for him rather than potentially lose him for nothing.
If this is to be believed, the Nationals might be stepping up their trade efforts in the coming weeks. According to nationally-syndicated baseball columnist Phil Rogers, Dunn is seeking a contract extension worth at least $60 million for four years.
Adam Dunn is looking for a deal of at least four years for $60 million after having to settle for a two-year deal with the Nationals in his first run at free agency. The Nats want to keep him, but not at that price. It's likely he will be traded, with the Yankees, Angels and White Sox at the head of the list.
If true, the Nationals are doing the right thing moving him now, even if it makes the team worse in the short run. That's just too much money to hand to a player like Dunn, who is at the tail end of his prime.
Even though it looks like the asking price for Adam Dunn is "exorbitant" that isn't stopping teams from looking into a potential trade. From the looks of things, the White Sox are still considering making a move, depending on what you take from this tweet from Adam Kilgore:
For what it's worth, the #WhiteSox, a team linked to Adam Dunn trade rumors, have had a scout here in Florida all series watching the #Nats.
Unless you think Chicago is in the market for a light-hitting outfielder who goes by the name of Tony Plush, odds are, the White Sox are taking a good look at No. 44 this weekend.
We'll keep you updated on any developments as they happen.
As we come closer and closer to the Trade Deadline, rumors will continue to swirl around Adam Dunn until he's either dealt, signed to an extension or the deadline passes. Though Dunn told Adam Kilgore he still wants to play on the Nationals, its becoming clear that he would like to have a resolution sooner, rather than later:
"I mean, it's been frustrating because of this, of having to answer the questions. That's the thing that's frustrating. Other than that, whatever. They're going to do what's best for them. I'm just here, man. Employee number 44."
That sounds like the words of someone who is teetering on the fine line between and annoyed, but motivated and flat-out disgruntled. As the questions grow louder and louder in the following days, the potential to push Dunn over the edge will continue to grow. Outside of Strasburgmania, which is always the top story, Dunn's status as a National is the storyline to watch for the rest of the month.
For more on the latest Dunn trade rumors, check out Federal Baseball.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is known to be someone who values his own players highly, so it should come as no surprise that the following has come out, via Ken Rosenthal.
It makes so much sense that you have to wonder if Rosenthal's information is actually real information. Regardless, it gives you some indication of how things might shake down in a couple weeks.
Following the Nationals' 6-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants today, General Manager Mike Rizzo spoke to the media once again about the possibility of the team dealing Adam Dunn, who is in the final year of his current contract. Rizzo implied that the team has taken three options into account: trade him, extend him, or just let him play out the remainder of his contract in Washington.
According to Ben Goessling of MASN:
Rizzo said his first preference would be to extend Dunn. "But like I said, we have to keep our options open to trade him if it impacts the club," Rizzo said. "The third option is to keep him throughout the season and have him perform admirably for us like he has in the first half."
Rizzo went on to also discuss the future of Josh Willingham, the young outfielder who also happens to be in his final year of arbitration. Goessling reports that Rizzo was much less abstract about his desires for Willingham, saying that he "is part of the family, and we want him here long-term."
Buster Olney is arguably the most informed baseball writer around. On Wednesday, he lent his opinion to the Nationals-Adam Dunn quandary. (ESPN Insider)
Dunn is a free agent after this season, and because he's headed to another season of 40 homers and 100 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage, he's going to get significant offers if he hits the market. The interest in him will be mitigated somewhat by the fact that his best position is generally perceived to be designated hitter, but remember this -- at a time when home run production is down, somebody may step up to give Dunn a Jason Bay-like deal.
The home run hitter is becoming somewhat of an endangered species in this post-steroid landscape, so a player with Dunn's power will likely command a lot of attention and money on the open market. Obviously the Nationals would like to keep Dunn around, but can they afford to ink him to a contract similar to what Bay got last year (worth as much as $80M over five seasons)? That's a lot of cash.
If they aren't able to sign him, then the logical move would be to trade him. I love Adam Dunn, but if he isn't going to be here next year, then it would be nice to get something for him in return. The White Sox remain the most likely destination, with Buster listing second baseman Gordon Beckham as a player the Nationals could potentially have interest in. Buster's verdict? Keep Dunn in D.C. if you can.
If the Nationals can get him for a package somewhere in the range of $44 million to $48 million, I'd get it done. Now.
I would too. But that's not my money, and it's an awful lot to spend. I hope they are able to re-sign Dunn before he hits free agency, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him on another team come August.
As the Nationals fall further and further out of contention, the likelihood that they will trade one (or more) of their big name players increases. The biggest name (take that as you will) we could potentially see traded is Adam Dunn.
We've heard that a lot of teams have interest in Dunn, most frequently the Chicago White Sox. On Wednesday, ESPN's Buster Olney added to the speculation that Dunn might be moving to the south side of Chicago.
One rival executive says the White Sox "are all over Adam Dunn" right now. He would be perfect for what the White Sox need.
Nobody (no, not even uber-insiders like Buster) knows what is going to happen before the July 31st deadline. Even reports like this one don't confirm that the Nationals are ready to move Dunn, just that the White Sox want him. However, as more and more reports emerge about Dunn's availability and other teams' interest in him, it becomes more likely that Nationals are in fact considering moving one of their biggest bats.
If it was up to Jim Riggleman, the Nationals wouldn’t try to trade any of their key players. From Dave Nichols of Nationals News Network.
Riggleman on trade deadline noise: Doesn’t want to see the team break up. “We can do better with this group.”
Its not surprising that Riggleman would want to keep the team’s best players. Dunn and Willingham mean more wins for the Nats, and a manager should always want to do everything possible to win the most games.
Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson sent out a pair of tweets Wednesday that should make Nationals' fans who were worried about losing Adam Dunn rest a little bit easier.
The first in regards to the rumor that Dunn was being targeted by the White Sox:
I was also informed that #Nats GM Mike Rizzo never talked to #Whitesox GM Kenny Williams about Adam Dunn.
The second adresses Dunn's situation more emphatically
I was told, "There is nothing to the Adam Dunn story."
Well, I certainly hopes this turns out to be the case because we all know the Nationals can need hitting and runs and Dunn can certainly provide some of those. But with the trade deadline still about a month away, this story is bound to change a few more times before we know the ending.
According to FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi the Atlanta Braves are seeking an upgrade to their degrading outfield situation and the Nationals’ Josh Willingham is one of the likely targets.
Atlanta officials are considering Josh Willingham (Washington), Corey Hart (Milwaukee) and Jose Bautista (Toronto), but it doesn’t appear that any deal is imminent.
Willingham is a free agent at the end of the season, like fellow slugger Adam Dunn, and with a reasonable contract number of $2.3 million he should draw the interest of several teams up until the trade deadline. However, with possible rookie of the year candidate Jason Heyward on the DL with an injured hand, the Braves might have to act quickly to fill the void in their outfield.
Making a trade inside the NL East to keep the Braves’ playoff hopes alive might mean they would have to pay some sort of a premium in terms of prospects. How much the 31 year old outfielder is worth to the Braves and who the Nationals might ask for in return is still unknown at this point.
In case it wasn't already clear that the White Sox are very interested in Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, it should be now:
It's not definite that Dunn is the subject of the scout's eye, but it would make sense given all the rumors that swirled earlier today.
The thing about MLB trade rumors and reports is that they change constantly until either their completion or the trade deadline passes. This new report from Ken Rosenthal confirms that there is interest in Dunn around the league and adds the Angels as another potential landing spot.
The Nationals give no indication that they are willing to trade first baseman Adam Dunn; all they have said publicly is that they want to sign him to a contract extension.
Dunn, though, is on the list of the Angels’ potential trade targets, and the White Sox’s Williams also likes him, major-league sources say.
He also considers what a Dunn trade could mean to the Nats.
As for a trade, the Nats are 14th in the NL in runs even with Dunn and GM Mike Rizzo likely would be open to just about anything. But the Nats like the middle of their order -- Ryan Zimmerman, Dunn and Josh Willingham -- and Rizzo never has been in tear-down mode.
So nobody is saying that Dunn is definitely on the move (especially not the club -- if they say they want to trade him, it will lower his value among other clubs), but at this point it seems like a very real possibility. The Nationals are the type of club that could benefit from trading one of their best players for two or three players who might not be as good, but can fill a few different holes.
With the Nationals falling off the rails recently, they have probably become sellers in this year's MLB trade deadline market. This means that guys like Adam Dunn will be involved in steady trade rumors over the next month.
So it should be no surprise to read that the White Sox are interested in the Nationals slugger, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to multiple sources, Williams has been acting on his list in the last week, specifically targeting the Washington Nationals' Adam Dunn.
''Names have been talked about by both sides,'' one source said. ''[Williams] might want to act quickly, though.''
However, the White Sox have competition for his services.
But Williams is working against the Los Angeles Angels, who are starting to turn up their efforts to acquire Dunn.
For more on this story, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog Federal Baseball.
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