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.