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.