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What The Nationals Have To Lose By Trading Adam Dunn

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.