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.