Before last season the Nationals had an opportunity to sign Adam Dunn, who had proven to be their best hitter, to a contract extension. But they balked, and calmly explained to fans that they had the chance to sign him to an extension throughout this season. Fans reluctantly accepted that stance.
Then, when it appeared that they wouldn't be able to reach terms on an extension, the Nats had the chance to trade him for equal value while his value was still relatively high. Management reminded fans that the team still had the chance to sign him to an extension, or even re-sign him once he hit free agency. Fans were still pretty upset, but we understood that there was still a chance to keep Dunn in the fold.
Then the rest of the season played itself out, and the Nats were unable to get Dunn under contract. This is when the Nationals started talking about needing more defense at first base. The writing was on the wall.
If the Nats never had any intentions of bringing Dunn back, which is what it seems to be, they had the chance to trade him over the Summer when he was one of the most sought after trade targets at the deadline. But they didn't do it. They just let him expire, and now he has signed with the Chicago White Sox, one of the teams that was allegedly interested in trading for him.
To be fair, the Nationals will receive compensation in the form of draft picks for losing Adam Dunn, but those can take years to pan out. I think we all would feel a little bit better if the Nationals had gotten actual tangible players who had already proven to be valuable assets. This is the conclusion that the Nats always envisioned, not having Adam Dunn as part of their lineup next year, I just don't agree with how they got there.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Hogs Haven with one of my favorite headlines of all time, "5 Redskins Players Mike Shanahan Is Grossly Misusing."
- Federal Baseball on a few of the free agents that the Nationals were able to retain.
- Testudo Times with a preview of Temple, Maryland's opponent in this weekends' BB&T Classic.
Today on SB Nation D.C.: Varsity News recaps a few regional playoff games and looks ahead to the weekend.