With all the ridiculous stats there are to evaluate MLB players (seriously, you could spend about a year on this site and not look at the same stat twice) it's always surprising when somebody thinks of a new way to evaluate a player. So kudos to Mark Zuckerman, who found a creative way to evaluate how important Adam Dunn has been to the Nationals this year. I'll let him explain:
I decided to look up how many times this season Dunn's RBI total was greater than or equal to the Nats' margin of victory.
Seems simple enough, right? The results might surprise you.
The answer: 16.
Is that a lot? Is that a little? Is that average? I had no idea. So I started running the same test with some other Nationals regulars. Ryan Zimmerman has done it 10 times. Ian Desmond has done it six times. Josh Willingham did it 10 times before his season ended in mid-August.
OK, so Dunn clearly leads the Nats in this department. What about around the league? I looked at all the top NL MVP candidates. Carlos Gonzalez has done it 17 times. Joey Votto has done it 16 times. Troy Tulowitzki has done it 12 times. Adrian Gonzalez has done it 10 times. Albert Pujols has done it nine times. (Just for fun, Carlos Pena has done it nine times.)
Unfortunately, this is just a dead horse I refuse to stop beating. The Nationals know how important Adam Dunn is to their club, but they will probably not resign him and claim it's an effort to improve their defense.
No matter how many times they say it, and no matter how many times people say, "but what about the offense?" it won't matter. The Nats seem ready to move on, even if their offense takes a tremendous hit as a result of it.