Rizzo: "We Are Not Trading Adam Dunn"
There are plenty of reasons to watch every Nats game this season. The starting pitchers. The chance that you'll see something the universe has never seen before. Rob Dibble. A vain hope that more hot dogs will explode.
And, of course, the chance to watch Adam Dunn. He is, I would argue, at once the best quote and the most exciting hitter in the Nats' lineup. If he's still here when the team starts winning, he will become one of the handful of most popular players in this town, in any sport. Plus, his bobblehead day is looming in August. So I've long been in the "please don't trade him" camp.
Today, after some needling from ESPN 980's Kevin Sheehan, interim GM Mike Rizzo came right out and said it: Dunn will not be traded. Here's the conversation (listen to the audio here):
Sheehan: One of the things I've heard over the last couple of weeks, which was very surprising to me, is that the potential exists that Adam Dunn could be on the trading block. And I've got to tell you, as a guy who has gone to a few games this year and watched many more than that, his at-bats at each game [are] a drawing card for me. Is that even a remote possibility?
Rizzo: Well, I've stated in the past that we're open to any and all ideas. If it's a deal that can't be passed up by the Washington Nationals, we're certainly gonna entertain it. [That's] by no means [saying] that Adam Dunn is on the trading block. We do not want to move Adam Dunn. We acquired him to keep him in the long term. He's having an all-star type of first half, he's a leader in the clubhouse, and he's the anchor of the middle of our lineup. He's on pace to hit 45 home runs and drive in a hundred-plus runs and have a .400 on-base percentage and score a hundred runs, so he's certainly not a guy that is on the trading block. If someone were to come and overwhelm us with a deal, I would imagine we would entertain it, but he and several other guys are certainly not on the trading block. But like I said before, it's my job to listen to any and all offers that teams bring to us, and if someone were to sweep us off our feet with any of the players you'd certainly have to listen.
Sheehan: And I understand that Mike....And you said definitively he's not on the trading block, but you also said definitively we're looking, and we're open to anything that would help improve our team. Which would imply that anything, including dealing Adam Dunn, would be a possibility. Do you understand that without a definitive statement on that it's a little bit surprising to some of the fans?
Rizzo: We are not trading Adam Dunn. That's as definitive as I can be.
Now, people smarter than I have argued that by some measures, Nyjer Morgan = Adam Dunn. I'm nowhere near SABRific enough to judge that argument. But Adam Dunn has the potential to capture casual D.C. sports fans in a way hardly anyone else on that roster does. From that standpoint, not trading Adam Dunn means a lot more than acquiring Nyjer Morgan.
On Elijah Dukes in the minors: Tim Foli's putting him through his paces, and he's taking it like a professional. He's gonna go down there, work on his skills, and we will see Elijah back in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
On the young pitching staff: "Jordan Zimmermann has the most electrifiying stuff out of the group....Our most consistent guy is John Lannan."
On Stephen Strasburg: If we were to discuss the progress or non progress of Stephen Strasburg, that would be the only question that we'd handle on a daily basis. We're only gonna say that we're not gonna discuss the Strasburg situation.
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