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Nats Sign Adam Dunn For 2 Years, $20 Million

Aiming to legitimize their lineup and energize their fanbase, the Washington Nationals today agreed to a preliminary two-year, $20 million deal with Adam Dunn, the 29-year-old free agent they have pursued for more than a month. The team is planning a press conference tomorrow to announce the signing, which reverses the course of an inactive offseason just days before the Nationals report for spring training.

By signing Dunn, the Nationals fulfilled their longstanding mission to find a left-handed power hitter. Dunn will provide Washington with perhaps its most legitimate power threat since baseball returned to the District. His arrival also closes speculation, debated for years now, about the club's willingness to pay for higher-end free agents.

Washington obtained the highest annually paid free agent in its franchise history only after plenty of waiting. In December, the team fell short in its bid to land Mark Teixeira, the premier offensive player on the market. In January, the team turned its attention to Dunn, but the weak economy slowed player movement to a standstill.

February, though, brought urgency. Dunn, who earned $13 million last year, needed a team. The Nationals, perhaps more than any other team in baseball, needed Dunn.

Neither General Manager Jim Bowden nor Greg Genske, Dunn's agent, have returned phone calls today. Washington has released no information about the signing.

"Jim Bowden has been eying Adam Dunn for a long time," said Barry Larkin, a teammate of Dunn's in Cincinnati and a Washington front office member from 2005 until 2008. "You will see a lot of long, high home runs. Strap up your boots, because this guy can hit 'em. And that's an excitement that has not yet been seen in Washington."

Since finishing the 2008 season with 117 home runs, second-worst in the National League, Washington had targeted a left-hander capable of strengthening the lineup and, in turn, lessening the burden on the team's young nucleus. No Washington player hit more than 14 home runs last year. In the last five years, Dunn has never hit fewer than 40. Among active major leaguers younger than 30, only one, Albert Pujols (319), has more home runs than Dunn's 278.

But Dunn has a polarizing skillset. He is a lifetime .247 hitter. When Dunn struck out for the 190th time in 2004, surpassing Bobby Bond's single-season record, he quipped, "At least I beat a Bonds at something."

And though Dunn fills a clear hole in Washington's lineup -- he'll no doubt bat fourth -- he complicates the team's defensive situation. Dunn plays two positions, left field and first base, but flourishes at neither. If Washington uses Dunn at first base, he will supplant the talented but injury-prone Nick Johnson, who missed much of last season with a wrist injury. If Washington uses Dunn in left field, somebody in the Josh Willingham-Elijah Dukes-Lastings Milledge-Austin Kearns logjam will find either a bench role or a new team.

If nothing else, Dunn's signing opens up a host of trade possibilities and creates the kind of depth -- and a means to temper the costliness of injuries -- that Washington lacked in 2008.

"He's been as consistently productive as anyone over the last four or five years," said Aaron Boone, a teammate of Dunn's in Cincinnati, who played in 2008 with Washington. "You can pretty much pencil in what he's going to be. And just the presence he'll create now of stretching that lineup all the more. It's all of a sudden a very deep lineup."

No matter how Dunn fits in, his presence has the potential to revitalize interest in the Nationals, whose pitchers and catchers report to Viera, Fla., on Saturday. Last year, the team's paltry television and radio rankings -- coupled with middling attendance at Nationals Park -- indicated that the franchise very much needed a spark heading into its second year in the new ballpark.

In 2008, Washington lost 102 games, most in baseball. Its earlier inabilities to lure free agents this offseason triggered a fear that the Nationals would start 2009 with only a modest makeover -- most notably, the well-received November trade with Florida that netted Willingham and pitcher Scott Olsen.

But the deal with Dunn was struck in large part because of connections. Bowden, then a general manager with Cincinnati, drafted Dunn in the second round in 1998. Four years later, after Dunn broke into the big leagues, Bowden said that Dunn "has a chance to be one of the best power hitters of our time." In Cincinnati, Dunn became close friends with Kearns, also drafted by the Reds in 1998.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 11, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
 
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Next: So, Where Does He Play?

Comments

One can only hope!

Posted by: NatsFly | February 11, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I've been waiting since the winter meetings to read a headline that included "Nats" and "sign" and the name of a player who was a difference maker.

Wow.

It is very unusual to get more than one source for a signing for it to be wrong.

Wow.

Cross your fingers, everyone.

Posted by: rushfari | February 11, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Second that, Natsfly!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Cheap Lerners.

Posted by: wahoo2x | February 11, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Great news -- hope its true!

And, nice work, Chico -- my quick survey shows you beat Ladson, Zuckerman and MLBTR breaking this one.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan1 | February 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't toy with me, Chico.

This would be HUGE for this lineup. If Nicky J. can stay healthy we are going to be tough, unless of course he gets traded.
However, I see an OF getting moved.

If this does happen, I'm offically off the back of the Lerner's.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

My heart actually just skipped a beat. No lie... I checked the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st or even Groundhog day for that matter.

Pending the official announcement of course I'm positively giddy! WTG FO! We give you loads of crap on a consistent basis. Appropriate congrats and thanks are in order for this one.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

a two year deal for Dunn is perfect, creates a bridge to Marrero if/when Nick is hurt, but also allows for a line-up with Nick and Adam, two high obp lefties in the middle of the line-up? LOVE IT.

Now who is the odd man out in the outfield when Dunn isn't playing 1B? My guess is Willingham;

1. Guzman
2. Dukes (RF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Dunn (LF)
5. Johnson (1B)
6. Milledge (CF)
7. Flores (CA)
8. Hernandez (2B)
9. Lannan (SP)

When Nick is unavailable then Willingham plays LF and his in Johnson's 5 slot.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Holy Mother of God!

Posted by: FloresFan | February 11, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

ZOMG

Posted by: mgv4232 | February 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Must be a "Dodgers Sign Manny" headline coming soon to an internet near you, I'd say. Or maybe just "Adam Dunn Faces Facts." Either way, I'll take it.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Ok, hey, ok. I think this is starting to look like a major league lineup..

Posted by: 6thandD | February 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hooray!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
Way to out-scoop the world!

Posted by: dclifer | February 11, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I certainly hope he lives up the hype.

But I feel much better now.

Sec314

Posted by: arlingtontwb | February 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Lots of power in the line-up now, what with Dunn penciled in between Zim and a healthy NJ. I can see a trade being worked out now with an outfielder going going gone most likely. Those right field seats will be a hot item now for souveniers.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 11, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Now I hope they really DON'T sign Hudson, the first pick in the 2nd round is a very valuable commodity to a team trying to build from the bottom up. I hope they don't waste it on a guy who will only be on the team a year or two and is unlikely to get a type A designation when he becomes a FA again.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If you will excuse the pun ... slow Lerners.

Posted by: chopin224 | February 11, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

CHICO!!!

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it time yet for someone to start complaining about Bowden only signing ex-Reds?

And Chico, push any thoughts away now of checking out Dmitri Young's body fat percentage when you get to Viera. The real question of the day should be directed to Austin Kearns, and it is this: Which country song best brings to mind the feeling of losing your job to your best friend?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 11, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bos, we finally got our Reggie Jackson/Harmon Killibrew!

Posted by: fearturtle44 | February 11, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now....placards in righrfield proclaiming it as 'Dunns Den'.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 11, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is awesome news. This improves both Zimm's and Dukes' power numbers and average for 2009. Dunn walks ALL the time--more total bases and RBIs. We were shut out what? - 21 times in 2008? Cut that number by 2/3 now. Pitchers will get run support. Games we lost in 2008 by 4-1 we can now win 5-4.

Also, importantly, we will lose games 7-6 next year that we would've lost 7-1 last year. Losing 7-6 can be a helluva fun night at the park--losing 7-1 is torture.

WHAT GREAT NEWS!

Posted by: ThinkingOne | February 11, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Great move. I was hoping they'd go more than 2 years, though. Maybe there's a club option for 3 in the deal.

Posted by: AshburnVA | February 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Great news. Former Reds have done a superb job for the Nats! Haven't they?

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | February 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Love the fact that it's a two year deal if that is indeed the case. BP figures Dunn will be a guy who will not have a long peak, but their projection for him next season is a .937 OPS. A couple of seasons like that would really, really help out the lineup.

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It's a Dunn deal, news conference tomorrow!

I've been neutral on the Dunn signing but have said I would come around to supporting it if it got done. I have to admit, it's more exciting than I expected.

If Nick is healthy then we have to trade somebody, but I guess that's a high quality problem.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Kearns loses his job, WMP's chances of making the 25 man roster just went from slim to none.

If they do move a outfielder I think it will be Kearns though (but they'll have to show he's healthy AND eat 2/3 of his contract - who wnats a defense first RFer anyone?)

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Take that you naysayers!

Making this up but:

Said Dunn: "Washington was always my first choice. It was just a matter of getting the right deal."

Posted by: natbisquit | February 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Team OBP is going up up up.

Trade Willingham and keep Nick Johnson!

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Way to scoop, Chico, as others have noted! (Now I have to go and update my neighbors as to what all of the hooting and hollering was about.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow !!! It happened. We've been waiting for so long.


Sorry, Ed, we got him now...

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Now this is a lineup I can tinker all day with...

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the ideal would be to get rid of Kearns, play Dunn, Milledge and Dukes left-to-right in the outfield, and start with Johnson at first and Willingham as fourth outfielder. If Johnson can't stay healthy, he can be replaced with Willingham or Dunn, either of whom would be playing somewhat out of position at first.

Posted by: jcj5y | February 11, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many guys we have on the 40 man right now? I'm wondering if we need to move someone to make room...

I also can't wait to hear some comment from Dunn or the team on what role (ie position) they expect him to play.

Willingham made a big deal about expecting to play LF (though he can play 1B), but the club (to the best of my knowledge) was mute on the subject.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

nunof1 - just check the comments on the Nats.com article for the anti-Reds sentiment.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 11, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This is huge - Dunn's presence in the middle of the lineup allows the Nats to slot the rest of the hitters around him.

Chico - is the tomorrow's presser open to the public?

Posted by: comish4lif | February 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If we stay healthy, and a little luck with the pitchers, I say we are a strong 3rd place.

Posted by: nickgoldblatt | February 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"...closes the speculation about whether the club had a willingness to pay for higher-end free agents."

Well...not sure if this ends all speculation. Remember, Dunn is at a huge discount. Just saying...

Posted by: dclifer | February 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Verducci says it's two years, $20 million.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/02/11/dunn.nats/index.html

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@estuartj - Signing Dunn brings them to 40/40

Posted by: Brian_ | February 11, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Milledge LF
Dukes CF
Zimmerman 3B
Willingham/Johnson 1B
Dunn RF
Flores CA
Guzman SS
Hernandez 2B

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

OMG, if this is true it's wonderful. Way to go FO, way to go Chico!

Posted by: Section109 | February 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

OMG! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | February 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree, longterm, on further review we don't necessarily have to trade anyone. Dunn can (at least theoretically) play left, first and, according to Ladson, right (I guess that's true as the Cubs were rumored to be chasing him for that spot as well). Milledge can play center (insert caveat here) and left. Kearns and Dukes can play right and center. Harris can play all three outfield positions as well as second. All of a sudden we have a ton of depth. At a minimum, that will mean we don't have to suffer through another season like the injury-plagued 2008. We can also field a lineup with pop, and have veteran hitters and solid defensive replacements on the bench. If the pitching holds up, this team might actually be better than average. Hooray, better than average!

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

YES! The second coming of Hondo is here! Can't wait for those blasts into the scoreboard.

Posted by: OptimisticSkin | February 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Finally we get the headline:

Nats Get the Deal Dunn

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Dunn has to bat fourth, lt, if you slot him fifth we'll be wasting a lot of his walks. My order is:

Milledge
Dukes
Zimmerman
Dunn
Johnson
Guzman
Flores
Hernandez

Then you have a great bench with Willingham, Kearns, Harris, Belliard and Gonzalez.

I'm psyched. And there is the added benefit of quashing some of the gnashing of teeth in here. Maybe.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE F.O. DON'T SIGN HUDSON. WE WANT THAT TOP 2ND ROUNDER...

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Now I hope they really DON'T sign Hudson, the first pick in the 2nd round is a very valuable commodity to a team trying to build from the bottom up. I hope they don't waste it on a guy who will only be on the team a year or two and is unlikely to get a type A designation when he becomes a FA again."

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 2:55 PM
______________________________________________________

I agree completely. Between Hernandez, Belly and Harris, I think we have 2nd base covered pretty well.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Optimistic has a great point...Dunn does remind you of a modern-day Frank Howard, doesn't he?

Posted by: AshburnVA | February 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Depth also means we can trade if we want to or just wait to see who returns the most without destroying core lineup.

Jim Bowden has done a fine job this offseason.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I could also see us hitting Dunn 3rd and Dukes 4th and Johnson 5th for the whole l/r/l thing. lead off with Guzman and hit Zimmerman 2nd then we are l/r/l/r/l/...

lot's to play with here... key is if we have a trade for johnson in the works already. i love seeing three players in a row with .400 obp...

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Meh. If the Nats had a better supporting cast, I'd be more excited. It will be great to finally see some homers (and a potential 100-RBI man) but the rest of the lineup still doesn't scare anyone. On a weak-hitting team will the opposition be able to pitch around him routinely?

This team won 59 games last year and people are already saying we'll be better than average now? I'm all for a big signing (finally!) but this team is still a 70-75 win team tops. Still, finally a decent signing...his low avg/high K count aside, it will be nice to see some home runs not hit by the other team.

Posted by: jollyroger2 | February 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Willingham, Johnson and Dukes all have trouble staying on the field so now with Dunn, we are covered for the inevitable DL stint.

I'm argued here than Dunn's talents are not suited for the clean-up role because he should be a run-producer not a table-setter, but his power is something that has been sorely missing since this team cleared immigration. I'm glad they did something and I think two years is the right amount of time.

I was just about to post my prediction for the 25 man roster while lamenting that no FA was coming, so I'm glad to be proven wrong.

I don't think we should move anybody though, at least until the all-star break. I like the depth this gives us and I'm now excited to see some NFL-style position battles in the coming weeks.

Chico... Big Ups on the scoop. I'm glad we loyal NJ readers/posters were the first to know.

Posted by: sec307 | February 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Dunn is slated to play first base. Hmmm.

Posted by: AshburnVA | February 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Man, timing's a weird thing, isn't it?

Had this been announced just as FA started, there would be some disappointment, I believe. And again, had it occurred just after Tex signed with NY, I believe some would still bemoan the signing as a consolation prize.

After six weeks of relative inactivity, though, the signing is a godsend.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I think it's a good signing. I just think it's funny how our perspectives have changed.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

LONGTERM: Looking at your proposed lineup your batting Guzzie 7th any reason for this? i would think you bat him higher maybe slip Milledge to the seven spot unless he(Milledge) improves on his plate discipline.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

NJ must be gone to Oakland or not even healthy if Dunn is slated at 1b.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

HELL YEAH! ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Great move! The most power the Nats have had even including Soriano. Dunn has Soriano power and then some (Soriano has had just one 40 HR season). Much better OBP than Soriano, .381 to .329 lifetime. Many more RBI. Younger too, by far--almost four years younger than Soriano. Two prime years at least.

I'm hesitant to ask on this great signing day, but has anyone closely looked at his defense? Compared to Dmitri at first, for example, or compared to WMP, for example in the OF? Can anyone say? What should his position be, from a defensive standpoint? OF get fewer chances than 1B. A good 1B (like Nick) saves lots of hits.

The Nats will likely keep Kearns, too, cuz his hefty contract makes him tough to move. This is fine with me. Seems like Kearns was injured quite a bit, but his defense is strong. Plus arm. He has shown he can hit (in prior years).

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

wait, only two years??

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I thnk Gonzalez is going to have a tough time making the 25 man now. I think Harris is an infielder/pinch hitter/runner now. If Guz gets hurt Hernandez goes to SS and Belliard or Harris plays 2nd.

That said I think Belliard is the most likely player of anyone to get moved, playoff experience good off the bench favorable contract...what's not to like?

Here what I see for the 13 position players;
OF (5)
Dunn/Milledge/Dukes/Kearns/Willingham
CA (2)
Flores/Nieves
IF (6)
Johnson/Hernandez/Guzman/Zimmerman/Harris/
Belliard (or Gonzalez if Belli is moved).

Final note, does anyone see Dunn as a viable RFer? Has he played there before? How stong is his arm?

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't read too much into that, Ashburn, he just said Dunn was "expected" to play there -- no sources cited (his only source was the Post -- yay Chico!)

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

i think Milledge has better OBP and runs more. if he can leadoff i'd prefer him, especially with threat of leadoff homer. guzman is better suited to hitting 9th in the AL, i think.

i didn't start with the intention of filling up an order but just kept adding names i could think of.

i could see all of these guys each hitting somewhere 2-7 though. very interchangeable.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Didn't I read on the NJ over the last couple of weeks that if we signed Hudson, based on our record, we wouldn't lose a pick, but that AZ would get a sandwich pick for losing Hudson?

Posted by: 1of9000 | February 11, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Totally disagree re Hudson. Draft picks, you hope, grow into players like Hudson. A gold glove 2B who can hit .300 and do a ton of things to help a ball club. Prospects are just prospects until they do it at the big league level, which Hudson has done.

Stoked about Big Country Dunn. Long live the 180 strikeout, .240, 40 HR big man! Bring back Glen Davis!

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | February 11, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Amazing the way a little signing blows a breath of fresh air into a blog that was usually doom and complaints and gloom.

Now people are talking about the second coming of Frank Howard, depth on the bench, a competent front office and -- lord god almighty -- a vastly improved 2009.

Bring on spring training!

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Start printing those 2009 World Series tickets now Nats Office. Start buying up those 2009 World Series tickets Nats fans. Adam Dunn and his career .247 average and yearly 170+ or so strikeouts are surely going to carry the Nats to the promised land.

That and the former O's cast-offs: Cory Patterson, Daniel Cabrera, Freddie "Boom Boom" Bynum, and Alex Cintron.

Watch out NL East because the Nats will be serious players this year.

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.

(and they still have no pitching)

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 11, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@1of9000 - The Nats would not lose their FIRST round draft pick if they signed Hudson. That is protected. They would however lose their SECOND round draft pick.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I think I would prefer Milledge in left (weak arm), Dukes in center and Dunn in right, with late inning defensive replacement when necessary. A healthy NJ at first would be most important to snag those hot shots that would go into the corner. A strong right side infield will be most important with a defensive liability in rightfield.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 11, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

throw Willingham back behind the plate like the days when he came up for the Marlins.

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Dukes (RF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Dunn (LF)
5. Willingham (CA)
6. Johnson (1B)
7. Milledge (CF)
8. Hernandez (2B)
9. Pitcher

Posted by: UFORomeo70 | February 11, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"throw Willingham back behind the plate like the days when he came up for the Marlins"

Because putting a guy with a recent history of back problems behind the plate seems the best course of action?

Posted by: Brian_ | February 11, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

If Dunn plays RF would Willingham or Milledge play LF? Wait, what would Dukes do if he was playing CF between Willingham and Dunn...that would be U-G-L-Y. Milledge in LF at least allows Dukes to cheat over toward RF a bit...

I'm hoping we hold onto Johnson, he's one of my favorite players and I'd hate to see him leave (and hate to see us get virtually nothing back even more!).

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Willingham has a herniated disc in his back... I think his catching days are behind him.

Nats.com has updated the 40-man with Dunn and it's 40 on the nose now. I seem to recall the FO leaving a few spots open during the Tex sweepstakes and all of our moves, including Perez, were minor league deals up to this point.

Posted by: sec307 | February 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

My boss just asked my why I went "YESSSS!!" and shot my arms into the air.

He then said he was happy for me but advised me to temper my enthusiasm -- not because we're in an office setting -- but because everything he had heard about Adam Dunn was that he was "locker room poison."

If my boss was trying to burst my bubble, he failed utterly. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | February 11, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this signing is preceded by a trade. The reluctant party was not Washington, it was Dunn.

That being said, a move - or several - will likely have to be made, and the Nats may have lost a little leverage in the process. They now appear to need to make a trade more than they did before, if that make sense.

Cutting WMP loose isn't enough to clear up the logjam on the OF.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

But we need more free agents! One person will not change everything.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Nat's off season went from sub-par to mildly average.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 11, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

If Willingham in still on the team by Opening Day, he NEEDS to be in the starting lineup.

Posted by: dclifer | February 11, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, is your boss Poopy McPoop, perchance?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So what will be his numbers without steroids?

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 11, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Bout time!!! Friggin cheap bastids

Posted by: Brue | February 11, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow...I mean, wow. I didn't think it was going to happen. This is still going to be a rough season, but man, this should take at least a LITTLE of the sting out of it...

The Overmind is....pleased.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

well i doubt 14 homers leads the team next year. i'm thinking 5 guys hit over 20...

homer projection:

Dunn 40 (no way he hits 40 again but...)
Dukes 32 (at least!)
Zimmerman 24
Willingham 24
Milledge 24
Flores 16

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Brian_ - thanks for answering that for me...

Posted by: 1of9000 | February 11, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Because putting a guy with a recent history of back problems behind the plate seems the best course of action?"

Ok - with that logic, we shouldn't expect much from Nick Johnson this year either. But point taken. Short of Dunn and Zimmerman, Willingham is the next bat that NEEDS to be in the lineup.

Posted by: UFORomeo70 | February 11, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

meh

Posted by: uncledak | February 11, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Per Rosenthal...2 yrs...20K.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 11, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the biggest Dunn fan, but this is a GREAT signing by the Nats. 2 years is about as long as I'd go for someone like Dunn.

I'm curious if Rick Eckstein noticed that Nick Johnson wasn't anywhere near ready to start the season at first and maybe nudged JimBo to get Dunn ASAP? Earlier reports did say that NJ wasn't at 100% ...

Posted by: erocks33 | February 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL..make that 20M

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Frank Howard. Terrible signing. Just what the team needs-- another .247 hitter. Feast or famine. Great --home run or K. BFD.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

After six weeks of relative inactivity, though, the signing is a godsend.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I think it's a good signing. I just think it's funny how our perspectives have changed.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 3:32 PM

*****************

I think this is so true. A good marketing strategy, I think, to have the fans mope around getting used to the starvation with our current lineup. Then BAM, hit us with that saltine cracker and we're calling it a Ritz!! LOL

Not knocking this announcement at all, I'm just as giddy as the next guy, but I would have reacted exactly as you said if we'd signed him at any other time.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's Bos today:

"The Nats are going to look very smart __and I'mm be delighted to lash myself in the public square__ if they get Dunn at a great price."

By the way, he was talking about a contract worth $12 million per year.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong about two things this winter. Stan is staying and Lerners spent some money on a big time free agent. I am sure glad I upgraded my seats to the RF corner.......I think some balls are coming my way......Honestly this is the best we have had since Lerner ownership took over. Oh and I loved FanFest.....I crushed my two pitches in the batting cage!

Posted by: JayBeee | February 11, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Also why is Zim locked in in the 3 hole. He should be 2nd and Dukes batting 3rd.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"That and the former O's cast-offs: Cory Patterson, Daniel Cabrera, Freddie "Boom Boom" Bynum, and Alex Cintron."

Three of those four will likely never make the Nationals' 40-man roster, much less the 25. Your poopy mcpoop will still stink, though.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 11, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to keep Johnson, but it seems likely he now gets traded at some point. I think Kearns is the hardest to trade because of his contract, but it is possible he gets traded for someone else's contract (e.g., Kearns for NYM 2B Castilla - totally for example sake).

Trades take two partners though and it is entirely possible that the opening day lineup will is now on the roster (+ Dunn, + invitees).

Posted by: natbisquit | February 11, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I was also in a very positive Nats mood already today. The Bally chat, the great post from Chico that precedes this one, and even some ST excitement from some squealing NJ posters - all a great run-up to this announcement.

I even found myself thinking how neat it would be if there were a cool announcement after the Bally chat ended.

Wouldn't have placed a bet on it happening, though. These things usually go down while I'm at Burger King.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha. You guys can have Adam Dunn and the 85 hits he gets in 480 at-bats outside of home runs.

You can have him for the 47 runs he will drive in when he's not homering.

You can have him for his lack of production with runners in scoring position, late and close or a tie game.

You can have him standing up there taking hittable strikes but trying to yank everything to the right side.

You can have him and his -10,000 defensive measure, which completely offsets all those wonderful walks from your main power source when you really need him to put the bat on the ball.

And you can have Adam Dunn because he's going to provide how many extra wins for that $20 million?

Posted by: MrRedlegs | February 11, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Just guessing, but the two years was probably Dunn's idea, not the Nats. Dunn hopes the recession is over by then and market conditions improve. Also gives him a chance to see how committed the Nats are to building the team.

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Love the signing, but I'd respectfully suggest that people not get too creative with outfield options like playing Dunn in RF. Dunn is a horrible, horrible defender. He brings tremendous power and has been reliably healthy, but he is a horrible defender. Play him anywhere other than left or first and we'll regret it.

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You know, these announcements are way more enjoyable when we don't expect them. I'll never forget the McGeary post. This ranks up there.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Lineup should be:
Guz
Zim
Dukes
Dunn
Johnson
Milledge
Flores
2b

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess that makes it official, JiM. Bally has to have a weekly chat now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

He may never end up pitching for the Nats, but that really was a great moment.

The creativity made it even that much more enjoyable.

-----

You know, these announcements are way more enjoyable when we don't expect them. I'll never forget the McGeary post. This ranks up there.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

>another .247 hitter. Feast or famine. Great --home run or K. BFD.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:00 PM

dove, you're forgetting about those 30 doubles, 115 walks and 100 RBI's.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"was wrong about two things this winter. Stan is staying and Lerners spent some money on a big time free agent. I am sure glad I upgraded my seats to the RF corner.......I think some balls are coming my way......Honestly this is the best we have had since Lerner ownership took over. Oh and I loved FanFest.....I crushed my two pitches in the batting cage!"

Posted by: JayBeee | February 11, 2009 4:02 PM

*****************
Um, JayB? Is this really you? (checks his forehead for fever)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Can someone fill me in, why would we lose our second round pick if we sign hudson?

Anyway, we need more speed in the line up so I would like to see Hernandez or Gonazlez start there and hopefully turn into a leadoff hittter to take Guzman's place at the top of the lineup.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Finally! I have a hard time believing that Dunn will be playing anywhere other than 1B. Goodbye Nick Johnson. Jimbo...Oakland holding on Line 1...

Posted by: Keenan1 | February 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Every run-on sentence was a joy.

-----

Well, I guess that makes it official, JiM. Bally has to have a weekly chat now.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously. Why does every1 think this is so great? Who was breaking down Dunn's door to get him. The guy is a strikeout machine. He'll make Austin Kearns look like Tony Gwynn. How about spending $20 mill on some freakin PITCHING. ANYBODY REMEMBER PITCHING???!!!

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

A great signing.

Two year is great, lets see were we are July 2010; at that point we can either sign him to an extention or trade.

I like the move and am happy now about the 10 games I will get to.

Posted by: tcostant | February 11, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Batting Zim 2nd is nuts. He's our most clutch hitter (which don't grow on trees - Dunn certainly is not) and needs to be in a position to drive in runs. I understand Dukes has put up some impressive numbers when healthy, but the 3 hole should be a fixture - like Zim. The 2-hole is a table-setting spot which suits Dukes' high .OBP. If anything Zim needs to be moved back in the lineup (to maybe 5th) rather than up.

Posted by: sec307 | February 11, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This is a very bad omen. It must be the end of the world....

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Juan-John, is your boss Poopy McPoop, perchance?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 3:53 PM"
-----------

LOL! :-)

He's actually a serious (non-A-Rod) Yankee fan, but I don't hold that against him. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | February 11, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@petey - Hudson is a Type A free agent and was offered arbitration by Arizona. According to the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement. Any team losing a Type A free agent (who is offered arbitration) is entitled to a supplemental first round selection (created out of nowhere) and the signing team's first round draft pick. The first 15 picks of the draft are protected from this compensation therefore the compensation is the team's next round selection.

The Nationals have the #1 overall selection thus it is protected, meaning they would surrender their 2nd round draft pick to Arizona if they were to sign Hudson.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 11, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

And with Dunn's signing, one wonders whether Zimm's negotiations have increased in intensity...

Posted by: Juan-John | February 11, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's funny arguing about lineups. Cause after the 1st inning, no one bats in that order for the rest of the game so it really doesn't matter. You could just as easily lead off with Dukes just to get him more at bats.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Kearns, Johnson, Young, and Pena have no value to other teams in a trade.

Posted by: uncledak | February 11, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

we don't sign star FA pitchers because we develop them.

sign FA hitters to build a team. sign FA pitchers to go deeper in the playoffs.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Dunn has played in 127 games at first (97 starts), 949 in left (890) and 82 in right (33). I would love to see his OBP and Nick's in the lineup at the same time, so my lineup card has him in left.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

To put the economy in perspective, Dunn will make $4mil more than Guzman over the next 2 years...

Posted by: dclifer | February 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

so...do we trade dunn this year or next year?

just kidding. save that for another day...

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

An example of the compensation system at work is the Yankees this off-season. In signing Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett (all Type A free agents). The Yankees surrendered their first round pick to the Angels (for Tex) [since the Yankees picked in the 16-30 range of the first round, their pick was NOT protected.], their second round pick to the Brewers (for CC), and their third round pick to the Jays for (AJ).

Posted by: Brian_ | February 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I think we should be referring to him as "Mongo".

Posted by: uncledak | February 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

>It's funny arguing about lineups. Cause after the 1st inning, no one bats in that order for the rest of the game so it really doesn't matter. You could just as easily lead off with Dukes just to get him more at bats

If Dukes hit in the leadoff slot, he'd have a pitcher in front of him every time. See how that's different from hitting behind someone who can hit?

Posted by: Brue | February 11, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Lineup
Guzman -ss
Milledge -cf
Zimm -3b
Dunn - 1st, lf
Dukes - rf
Johnson/Willingham -rf
Flores - c
Hernandez - 2nd

Bench - Willingham/Johnson, Kearns, Harris, Nieves, Gonzalez

Rotation
Olson
Lannan
Balester
Cabrera
Perez

Bullpen - Hanrahan, Mock, Shell, Hinckley, Bergmann, Young

How close does everyone think this is to the opening day roster?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

sign FA hitters to build a team. sign FA pitchers to go deeper in the playoffs.
Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 4:22

Good one-- "deeper into the playoffs." How bout somewhere near the playoffs--period. Just a whiff. Batted .236 last season??? Great.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

>after the 1st inning, no one bats in that order for the rest of the game so it really doesn't matter.

Right, after the first inning they can just bat in whatever order they want.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

dove,

I am not sure this is about winning all that much. No one is saying he will transform the Nats into a contender or anything.

Dunn makes the games fun again. But sure, he will win some games. On balance, he's a very nice plus. More importantly, Dunn's signing means the Nats are not an inert franchise. Zim and others will take notice. It is forward movement. All those symbolic things help a lot, when you are trying to get momentum going for the future. Plus, Dunn cost the Nats no draft picks.

My big worry is that he plays 1B. I just remember all the throws Nick scooped out of the dirt and the sharp grounders and liners that he snagged. Then I remember Dmitri on those same plays, many of which were recorded as hits, not errors. 1B gets too many chances. Some of them are "doubles" too, like when a throw gets by 1B and goes in the dugout, or when the sharp grounder or liner gets into the corner. Wouldn't OF be a better option?

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If Dukes hit in the leadoff slot, he'd have a pitcher in front of him every time. See how that's different from hitting behind someone who can hit?
Posted by: Brue | February 11, 2009 4:24 PM

Not in Tony LaRussa's lineup.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Right, after the first inning they can just bat in whatever order they want.
Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM

JMr. Head, I think you know what I mean. The leadoff hitter is no longer the leadoff hitter the rest of the game. The clean-up hitter becomes the leadoff hitter etc. Or maybe you do need everything spelled out. Listen real closely and slowly.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

LOL at people who think Adam Dunn is horrible.

Posted by: Zornado | February 11, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It's funny arguing about lineups. Cause after the 1st inning, no one bats in that order for the rest of the game so it really doesn't matter. You could just as easily lead off with Dukes just to get him more at bats.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:20 PM
-----------------------

No, the order doesn't change. Whoever hits in front of you, continues to hit in front of you. Actually leading off an inning is less important than putting the right combination of skills in a proper order to get the most production. Meaning you need guys to get on base in front of guys that drive in runs. You are proposing the opposite.

Posted by: sec307 | February 11, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine, the whole strategy of the lineup isn't who's first, it's who's before and after who. I don't mind you not knowing this but I do mind you being rude to peoplel who do.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

if we have a team in the running we could trade for a pitcher to push into the playoffs. like the brewers last year.

i wouldn't sign a pitcher longterm until i knew we could compete for the playoffs consistently year to year.

this just gets us closer, nobody is screaming playoffs or bust.

by the end of this year people will be talking about what few pieces we need. not wondering where to begin.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine, the whole strategy of the lineup isn't who's first, it's who's before and after who.
Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:33

Agreed. But unless you bat around in the first innning, it doesn't shake out like that the rest of the game. Your leadoff hitter becomes your cleanup hitter. Your cleanup hitter becomes your leadoff hitter. Your pitcher becomes the 3 hole. So statements like setting the table, clean-up etc become completely moot.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think dove is out to lunch because he's talking about Dunn's batting average, which is silly, but don't totally dismiss his idea of batting Dukes first. Dukes is one of the best OBP guys on the team (right after Nick). Having him get more at bats = team making fewer outs = team scoring more runs. I thought the optimal lineup was constructed in order of OBP. Any sabrmetricians out there?

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Everybody knows that who is on first, NatsNut.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll don't forget to refresh and scroll up to read the post. It keeps growing with updates.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

He'll make Austin Kearns look like Tony Gwynn.


Woah, woah, WOAH. Let's not get carried away here. Give the guy a chance. Austin Kearns is absolutely terrible.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!

The new 16 inch gun has arrived. AT LAST!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Do we have any idea what kind of receiver Dunn would be at 1B? I can take his poor fielding if he can catch the damned ball when its thrown to him.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic! Now make the Nick Johnson Daric Barton trade with Oakland! We can have a solid, young backup to come into his own.

Posted by: mharman1 | February 11, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"by the end of this year people will be talking about what few pieces we need. not wondering where to begin."

Like a #1 and #2 starter, a reliable bullpen, a 2B, a leadoff hitter, a CF and minor league hitting prospects.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 11, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this week we have more options. Last week we had very few. It would be nice to see a couple of the extra parts made into a nice deal for 1 starting pitcher and 1 solid arm for the bullpen... Options! Wow, we a real team.

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the growing post heads up, NatsNut. I guess that now I have to take back my whinging about going into ST with Nick (love ya, though, big guy) and Young as Plan A.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not as concerned as some about Dunn's glove at 1B. Yes, NJ is an exceptional defensive 1B and makes plenty of saves when he's in the line up... but that's just it... how many games has he been in the lineup for recently? It's hard to miss what you don't have to begin with.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 11, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I mean we're a real team. This whole english as a second language thing gets me. Lo siento...

Adios

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this week we have more options. Last week we had very few. It would be nice to see a couple of the extra parts made into a nice deal for 1 starting pitcher and 1 solid arm for the bullpen... Options! Wow, we a real team.
Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 4:52

Berndaddy, Couldn't agree more. From your mouth to Mr Bowden's ears. As far as Dunn, trust me, I hope you guys are right and I'm wrong. But I've seen Dunn play a lot and I've never been very impressed. But I hope he turns into a monster here in DC. And I hope Berndaddy is right and we can trade for some pitching.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

wow. Does this mean that Boswell will re-up his season tickets?

Posted by: rkrouse1 | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What the hey, my Spanish is virtually nonexistent.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, A. F. Boooooone!!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Good move. Had to do it. This guy is one of the very few sluggers whose HR totals are not diminished by a ballpark he may play in. Now we need a rotation, but Bowden HAD to do this.

Posted by: GorgTheMerciless | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@rick felt.

2b we can find easy.

dukes is legit centerfielder.

strasburg will deepen the starting pitching. with a strong offense you can win the world series with 4 #2/#3 starters. most teams don't have a true ace.

a bullpen will be as reliable as the starters allow them to be.

i am with you on the minor league hitting prospects but i'll take pitching first anyday. and who knows, maybe marrero slots in perfectly two years from now.

to me the puzzle finally has the edges completed. i can see the direction and timeline we've chosen.

extend zimmerman next offseason, sign strasburg, or green or whoever, and we will have a strong foothold. it's a franchise we are building.

it took boston about 80 years to win a championship. i think considering what MLB did to us we are ahead of schedule.

Posted by: longterm | February 11, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

JayBeee, there is one more admission of wrongheadedness you need to make. Dmitri Young will not be on the 25 man roster on Opening Day. Would you like to complete your trifecta of admitted cluelessness now, or do you prefer to drag it out unnecessarily?

Posted by: RayKingsGotFeelings | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

depth is a good thing. while it would be nice to think about potential trades, we must realize that willingham is a walking slipped disc, johnson is what he is, meats probably wont make the team, dukes could have legal trouble, and wily mo - well i wont throw out insults just because.

paper lineup looks deep. real lineup looks less than deep. nothing wrong with willie harris as the 25th man, even though we all love him and he deserves more PT. let the nature of things shake it down. trading anyone know would be a bad omen and spitting in the wind.

Posted by: theraph | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Aren't the Nats now forced to start Nick at first if for no other reason than to try and showcase him for a trade. Otherwise he's virtually untradeable. So Dunn has to play left, which forces Willingham to the bench. Which is too bad cause I'd like to see Willingham get a chance to really play and see what he can do.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I like seeing a happy JayB, and it takes character to admit when you've been wrong. Props on that, sir.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

On D Young.....Stan was quoted this week saying he was one of the Vets the Nats would be counting on this year. Who knows....he is making $5 Million either way....if he is down to say 275.....and not seeing double....he makes the team cause we know he can hit from both sides.....if he is 300lbs.....with Dunn and Willingham they have there Johnson insurance policy already. I hope the first thing Chico does when he gets to ST is post a picture of Young……We will know soon based on his weight.

Posted by: JayBeee | February 11, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Aren't the Nats now forced to start Nick at first if for no other reason than to try and showcase him for a trade. Otherwise he's virtually untradeable. So Dunn has to play left, which forces Willingham to the bench. Which is too bad cause I'd like to see Willingham get a chance to really play and see what he can do.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM

True - I'd like to see Willingham over a full season. But, of course, it's "possible" that Nick will get hurt, so, problem solved.

Actually, curious as to whether there's an argument that they should trade Nick during Spring Training, rather than wait for the season to start and risk the inevitable injury. Maybe his value will never be higher than it is right now (i.e., great hitter, but can't count on him, so he has discounted value).

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

waaay too many people are drinking the kool-aid.

Does Bowden know there are other positions on the filed besides corner OF and 1B? This teams make-up is a joke. Where all the up-an-coming talent is, he loads up on re-tread veterans.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 11, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you poor Nationals fans. Getting so excited about a guy who is a career .247 hitter. Sure he will hit 40 HR's but he's going to strike out at least 170 times.

Dun is a year or two from turning into a Richie Sexon, the only difference is that Dunn is fallling from a .240 average as opposed to Richie who fell from a .270 average.

Go ahead and get excited for adding another terrible Red to your team. It just cracks me up...

Posted by: sportsfanatic05 | February 11, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This is stupid. Why not change the team's name to "2003 Reds." Or The "Re-tReds." All these players coming from a Reds team that never was any good to begin with. Kearns is a flop. Lopez is gone. Pena is awful. These guys are terrible. If I hear the word "upside" about any of them again, I'm going to puke. Only Boone is a decent back up atleast. But really. Dunn is not a difference maker. Never will be. Oooh a .240 average with 200 strikeouts. He's not hitting 40 homers this year. I put the over under at 25. I can't wait to spend the entire summer watching him strike out. Bowden's got to go.

Posted by: chekhov1 | February 11, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

uh, Boone isn't on the team anymore.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Loved The Cherry Orchard, BTW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing that the Opening Day lineup it goes something like this . . .

1. Hernandez (2B) (S)
2. Guzman (SS) (S)
3. Zimmerman (3B) (R)
4. Dunn (LF) (L)
5. Dukes (RF) (R)
6. Johnson (1B) (L)
7. Milledge (CF) (R)
8. Flores (CA) (R)
9. Lannan (SP)

I think that they'll give Hernandez (and or Harris) a shot to lead off at least. And that they'll try to avoid the regular lineup being righties back to back. Kearns will be the 4th OF. That's not the worst lineup in the NL -- some speed, OBP, power. WHEN Johnson gets hurt Willingham gets PT -- presuming he is not traded in the next several days (as one of those OF's is likely gonna be someplace else for spring training).

Posted by: dfh123 | February 11, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The train is out of the station and is picking up speed. Well done, Nats.

Posted by: Hendo1 | February 11, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

and yes, by all means, let's base our argument on batting average.

Jeez Louise, can we go more than 5 minutes without someone p***ing on our parade? The Nats needed a power hitting lefty and now they got one. Let those of us that like the signing enjoy this for the rest of the day, then all you whiners can chime in with your inane commentary. One day. Or at least until the press conference tomorrow. 'Kay?!

Posted by: erocks33 | February 11, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

After the All-Star break last year, Milledge hit .299/.355/.448. In 221 ABs. If he can duplicate that production he can lead off. And hit 20 dingers, 30 doubles and steal 30 bases. Then Dukes, who can be an above-average #2 hitter because he has power and speed to go with his high OBP (.386). The dude hit 13 dingers in 276 ABs, meaning he should hit 25-30 in a full season. Then Zimmerman, who is poised to have a breakout year, something like .290/.360/.480 with 30 dingers. Then Dunn and his 40 homers and 100 RBIs. Then Nick, with 25 HRs and a .400 OBP. Then Guz, hitting in a spot where his high average but low OBP is actually valuable (i.e., we want a hit there, not a walk with Flores and the pitcher coming up). I could also be convinced to drop Zimm to fifth and keep the three high OBP guys together.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dmitri Young is irrelevant now, as he in fact has been all along. The only decisions related to him are entirely in his own hands. Will he suit up in Syracuse all season to collect his $5M, or will he end up on the DL all season and collect his money that way? He's a total non-story this Spring Training, and will remain so unless injuries hit even moreso than last year. I like the guy and wish him health, but I don't need to hear one word about him or see one picture of him in the Post or anywhere else. Cover the team and the future, Chico. The next DYoung story we need is on the Nats' first old-timers day.

Posted by: RayKingsGotFeelings | February 11, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The commentary back and forth is brilliant people. Dunn suck. No he doesn't. Here's a line up etc etc etc. Now's the time to sit back and let the next two weeks play out. See who emerges in Spring training. Like Kearns said in his interview on mbl.com/nats, the whole thing will play itself out. We can't keep everyone and it would be nice to have one nice arm coming to us for all the extra parts we've got. I waiting now, people. WAITING SUCKS!!! but I'm waiting none the less.

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 11, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy they did this. It adds a little juice to the season. I don't know if they are really any closer to winning a championship, but this year will certainly be more entertaining.

As far as the batting line up goes, I'd propose batting Dunn #2. Before you throw the rotten vegetables at me, hear me out.

1. His worst offensive attribute is hitting with runners in scoring position. Why bat him #4 or #5?

2. One of best offensive attributes is his OBP. Batting him #2 makes that more valuable.

3. His next best attribute is his power. If the Nats can find someone to lead off who is a threat to steal, Dunn will see lots of fastballs. That should improve his HR chances.

4. The "clogging up the bases" argument is irrelevant. Acta is a station to station manager anyway.

5. To me Ks for a #2 hitter are OK - fewer inning killing DPs. The punch and judy move the ball around #2 hitter only works if the manager likes to hit and run, etc. Acta doesn't do that.

With a healthy Johnson, how about this:

Milledge rf
Dunn lf
Zim 3b
Johnson 1b
Dukes cf
Guzman ss
Belliard 2b
Flores c

if NJ is not healthy:

Milledge rf
Dunn 1b
Dukes cf
Zim 3b
Will'gham lf
Guzman ss
Belliard 2b
Flores c

#4

Posted by: db423 | February 11, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

After the All-Star break last year, Milledge hit .299/.355/.448. In 221 ABs. If he can duplicate that production he can lead off. And hit 20 dingers, 30 doubles and steal 30 bases. Then Dukes, who can be an above-average #2 hitter because he has power and speed to go with his high OBP (.386). The dude hit 13 dingers in 276 ABs, meaning he should hit 25-30 in a full season. Then Zimmerman, who is poised to have a breakout year, something like .290/.360/.480 with 30 dingers. Then Dunn and his 40 homers and 100 RBIs. Then Nick, with 25 HRs and a .400 OBP. Then Guz, hitting in a spot where his high average but low OBP is actually valuable (i.e., we want a hit there, not a walk with Flores and the pitcher coming up). I could also be convinced to drop Zimm to fifth and keep the three high OBP guys together.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 11, 2009 5:35 PM

Bob L - I like this in theory, but you're bunching righties with righties (if you're concerned about that sort of thing). What about starting off with Milledge, Johnson, Dukes, Dunn, Zimm? RLRLR.

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Batting Average is so over-rated. Dunn's Career OBP around .400 is awesome and it is what this team desperately needs. Put men on the bases so you can score some runs. His ~.520 Slugging is just as important. He can protect Zimmerman and put runners on for Dukes. He balances the lineup and makes pitchers afraid of SOMEBODY in our lineup. For that I will forgive a low BA and the high strike outs. I think that while Dunn may not be Hall of Fame bound as Boz suggests, he will be a huge lift for this team. Please stop whining about his low batting average, it's a worthless stat. Ask Ryan Howard how important strikeouts are- his MVP and WS ring will tell you they're meaningless.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | February 11, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Interesting line-up BobLHead, and well-explained. Creative. You start off games with respect and pop, instead of banjo hitters. Nats got off to lots of lame starts last season.

Who plays second? Is this your line-up?

Milledge
Dukes
Zim
Dunn
Nick
Guz
Flores
Henandez (or Willie)

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Dunn batting 2nd just aint gonna happen, and thank God for that. Zim will bat 3rd if for no reason than Zim always bats 3rd. Hwo knows whether Johnson will be on the team -- he may be in Oakland by Friday.

I think that it is pretty hard to argue with this signing. The Nats are a much much better club with a 40HR/.400+ OBP masher in the middle of the order.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

hello ladies. so whatd i miss. been awhile. nuthin much has changed has it. see weve gone out and gotten another redski. call it austin ks 2. aahh the more things change the more they stay the same. except of course
d-sutton wised up and skipped town didnt he. oh well maybe jimbo can trade another starting rh for another utility if. and you can never have enough ofs. maybe they can turn austin ks into a long reliever. yea thats the ticket.

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

btw i can figure out the lineup easy enough. tell me what i really need to know. whats the rotation. otherwise youre nuthin but texas ranger north.

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey dk_99, I think your mom is calling you. She says it's time for you to go to your job at the toll booth.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 11, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

can 1 person show me 1 team that was built from corner outfielders?
and with the kinda money you were willin to shell out for m-tex and did scrape over to adam-d, there wasnt even 1 or 2 front line pitchers you wanted to make a run at to begin to nail down a real rotation?

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are not news on Channel 4. Not a word from Lyndsay Czarniak about the Dunn signing.

Posted by: charlie814 | February 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

220 has the answer. Johnson, if not traded, bats #2 behind Milledge. That's how you work over pitchers. Milledge saw 4 pitches per plate appearance. Try this on:
8 - Milledge (r)
3 - Johnson (l)
5 - FotF (r)
7 - New Frank Howard (l)
9 - ED (r)
6 - Guuuuz! (s)
4 - The tribute to Darwin (survival of the fittest among AH / WH / RB - ok, maybe not fittest so Belli has a chance)
2 - Jesus

Note - Guuuuz's success comes from putting balls in play, not from working counts. Even if he's hitting .310, his OBP will not be much better than LMillz and he see take almost a pitch fewer per at bat. Let Guuuuz! hit with guys on in front of him and keep up good spacing of the righty and lefty bats.

however, I strongly suspect Nick's days here are numbered. He's too good of a fit for Oakland. Get us a pitcher back in trade (MR), and sign Dennys Reyes!

One other thought - How much would you add to Nick if we could get Cahill or Anderson (2 consensus top 20 pitching prospects) back from the As? I don't think it can be done.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 11, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

From my perspective, signing Dunn could be a mixed blessing. Yes, he'll add LH power & OBP#'s to a lineup that sorely needed it. He is also limited defensively, and will likely cause less damage in LF than at 1B as a starter; That just adds to the clutter the Nationals' have (11 OF's on paper) on the 40-man.

Spring Training will hopefully make the picture a bit clearer, and maybe the FO can move an OF (or two, or three) for some prospects.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey dk_99, I think your mom is calling you. She says it's time for you to go to your job at the toll booth.
Posted by: Section505203 |

what up 505. btw already in the booth with the ole laptop. and that freakin lexus just missed the hoop and nailed me in the eye with his quarter.......hey you come back here......

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are not news on Channel 4. Not a word from Lyndsay Czarniak about the Dunn signing.
Posted by: charlie814

lindsay czarniakirekidopwilli. you get your news from that? bwahahahahah. come on. youre killin me. love the doo though.

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

In other news, I just learned via MASN that the Nats will be offering mini-plans this year, which some of us had been hoping to see:

http://masnsports.com/2009/02/washington-nationals-introduce.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I just learned the Nats will be offering mini-plans this year

heres a miniplan for ya. go out and get 1 good starting pitcher to anchor the rotation.

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

jca-Crystal

If Nick goes, then what is your line-up? Like it so far. Fixes the lefty right thing. And keeps BobLHead's goal of pop at the top.

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

jca - that's a pretty good-looking lineup. Didn't Boz earlier speculate that a healthy Nick combined with signing Dunn could give the Nats the most improved offense this year? Sure looks that way to me.

I'm afraid the depressing fact about Nick is that we're never going to get as much back in trade as we think he's worth - because as fans we'll always think about how valuable a player he was when healthy, rather than what his actual contributions over an average (injured) season are.

Maybe my earlier idea about trading Nick for whatever you could get in Spring Training before he inevitably gets hurt is way off target - maybe for a club like the Nats the high-upside play is to say your prayers, play Nick and hope to maximize his trade value to a contender in need of a stick.

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

got a simple question for all you dunn lovers, he obviously was waiting around for any offer from a better team, how come no one, nada, not one team ponyed up an offer for dunn. the angels needed a corner of. but they had no interest in dunn. not 1 team came forward to make an offer for this guy. what does that tell ya?

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The Dave Kingman of our generation. Rejected by the Reds, of all people. Well, he'll fit right in with all the other rejects. Our GM is a reject himself -- no other MLB would be stupid enough to hire him.

Jim Bowden's Reds' fetish is pathetic. And when Kearns and Dunn were together, they had similar numbers. If Dunn emulated Kearns here in DC, the Nats will be even more of a laughing stock than they are now.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 11, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before but I need to say it again for those griping about 40 homeruns or less and a bunch of strikeouts.

We don't need 40 home runs. If he hits 30, he doubles our home run leader last year. Shoot, he could hit 20 and we'd still be improved. And trust me, his strikeouts can't be more than our HIDPs last year.

We're not excited because he's going to get us to the World Series. We're excited because 2008 is really OVER.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Sweet

Posted by: bford1kb | February 11, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Two years makes this a GREAT signing. I think we can all agree we can't have an opening day roster that includes Dunn, Johnson, DYoung, Willingham, Dukes, Milledge, Kearns and Pena. The next big move is whether we can get something when we whittle down that group. Packaging Johnson and Milledge/Kearns to who knows, Oakland, to get something in return would be positive. Outright releasing Young and Pena because that's all we can do would be bad. Fingers further crossed.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | February 11, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Incroyable! I am amazed. This restores a bit of my fraying faith in the Lerner ownership group.

Posted by: samantha7 | February 11, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

We're not excited because he's going to get us to the World Series. We're excited because 2008 is really OVER.
Posted by: NatsNut

fair enough. i can dig that.
and i might be excited about having a few pieces to trade if i didnt think that jim b always seems to get fleeced by smarter gms.

Posted by: dk_99 | February 11, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see both dukes and milledge stay

Posted by: bford1kb | February 11, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Well it's about freekin' time. My number 2 team finally signed a legit power hitter. Lets hope he's not on the Roid-road and we've got a real player here. If they can trade Young for a good middle reliever they should do it. Nick Johnson too but I doubt they'd get much for him. I'm not a Milledge fan either so I still say put Marrero in double AA this year and if he tears it up then bring him up. Also get some of those young pitchers up here and for God's sake don't draft another pitcher, This team needs sticks!!!! They've got a long way to go to catch the Phightin' Phils but this guy's a start. Now maybe Zimmerman will get some pitches to hit.

Posted by: billm32 | February 11, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. It gives the team a legitimate left handed power hitter.

Posted by: cr8oncsu | February 11, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Chico - huge hat tip for the excellent history post earlier today and the big scoop this afternoon. Awesome job.

Posted by: Section220 | February 11, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

*ahem*

smh @ all the impatient people screaming and moaning over the past few days.

does anyone care now, that we didn't sign Dunn 2 months ago for more money and more years?

Posted by: MrMadison | February 11, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

One thing we should all be able to agree on: Adam Dunn is NOT Dave Kingman. Kingman's lifetime OBP was .302.

For those of you who want to bat Johnson 2nd and Dunn 4th. Why would you move the better clutch hitter to 2nd while batting the worse clutch hitter 4th? They have similar lifetime OBPs: Johnson . 398 - Dunn .380. Their RISP stats are not close.

#4

Posted by: db423 | February 11, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

What do you think we can get for Johnson, Willingham, and Belly?

I assume no team wants anything to do with Kearns or WMP.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 11, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Milledge can actually play Center field (allowing Dukes to play RF) we have 3 guys (Johnson, Dunn & Willingham) to play two positions (1B and LF). That's 324 starts or 108 each. Say NJ goes 108 games at 1B, then Willingham starts 108 at LF and Dunn splits time starting 54 games at each. Starting Willingham against all lefties gives you maximum impact for his starts and allows you to rest NJ (hopefully enough to keep him healthy).

Tough call to pay a guy $10 mil to play 2/3 of a season, but if Dunn or Willingham can play some RF that will get some extra starts while resting Dukes and Milledge. Kearns stick around as a defensive replacement and Pinch Hitter (ok even I'm laughing at that one!).

All this assumes that we can expect Nick to play 108 games, but if and when he goes down you line-up gets a lot simpler.

I don't propose trading anyone but Belliard at this point, we just don't have enough MLB talent to start shopping guys, especially if they won't return MLB talent in return.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Can we please stop the Dunn/Milledge playing RF speculation? RF is where you need the biggest arm, which neither of those two have. Kearns and Dukes are the only real RFers we have. Nick Johnson will now probably be traded (Bowden was just waiting until he could secure a viable 1B option), which will give us a lineup like this:

1. Guzman SS
2. Milledge CF
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Dunn 1B
5. Dukes RF
6. Willingham LF
7. Flores C
8. Belliard/Hernandez 2B

Posted by: WMPete | February 11, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Dunn was just on MLB Network, in full spin mode.

"The Nats were an interesting option, someplace I was really interested in playing, yadda yadda yadda".

imo, the end justifies the means, but let's call a spade a spade. Dunn signed with us because nobody else offered him a contract.

i like how he deflected the "how close were you to signing with any other team" question.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 11, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone persist in thinking Zimmerman is a #3 hitter? Yes, he's been the face of the franchise, but that doesn't mean he should automatically have that spot in the lineup. The plain fact is that he's just not a #3 hitter. No knock on him--it's just asking too much of him, thereby putting him in a position to fail rather than a position to succeed.

Zimmerman really fits better at 5th or 6th. Here's a lineup that makes more sense:

SS Guzman
CF Milledge
1B Johnson (if healthy)
LF Dunn
RF Dukes
3B Zimmerman
C Flores
2B TBD
P

If Nick's not healthy, I'd still keep Zimmerman out of the 3-hole:

SS Guzman
CF Milledge
LF Willingham
1B Dunn
RF Dukes
3B Zimmerman
C Flores
2B TBD
P

Posted by: wordmaven | February 11, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just catching up here. I haven't managed to read through all of the comments on this thread, but I did see JiM's and had thoughts along the same lines... didn't everyone used to bemoan the idea of Dunn coming here? Maybe this was a year or two ago, but the last time this idea had steam, it seemed the consensus view was here that he was a strike-out king from Bowden's favorite club and, as a recently quippy VP candidate would say, "thanks, but no thanks!" I ask, not snarkily at all, but in all seriousness... what's changed? I've been a little out of the loop. :)

(I feel excited. I think it's because last year sucked so much and anything resembling offensive talent is exciting. Is that the reason for the change in the consensus view?)

Posted by: JennX_ | February 11, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Zim bats 3rd -- bet your life on it. Not saying it is the right thing to do, but it is like death and taxes.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 11, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Someone call me a, medstar unit.

There is a God!!!!!

Posted by: dashriprock | February 11, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I posted the Pitchers/Catchers expected in Viera a day or two ago - with the signing of Dunn to fill the 40-man roster, let's take a look at the other field players & ST invitees.

1B)[4]: N.Johnson; K.Casto, A.Dunn, J.Willingham; non-roster [4]: B.Eldred, C.Marrero, C.Whitney, D.Young.
2B)[3]: R.Belliard, A.Hernandez, W.Harris; non-roster [3]: F.Bynum, J.Castillo, P.Orr.
SS)[3]: C.Guzman, A.Gonzalez, I.Diamond; non-roster [2]: A.Cintron, J.Guzman.
3B)[4]: R.Belliard, K.Casto, L.Davis, R.Zimmerman; non-roster [3]: J.Castillo, J.Guzman, P.Orr.
LF)[7]: K.Casto, L.Davis, E.Dukes, A.Dunn, W.Harris, L.Milledge, J.Willingham; non-roster [2]: D.Hood, R.Langerhans.
CF)[6]: R.Bernadina, E.Dukes, W.Harris, A.Kearns, J.Maxwell, L.Milledge; non-roster [2]: R.Langerhans, C.Patterson.
RF)[5]: K.Casto, E.Dukes, A.Dunn, A.Kearns, J.Maxwell; non-roster [2]: R.Langerhans, J.Padilla.

The signing of Dunn pretty much closes the door on any non-roster players making the 25-man for 2009; they'll all either accept minor-league assignments or be released.

I think the Nationals' will start 2009 with a 13/12 split between players /pitchers; Here's my current "best-guess", barring trades...
Starters:
C - Flores.
1B - Johnson.
2B - Hernandez.
3B)- RZimmermann.
SS)- Guzman.
LF)- Dunn.
CF)- Milledge.
RF)- Dukes.
Bench:
C -Nieves
UTL-Harris
IF -Belliard
OF -Willingham, Kearns.

Pitchers:
SP (5)-Olsen, Cabrera, Lannan, Balester, Hill.
RP (7)-Mock, Bergmann, Shell, Young, Hinckley, Rivera, Hanrahan.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"imo, the end justifies the means, but let's call a spade a spade. Dunn signed with us because nobody else offered him a contract."

Of course, but who cares? He's here now and you can't blame him for trying to avoid signing with the worst team in the league. With any luck next year at this time it will be easier to convince free agents that the Nats are a team on the rise.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 11, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

interesting note:

on Nationals.com's Team Roster, Dunn is listed as an *Infielder*.

take it for what little it is worth.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 11, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank God that Dunn is no Dave Kingman. I suffered through years of Kingman, enjoying rare home runs to go with anti-clutch strikeouts.

Dunn cost the team nothing but money, and at a discount.Many were decrying the idea of Dunn last year because it would have meant a trade, draft picks, or silly amounts of money. Others have done what I first considered, which is how much better this is than a Soriano signing a few years ago. That would have been incredibly expensive, his HR and SB numbers plummeted, he is no better a fielder than Dunn, and we gained an important draft pick for Soriano, while losing none for Dunn.

I fear a trade of Johnson or Milledge, but am excited that the team is now in a position to make a trade, and hopefully fill some other need. Don't think only that we have too many outfielders. Realize that other teams may have oo few, and that there could be a trade out there that is mutually beneficial.

+1/2St

Posted by: kevincostello | February 11, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@jennX:

I was one of those in the off-season arguing against Dunn (defensive liabilities, for the most part). But on a two-year contract, at $10M per, I'll live with it as long as he doesn't play 150 games/yr at 1B.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I concur on that roster. I suspect that Belliard will get moved during ST and Gonzales will be the backup infielder alongside Harris.

If they really wanted to get creative you move Belliard and stash Gonzales in AAA and carry 8 relievers. With our rotation that coudn't hurt...then again having more offense might allow the starters to stick it out a few more innings rather than go to the pen in a ton of 1 run games.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Why would the Nats want to trade Milledge or Dukes? Young guys with upside. Are these reported rumors or what? That would more than wreck the Dunn gain.

Posted by: EdDC | February 11, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The signing also gives the Nationals' some flexibility for Manny's lineup card...

1) Milledge(LF/CF), Guzman(SS) or Harris(2B/LF/CF)
2) Guzman(SS), Johnson(1B), Milledge(LF/CF), or Hernandez(2B)
3) Johnson(1B), RZimmerman(3B), Belliard(2B), or Dukes(CF/RF)
4) Dunn(LF/1B), or Willingham(LF/1B)
5) Willingham(LF/1B), RZimmermann(3B), Dunn(LF/1B), or Dukes(CF/RF)
6) Dukes(CF/RF), Willingham (LF/1B), Johnson(1B), Milledge(LF/CF), Kearns (RF/CF), or Belliard(2B)
7) Flores(C), Kearns(RF/CF), Belliard(2B), Harris(2B/LF/CF), Guzman(SS), or Milledge(LF/CF)
8) Hernandez(2B), Nieves(C), or Harris(2B/LF/CF)
9) Pitcher

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

220 / Ed - If Nick were traded, then I'll assume Dunn to 1st, Milledge to left, Dukes to CF and Kearns to Right (prefer the D). I'm not sure who would bat 2d. I kind of like Willie if he's playing 2d (again, takes pitches), but perhaps AH, perhaps Guzman. Sounds kind of dumb, but if they trade their best LH hitter, then line up becomes a bit right handed again. Willingham actually has had good success against RHP, but I don't see him as a #2 hitter (but I suppose some would say that about NJ). In trade, straight up, I'd hope for Santiago Casilla, or, if they don't sign Reyes, Blevins.

#4 - the reason I want Nick #2 is that he's had success at it in the past with NYY and I want him on base when my power comes up (FotF, Dunn, Dukes). He has a better shot at scoring with Dunn after him then Dunn has with Nick after him. There is some thought that hitting with RISP is a bit random, no?

Wordmaven - look at just about every projection system's forecasts for Zimmerman this year, and look at his last 5 weeks of last year when he was healthy. I've been a Zimmerman skeptic too, thinking he best as a #5 hitter, but something about his .370 OBP down the stretch, plus those projections, convinced me he could bat 3d on this team. Maybe Dukes eventually would be better, but I'd start off with putting Dukes under less pressure than Zimmerman. Here are a few projections:
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4220&position=3B

I suspect Gonzales in AAA playing every day rather than a seat on the bench. I do not expect both AH and AG on the roster.

I'll assume 1 trade from among Milledge, Johnson, and Willingham. For convenience, I'll say Johnson is traded and give Dunn 1st, have 3 2d basemen/ backup IF (SuperWillieBelli360), Guz, FotF, Willingham, Dukes, Milledge, Kearns, Flores, one of Nieves or Valentin, and one more position player among Leonard Davis, Casto, a 3d catcher, perhaps Langerhans for 13. If Harris is the 5th OF, then probably Valentin.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 11, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ladsen at mlb.com (who I think is an idiot) says Dunn is playing 1B only and that NJ won't accept a back-up role. Not sure that makes sense, but its tough to know when Ladsen has a scoop and when he's just talking out of his @ss.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a great day for Nats fans. I'm looking to get high rightfield seats, expecting many opportunities to catch some of Dunn's towering blasts. He will make a difference--more runs, more excitement, less pressure on our young pitching staff. I think we could give up an outfielder, but as we get closer to the start of the season, nick johnson may bring us the better player in return, Good job Jim Bowden. Go Nats!

Posted by: sportsfan4 | February 11, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"its tough to know when Ladsen has a scoop and when he's just talking out of his @ss."

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 8:40 PM
________________________________________________________

Pay the man Shirley! Classic!

Posted by: Section505203 | February 11, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Dave Cameron's take is that by forcing Willingham into the OF, it squeezes good defensive players like Kearns and Willie and the D loss mitigates a bit of the O gain. Still, he says this is an improvement. Everyone (commenters and Cameron) busts on the overstuffing of the OF.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dunn-to-washington/#comment-62584

What really has to happen is another move or two.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 11, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

YES
I have been going to this site for weeks many times a day waiting for this announcement.

Dunn was the best available lefty bat and we got him for a good price. Good job FO.

Love the turnaround in tone. It was getting tough to read the many Poopy comments.

I still miss Natsfanatics. Come back guys.

Posted by: alm1000 | February 11, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

@estuartj:

Belliard may not move in ST, but will be a candidate as the season progresses. The likely ST 'movers' are going to come from the following list - Casto, Davis, Maxwell, Pena (probable), and Bergmann, Estrada, Johnson, Kearns, Milledge, Nieves, Rivera, or Willingham (possible), as well as some of the non-rosters (Castillo, Herrera, Langerhans, Molina, Orr, Padilla, & D.Young) getting traded for prospects.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Dunn's an interesting case. He was reluctant to come to Washington because, well, the team's no darn good. Undoubtedly thosr objections were partly overcome by the attraction of playing in a new park, possibly becoming the next Frank Howard, and of course, the cash.

Plus he wasn't exactly deluged with offers.

The thing you have to like about Dunn is (as others have said) he's got to be the most disciplined strikeout king ever. He finished among the top guys every year in pitches per at bat (wearing down pitchers is an art) and frequently, they just give up and walk him. So his on base percentage is like that of a .300 hitter. And when he's not getting on base, he's launching the ball into the stratosphere, giving the fans a thrill.

Why there weren't many offers:
1) coaches around the league have the idea that he dogs it during games, setting a bad example for the young guys on the team. You hear the same thing about Barry Bonds, of course. Izzit true? We'll see.
2) he's got a Scott Boras type notion of his personal value. If you sign this guy, you're going to pay him. Folks in Cincinnati don't think that way.
3) he's a media maven. Ready with a quote, bit of a smart guy, sometimes critical of management (which is only fair, because they're frequently critical of him.)

Is it a good signing? Sure. When you lost 102 games last year, almost nothing can hurt you.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

None of the rest have a positive value vs return. No reason to move any of the guys from the 40 man unless someone from off the roster makes the team. If they need space on the 40 man roster I think Pena is a DFA or DL candidate.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

From a Cincinnati Reds fan.

Hate to burst your bubble. The last few years, Dunn and Griffey were known as "cancer at the corners." Griffey was wonderful, but played too hard, had many injuries, and needed to retire.

Dunn is a horrendous hitter with men on base. That's why he had so few RBIs for a 40 HR man. Translation: When pitches need an out, he's the batter they want to face. He destroyed the Reds pitching staff by constantly misplaying fly balls, adding many pitches to an inning. His only value is DH in the American league. The Reds, and their fans, didn't want him back at any price. His one plus. His home runs are majestic. He provided quite a few thrilling moments. By the way. I was always a Dunn fan.

Posted by: sliderule43 | February 11, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The reason that Dunn's RBIs are as low as they are - is because he walked 122 times last year.

If you look at his splits on ESPN, I'm impressed.

RISP, 2 outs: 1091 OPS [22 BB]
RISP overall: 929 OPS [39 BB]
Bases Loaded: 1250 OPS [ 3 BB]
Runners on: 880 OPS [56 BB]

Unless you are actually looking at his batting averages...

Posted by: comish4lif | February 11, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I hate batting average, one of my personal mottos is "never mistake motion with progress". Batting average measures motion, OPS is a much better measure of offensive progress IMO. I also like total bases as a stat, although it needs to be adjusted for plate appearances and take into account steals and runners advanced.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

from my perspective, having a functional pitching staff is a far greater need than signing a power hitter who generally comes out near the top of the league in strikeouts.

look at the tb rays...their run output did not change from 07 to 08, rather they drastically reduced their runs allowed. for washington to actually put a solid product on the field they need pitching, not adam dunn.

Posted by: bacaje | February 11, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is an everyday outfielder. Perfect for the Nats. If any of you think he's not, your wrong. RF or LF he'll be in lineup. PERFECT 5 hitter behind Dunn.

Posted by: bickfamily1 | February 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Offensively, I'm on-board with this signing. Defensively, I'll quote James Earl Jones - "Make a hole, Make it wide", and leave it at that.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"He finished among the top guys every year in pitches per at bat (wearing down pitchers is an art) and frequently..."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2009 8:59 PM

****************************
Thanks for this little tidbit. I *LOVE* guys who max out pitches per at bat. In fact, I wasn't always a Kearns lover but changed my mind in 07 when he did that a bunch of times.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@bacaje:

As a probable counter-point to your TB argument, look no further than the 2008 Philidelphia Phillies. Decent-to-good SP, stable BP with a closer having a career year; solid overall defense, but had a "scary" lineup with RISP.

Posted by: BinM | February 11, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Also...Chico, this is excellently written.

I've noticed your edits and updates and I have to say, you're starting to sound like an authoritative baseball guy. Your tone is a little more balanced and professional. Good work.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Quite a few posters are predicting a lineup without Willingham. I understand the reasoning, but I'm really thinking he will make it into the lineup most days. I think the best defensive outfield would be Harris, Dukes and Kearns. The best (plausible) offensive outfield would be Willingham, Milledge, and Dukes (Dunn at 1B). Milledge has flaws in center, but he does have good range. A healthy Kearns is better defensively than any outfielder other than Harris, but he just has not been able to produce consistently. Dukes provides the best overall option in right.

I'm really looking forward to watching the competition unfold.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 11, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Although "The Big Donkey" and "The Big Country" are relatively great nicknames, I'm thinking NatsTown really needs to rename our new slugger "Home Run Adam Dunn"

Other thoughts/ideas for Dunn's (new) nickname?

Posted by: OptimisticSkin | February 11, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Looking at Dunn's RHP/LHP splits I think starting Willingham vs Lefties instead of Dunn makes a lot of sense. Willingham and Johnson don't have a major differential, but Dunn absolutely crushes righties.

Given some of the tough lefties our rivals throw out there it will give Willingham ample opportunities to prove his worth, until either someone is moved or NJ gets hurt anyway.

Still tough to sit a guy making $10mil for any large stretch of time, but as I mentioned above with 108 starts each for NJ, AD and JW (if NJ can play 108) gives all of them decent playing time and gives Manny Acta lots of flexibility to maximize our offensive output.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn's nickname is Mongo.

Posted by: estuartj | February 11, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Good signing, one they *had* to get done, under the circumstances.
I'd just as soon see Nick stay here and play for as long as he's healthy, but if they can get a reasonable return I suppose they'd be negligent not to take it (although ... if Beane thinks NJ is worth a solid prospect, you have to wonder). Still, the risk (his pay) vs. reward isn't so unfavorable with Nick that I would mind rolling the dice, even if I'd need a 12.
If Dmitri isn't healthy the point is moot, and if he is, he's fine off the bench. Not a problem. What's he gonna do, complain they aren't paying him enough? I think he's happy to be alive, at this point.
Willingham and Milledge may be the most tradeable OF on the roster now, unless they're willing to eat a major chunk of Kearns' salary, but trades are looking less and less likely, all around, as GMs seem to be mostly getting risk-averse, understandably so. Not all, but most. So this could get complicated come April, especially if Patterson has a really good spring.
But I'm still not guessing lineups. We've got all spring to figure that stuff out.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 11, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Fearless (because it ain't MY money) prediction:

Zimmerman and the FO agree to a 1 year deal to avoid arbitration, but don't sign a multi-year deal.

Rationale: With Dunn hitting behind him, Zimmerman gets better pitches, and can have a big season, thus enabling him to make a big payday next year (when signing a long term deal will make more sense).

Posted by: TimDz | February 11, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

but one question for the couple of folks talking about batting Zimm fifth -- based on what? He's hit third almost every game he's played here. There's no data.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 11, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

One other thing: every year, the conventional, and the collective, wisdoms are wrong about several major things. What if the starting pitching winds up being their strength this year? Counter-intuitive, but stranger things happen every year. What if this is now a ML average offense, which would be a huge upgrade, but not an unreasonable speculation at this point? OK, here's the part we all get wrong this year: the bullpen winds up being good again.
Is 82-80 good enough for third?
Like I said, speculating.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 11, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

With the added payroll and higher expectations, the Nationals can't afford to give questionable players 40-50 games to see what they can do.

Since their own website lists Dunn at first base on the team's depth chart, we have to assume he's there for the long term.

I don't think the Nationals can afford to play Austin Kearns and sit Josh Willingham.

Though both players have similar career stats over a 162 game season (Willingham: .265-25-85 vs Kearns: .260-22-86), Willingham has played well recently while Kearns' best years came earlier in his career.

I'd offer you my guess as to the team's lineup, but there just has to be a bevy of trades still to come to fix the glut of outfielders.

Posted by: rushfari | February 12, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Nickname = Git R Dunn?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 12, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

"Since their own website lists Dunn at first base on the team's depth chart, we have to assume he's there for the long term."

I wouldn't put any stock in what it might say on the depth chart on the team's mlb.com page. That's probably kept up by some intern with no input from anyone on the baseball management side of the house. They saw the team had acquired Dunn, needed to put him on the chart somewhere, and stuck him at first because there were fewer names there than in the outfield.

I'm sure no hard and fast decisions have been made yet as to where and when all this surplus of OF-1B talent will play. It will all sort itself out over the course of spring training, just like the whittling of 13 pitchers down into a five man rotation did two years ago. But it seems inevitable that certain guys will make the team. Dunn, Willingham, Dukes, Milledge and Harris will because they either have multi-year contracts or are under team control for several more years. Johnson will, if healthy, for two reasons. First, he will be difficult to move because the perception of him is that he's damaged goods until he proves otherwise. Second, even if Bowden tries to move him (which I doubt he will) it will be the same situation as with Cordero a couple of years ago where Bowden will want more in trade for him than other teams will be willing to give up.

The odd men out here are clearly Kearns and Pena. Barring a total collapse by one or more of the other guys, if Kearns or Pena plays well enough in the spring they may be moved for prospects or pitching. Otherwise they'll be DFA'd and stashed in the minors if some other team doesn't grab them. Once the roster has to be trimmed to 25, there will not be room to give guys like Kearns and Pena playing time to showcase them for trades as was done last year with FLop, LoDuca and Estrada. That's the big difference between this year's team and last year's - depth. It's been building all offseason, but no one noticed until they picked up Dunn.

Barring injuries, they'll head north saying there will be plenty of OF-1B ABs to go around between Dunn, Dukes, Milledge, Willingham and Johnson, and Willie Harris will be the super sub and late-iniing defensive replacement as he's always been. And if we're lucky, they'll be able to play it out that way for the full season. Not bad, if you ask me. I bet Manny Acta will love having to make his lineup decisions every day now, just as much as he probably hated doing it last year.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 12, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

So here is an intersting comparrison:

48 HR/146 RBI/.251/.339 OBP/.534 SLG/.871 OPS/$18M per yr.

40 HR/100 RBI/.236/.386 OBP/.513 SLG/.898 OPS/$10M per yr.

38 HR/115 RBI/.271/.353 OBP/.514 SLG/.871 OPS/$12M per yr.

The first is Ryan Howard (29), the second Adam Dunn (29), and the third Carlos Delgado (38).

Howard clearly has the advantage in RBI and not surprisingly the better overall lineup. Delgado certainly had Reyes, Writght, and Beltran on his side. Dunn played in two good - but not great - lineups last year. All three are generally believed to be below average fielders at 1B.

Playing just for this year you probably would rather have Howard at $18M, but its not an overwhelming case. Dunn was signed for a very economical $10M per year. And for the next two years who do you want in that group? If Dunn can play 1B as well as Howard (which he probably can do) You have a player who is very comparable for $16M less over the next two years.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 12, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

but one question for the couple of folks talking about batting Zimm fifth -- based on what? He's hit third almost every game he's played here. There's no data.

Posted by: CEvansJr

Zimmerman consistently has horrible April/May stats. Last year his early season RISP was probably the worst on the team. Why not start him hitting 5th or 6th until he warms up? If for some reason he goes against form and has a hot spring then you put him back at 3rd sooner.


Posted by: driley | February 12, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

For those who might be interested, yesterday's MLB Network Hot Stove is scheduled to rerun at 9 and 10 a.m. today. The Dunn segment starts about 4 minutes into it (after Tejada).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 12, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I am not very enthusiatic about the Dunn signing. Our team defense which was near the top in errors last year just got worse.
He marginalizes two players--Willingham and Johnson and lessens the value of the Bonaficio/Olsen/Willingham trade. If his acquisition forces a trade involving Milledge or another young player then I really hate this move. The overstocking at first base and left field rattles the framework of this team. I am sure that trades will have to made but the fact that everyone else knows that we HAVE to make a trade means that we will not get much in return.

From a fan excitement viewpoint I know that the acquisition had to be made. The extra homeruns will create a buzz, the marketing can now have a focus that makes sense. This signing buys time for the franchise and for Bowden. I think that just having a healthy team would have created at least 15 more wins than last season. In reality how many more wins will Dunn create alone? I will be an open minded skeptic this season in regards to Dunn.

Posted by: driley | February 12, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Some further thoughts on thinning out the 1st / OF pack, but first -

When people here post about possibly trading a Milledge or a Willingham, it's not out of a belief these guys are bad ball players. It is because it takes something to get something, and it is better to move from surplus than to open a hole. For example, you probably will not see a "trade Flores" idea until we are sure about Montz or the low minors catchers, even though Flores would be valuable to teams looking for catchers.

Because Oakland is one team that is supposed to be interested in Nick Johnson, I wonder what people think about Mark Ellis as a potential trade target. Good power, streaky average, and arguably the best defensive 2d baseman in baseball (by many measures). He's due $5 m this year, $5.5m next, with a $6m option and $.5m buyout in 2011. The money lines up nicely with Nick's this year ($5.5m), and frees budget for next year for the A's.

I'm not up on their depth, but they have at least one backup MI they seem comfortable giving time to (Cliff Pennington). There's also some talk about going after O-Cab and changing Crosby to a super utility guy. We could perhaps offer them Belliard or AG, too.

If we went towards a big deal, they have tremendous young pitching prospects (Anderson, Cahill, and Gio Gonazalez) and a spare closer in Ziegler they might sell high on. They look like they could use OF help besides Holliday.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 12, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What a deal!

From Chico's Dec. 23 Blog entry:
At the beginning of the offseason, agents or others in the industry seemed to think Adam Dunn would command a contract in the neighborhood of four years, $60 million. But everybody's price has come down. When I spoke two days ago with one National League GM, he guessed that Dunn would settle for a deal of three years between $32 and $36 million. (Mind you, Dunn, who has hit 40 home runs for five years in a row, earned $13 million last season.)

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 12, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

but one question for the couple of folks talking about batting Zimm fifth -- based on what? He's hit third almost every game he's played here. There's no data.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 11, 2009 10:55 PM

----------------

I don't disagree with driley's "cold start" explanation, but I would hit Zim fifth throughout the season as long as Dukes is in the lineup.

The main reason I want Dukes earlier in the lineup is because of his ability to make things happen on the base paths. In short, he's a threat to steal, where Zim is not.

Here's the lineup I go with (just in case Manny calls me up and asks my opinion):

1 - Milledge/Guz (Guz just gets hits, but Milledge is interesting here)
2 - "Slick" Nick (need a double? here you go)
3 - Dukes
4 - Dunn
5 - Zim
6 - Guz/Milledge
7 - Hernandez
8 - Flores
9 - Pitcher

To me, hitting Dukes-Dunn-Zim at 3-4-5 is a no-brainer. Dukes is your best hitter. Dunn is your biggest "clean-up" threat (by far). And Zim will get something done if Dunn doesn't.

It's also hard to know how Milledge would handle the leadoff spot. Not sure he's the right guy there, and Guz is also not a perfect fit. If Nick is out, I go with:

1 - Milledge
2 - Guz
3 - Dukes
4 - Dunn
5 - Zim
6 - Willingham
7 - Hernandez
8 - Flores
9 - Pitcher

Posted by: Good2bOK | February 12, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Ok - In the morning, after consideration, I still love this deal. I love everything about it - I love that it's only 2 years, not the ridiculous 4-year nonsense that Boz was talking about. I love that it creates a glut of actual MLB-level talent in the OF (ok, Kearns needs to reprove that). I love it makes having a healthy NJ a luxury, not a necessity, in order to achieve a 75-win season. I love the idea that Dunn and NJ's pitch selectivity might rub off on Dukes, Milledge and Zimm. One of our biggest problems last year was that we were first-pitch swingers (Thanks, Lenny!) and those two guys should help change that to a "wait for your pitch and then crush it" approach.

To me, the big winners are: Zimm, NJ, Dukes, Flores, the starting pitchers, and fans who dig the longball - the position players get to hit in better positions and will get to see more of the soft underbelly of pitching staffs - middle relief - owing to having a guy or guys in the lineup who will have long ABs. Starters will get some more run support, and fans get to see a team that at least looks like they're trying.

Losers: WMP, Kearns, DY, Maxwell, Bernadina. Those guys just saw their chances of making the roster get very slim.

I think there's a trade to be made, too, but I just hope Milledge isn't part of it - I think he's got serious potential. I still think an NJ + stuff for Barton + stuff deal makes sense for both sides.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 12, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I first read this on SI.Com - so Tom Verducci had this before anyone at the Post.

I hope this at least shuts off some of the carping about the cheap owners, etc. Dunn's one of the few A - list guys out there and we got him (and we also made a very serious bid for Tex).

Not overspending, working to develop your farm system, etc. - classic Kasten and good signs for the future.

Posted by: baseballindc1 | February 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Good points, 295, though it seems to me that Dukes has shown pretty good plate discipline at times.

Also, new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 12, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

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