For now, Adam Dunn still open to contract extension talks
First baseman Adam Dunn entered spring training hopeful he and the Nationals could reach an agreement on a contract extension by opening day. With their first game about 20 hours away, that will not be happening.
While Dunn made clear his preference of wrapping up a deal, he also remained open to negotiating during the early part of the season. With opening day here, Dunn reiterated his desire to stay in Washington and maintained his stance: he is comfortable with negotiations continuing, but he does not want them to linger.
"If it gets done in two weeks, if it gets done in a month, great," Dunn said. "If it doesn't, then like I said, we've got all offsesason. This is the place I want to be at. I want to be here. This team is obviously going in the right direction. I'm all for it. That's why I don't want to deter anybody away. I like being here.
"I don't want to sit there everyday I go 0 for 4 going, 'Well, talks are probably off today.' I don't want to do that. If things are moving forward, then I'm fine with it. I don't want it to just continue lingering and lingering. I'd like to have some serious talks here soon. If not, we've got a long offseason."
On Thursday, General Manager Mike Rizzo said of talks with Dunn's representatives, "We're in communication. There's dialogue. I'll probably leave it at that."
Dunn made no ultimatum and established no deadline for when he wants an extension completed.
"I don't really have a timeline," Dunn said." I don't want this going on until July. But if things are good as far as negotiations, then it's not going to affect me one way or the other. It's only going to affect me negatively. I look at almost like a trade deadline thing. I don't want it every single day, 'How's it going? How's it going? How's it going?' I don't want that to happen. This is the first time I've had to think about it for a long time.
"I don't want it to come to where a month, two months into the season, everyone walking up going, 'How's it going?' If that's the case, I'd rather say, 'You know what guys, let's pick it up at the end of the year.' "
Dunn said is staying out of negotiations and letting his agent Greg Genske handle them. He also vowed he would not let the ongoing discussions affect him on the field.
"I have really not even thought about it, to be honest with you, "Dunn said. "Again, it's not one those things - it really hasn't been on my mind. If things are moving forward, great. It's not going to affect me one way or the other as far as how I play. I'm really not too concerned about it.
"This is going to sound bad, but I really don't know [how talks are progressing]. I tell my people I want to treat it as a trade. I don't want to be hearing about things all the time. Until something is really serious, I really don't want to know about it. I want to stay out of it."
Dunn is in the second year of a two-year, $20 million contract. Despite a dearth of victories in his first year, Dunn became enchanted with the city and with the team.
"It's a young team," Dunn said. "There's a lot of things to be excited about. I feel comfortable here. I feel like I fit in really well here. My family loves it here. It seems like it's a great fit. When we do something special here, I want to be a part of it."
April 4, 2010; 4:07 PM ET
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