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Adam Dunn says he hasn't changed view on contract talks

Though surprised he and the Nationals have not reached an agreement on a contract extension, Adam Dunn denied the recent suggestion that his desire to sign an extension with the Nationals has waned because the negotiations have lingered so deep into the season. Asked if he had changed his view on staying with the Nationals, Dunn said, simply, "No."

"I mean, it's been frustrating because of this, of having to answer the questions," Dunn said. "That's the thing that's frustrating. Other than that, whatever. They're going to do what's best for them. I'm just here, man. Employee number 44."

Both Dunn and Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo have publicly expressed their want to keep Dunn, one of the game's best and most consistent sluggers, in Washington. The sides have been talking on and off since spring training without accomplishing anything significant, which has made Dunn the subject of trade rumors, the precise scenario he wanted to avoid.

Still, Dunn said he holds no animosity toward the team. He also reiterated his stance that he lets his representatives handle his contract while he ignores it.

"I thought we would have something done," Dunn said. "I don't know. I talk to my agent like I talk to Josh [Willingham]. I don't know anything about this kind of stuff. I stay out of it. I hate that crap."

"I don't what's going on," Dunn added. "I know it's sounds stupid, but I don't. I told my agent whatever happens, happens. Whatever."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 16, 2010; 5:38 PM ET
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Just pay the man, Shirley.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Debbi Taylor just interviewed Rizzo, who said he's not looking to trade Dunn and would like to sign him to an extension but he has to listen to offers and if he gets blown away by one, then things could change. But he didn't seem to think that would happen.

Sounds like no trade to me. Of course, Debbi didn't bother asking why they haven't reached an agreement yet or are they close...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 16, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming it's because Dunn wants a Jason Bay type contract (4 yrs, $60m). He was signed to a 2-yr, $20m deal before last year. That's a big $$ difference and there are concerns he has "old" skills that could deteriorate quickly.

If it's 3 years, I bet a deal gets done. But particularly with all the 1B free agents coming free this summer, team is willing to wait until the offseason if Dunn sticks to 4 years +. Dunn's agent is willing to wait and see if he gets that offer in the offseason. If he does, as a type A free agent, the Nats would get a lower half 1st rd pick (or first half 2nd round) AND supplemental round pick in deep 2011 draft.

Wouldn't surprise me if he gets extended w/ Nats but to a 3-yr. deal in the offseason.

Meanwhile, unless the Angels offer Mike Trout or the White Sox Gordon Beckham, Dunn probably stays here for 2010.

Least that's what my crystal ball tells me...

Posted by: SiberianTiger1 | July 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm frustrated with the team on this too. Big time. If they really want him to stay, why don't they just do it? And why doesn't anyone ask that question of Rizzo?

Is Rizzo 'doing his job' by listening to offers for Stephen Strasburg, too?

Posted by: raymitten | July 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree on all points raymitten. The Nationals are always fooling around and for no good reason. I blame the Lerners.

Posted by: mjwies11 | July 16, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

If Dunn isn't re-signed, everyone will know that they don't care about winning, only keeping expenses down. Maybe MLB can go back and retroactively award the team to someone not so cheap!

Posted by: dboz1970 | July 16, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. Dunn says he wants to stay. But he also says "I don't get into it. I stay out of this crap". So does that mean he lets his agent ask for a ridiculous amount of money, even though he (Dunn) wants to stay? I like Adam but it seems he wants it both ways. You want to stay Adam? Tell your agent to get it done. Either way, you won't starve.

Posted by: tradeczar | July 16, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

>>>So does that mean he lets his agent ask for a ridiculous amount of money, even though he (Dunn) wants to stay?<<<

Jason Bay-type money isn't a ridiculous amount for Dunn.

Posted by: p_chuck | July 17, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Just sign him. That's what I'd do!

Posted by: Hogie | July 17, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd like Adam to stay -- realistically, I don't believe the team is likely to get better on balance by dealing him -- but I think a bigger concern could be the effect that letting him leave might have on Ryan Zimmerman's prospects to re-sign. Zimm, who is at a point in his career where he wants to start being able to employ his abilities in the service of winning, has all but stood on his head publicly making it clear that he'd prefer Dunn (and Willingham) to stay. If Dunn goes, and then Zimm goes when his contract is up, then what effect would that have on the eventual prospects for Strasburg to re-sign? You don't even want to think about tipping over that chain of dominoes, either from a fan or a free-agent perspective. Either this team starts to consistently demonstrate they will pony up for star talent for the long run, or they risk appearing to set in stone the pattern of always failing to retain it rather than pay. At this juncture, the outcome -- either way -- could become a self-fulfilling prophecy with a large effect on the future size of the baseball market here. DC, with its proclivity for stars and 'event' sports, is not a small-market town and quite naturally doesn't like to think of itself (or be thought of) as one; if our team really wants to succeed, its deep-pocket owners shouldn't act like they're in one. Just take, now, the discount that Dunn is probably willing to give in order to stay, and don't waste a minute wondering if you might have signed him for even less next offseason or what you possibly could have gotten in trade -- that's fool's gold, almost no matter how well or not he winds up playing over the coming years.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | July 17, 2010 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Dunn is offering no discount. He is doing everything possible to force the Nats to pay Jason Bay monies and that frankly is not going to happen. Dunn ain't stupid he's playing it perfectly.

Dunn walks as a FA in Nov, Nats get type A pick in the 2011 Draft, the LernerStanK and Company Man Rizzo will spin it every which way but the truth way. Its the script that has been handed over by the "Brain Trust" since the early days of JIMBO.

Willingham and Capps are the real trade bait because they won't be asking for 30 or 40M anytime soon.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

>I'm frustrated with the team on this too. Big time. If they really want him to stay, why don't they just do it? And why doesn't anyone ask that question of Rizzo?

Is Rizzo 'doing his job' by listening to offers for Stephen Strasburg, too?

Posted by: raymitten

The media in this town is beyond pathetic. Like a bunch of grad students that don't want to displease their dean because they want to graduate on time. They ask questions like children, and the team is never held accountable. Why doesn't someone from the Post call Rizzo up and grill him? Then why don't they write an article about how he dodged their answers? 'Hey Rizzo, how come we only have one starting pitcher?' You know. It ain't gonna happen. They're just cashing paychecks like the team and organization is. It's a big game. They're all useless, and the team slides down the rabbit hole every year because everyone seems to think it's alright as long as they meet their deadlines.

Posted by: Brue | July 17, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I love this guy.

Who else can be so casual and yet such a professional at the same time? Everything about him feels genuine.

Boswell shed a lot of light on this in a recent chat. All roads lead to Lerner, who wants a bargain. Maybe if we all agreed to buy a Dunn jersey if the team signs him to a three-year extension, he'd be more willing to sign the check.

Or does he want us to have a lemonade sale like Cavs fans did for their owner?

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 17, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

" doing everything possible to force the Nats to pay Jason Bay monies and that frankly is not going to happen. Dunn ain't stupid he's playing it perfectly"

By doing what exactly, playing well? Letting the team and his agent run out the course of things without diverting his attention from playing baseball during the season in order to get more deeply involved in negotiations (as he always said he wouldn't)? By consistently stating publicly his desire to stay? All that matters in the narrow sense is what he can get on the market vs. what he's willing to take to re-sign, not relative to what he's made up 'til now. We've actually increased Dunn's value by moving him to 1B, reminiscent of what happened here with Soriano (although as has been said elsewhere, he hurts his own value by not being willing to DH).

But the team needs to keep its eye on the bigger picture. Some point soon in the young history of this team as currently run, ownership needs to prove, to the fans and to the talent, that high-value players can expect more than one contract offer if they perform. Re-signing Dunn is as beneficial and timely an opportunity to do that as we'll get.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | July 18, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

When the Nats signed Dunn for $20 million over two years, the Nats made a bold move to show that, among the very smallest market franchises, the Nats could be among the players for talent. In that regard, the Dunn move was a statement signing, and it became the only $20 million free agent signing under Ted Lerner. It still is.

Now of course, the Nats are in one of America's largest and richest markets. Will the Nats make another bold move and re-sign their only big money free agent? After all, most clubs routinely spend a lot more than Dunn-type money to retain their players and sign new ones. So this is a real test for the Nats. Are the Nats hopelessly small market? Or can they play with the Medium Boys once in a while?

Posted by: EdDC | July 19, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

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