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Nationals 'considering every possibility' at trade deadline

Nationals President Stan Kasten stayed predictably mum on where the team stands heading into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, sticking to his policy of not discussing specifics. Kasten, speaking generally, said only that General Manager Mike Rizzo will be thorough during the final week before the deadline.

"Any GM is evaluating all the options," Kasten said. "I can tell you from being involved, Mike is considering every possibility. He'll cover any ground."

The Nationals' main focus remains first baseman Adam Dunn. Several teams have interest in Dunn, who is second in the National League in home runs and third on-base plus slugging percentage. Rizzo has said his preference is to sign Dunn to a contract extension, and Dunn is seeking a contract in the range of $60 million and four years, according to sources.

Dunn is in the final year of a two-year, $20 million contract, and his offensive skills stand to make him a valuable commodity should he reach free agency. The Nationals would receive two compensatory picks if he leaves in free agency this offseason.

With Dunn their current priority, it is possible the Nationals will decide what to do with left fielder Josh Willingham after they resolve Dunn's situtation. Rizzo said he wants Willingham to be "a part of the family," but the Nationals have yet to approach Willingham about a contract extension, said Matt Sosnick, Willingham's agent.

"I do think Mike Rizzo is a really honest guy," Sosnick said. "I think he likes Josh a lot as a person and a player. That doesn't mean he wouldn't trade him if he finds a deal he thinks will help build the club. I would expect that. His loyalty is to building a team he feels the best way possible."

While improving his defense, Willingham ranks 15th in the NL with an .811 OPS and 15 home runs. The Nationals control Willingham, who will be eligible for arbitration again this offseason, through the 2011 season. Willingham wants to stay in Washington, but he also realizes the team can wait and sign him year-to-year for now.

"Josh loves playing there," Sosnick said. "His choice would be signing there and playing there. Josh and I both respect the process."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 23, 2010; 4:18 PM ET
 
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Comments

>>Riggleman does not behave like any manager I've ever followed ... his obsession with Guzman, Harris and Maxwell goes way, waaaay beyond the norm. It borders on deviancy.Posted by: periculum

Woa that's a whole nutha ball of wax. I aint even goin there.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ladson says Ross Detwiler will start on Sunday...

Posted by: rachel216 | July 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Can we get Brad Wilkerson back?

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 23, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

>>Nationals 'considering every possibility' at trade deadline

Is that really considered news? I mean if the Nats said "Screw it, we don't care. We give up." Well that would be news...right? But this? Cmon. Slow news day?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

It borders on deviancy

You seem to post the thinly veiled suggestion that Riggleman is homosexually attracted to certain players pretty much every day, so who's the nut here?

Posted by: markfromark | July 23, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals would receive two compensatory picks if he leaves in free agency this offseason."

Only true if 1) they offer him arbitration and 2) he declines it and signs with another team. When we got Dunn, the Snakes declined to offer him arbitration so they got no compensatory picks.

If we offer Dunn arbitration, there is an excellent chance he accepts it. If he does, he would likely be able to get $14-15 million for 2011 via the arbitration process. Maybe more given his OPS and comparables to folks like Teixeira and Howard. The Nats could decide they don't want to risk having to pay him that much and decline to offer him arbitration, just like the Snakes. Of course, lots of ball (literally) still has to be played before we get to Dunn's free agency!

Posted by: Section314 | July 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Sign him or trade him, but please do not Soriano him.

Posted by: markfromark | July 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sign him or trade him, but please do not Soriano him.

Posted by: markfromark | July 23, 2010 5:04 PM

First, Riggleman is bordering on deviancy and now this! What's wrong with you people???

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The one name that never seems to come up in the NJ trade discussions is Livo. Seems like there would be a bunch of teams (Rangers, Angels, White Sox, Phillies) that are in the playoff races that don't have much in terms of fifth starters that could really use him as a two-month rental.

The Nats could aways re-sign him (again) at the end of the season.

Posted by: hapster | July 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

David DeJesus of the Royals is now injured and out for the year, and so one big trade option has been taken off the table. I am not saying that he and Dunn are similar players, but there are a limited number of available position players who can hit, and this may make Dunn just a little more valuable.

I admit that, as much as I am fond of Dunn, I am also intrigued to see if Rizzo, now in full control of the process, is more able than Jim Bowden to extract a good deal out of other GMs who don't hate him.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | July 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216 -- I hope the rumor mill is confused and what's happening is that Detwiler is being called up, rather than starting on Sunday. That would only be 3 days rest for someone going through a rehab. As careful as the Nats have been, I don't think they push him like that.

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | July 23, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Looks like you were right, rachel. I hope they aren't asking too much but I'm excited to see him pitch.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | July 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

DavidandDonald: I am excited too but a bit sad for Chico.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 23, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

markfromark:
While I happen to appreciate hearing peric's point of view on things, this is one of the few posts that made me laugh out loud.
Nicely played.
*****************************

It borders on deviancy

You seem to post the thinly veiled suggestion that Riggleman is homosexually attracted to certain players pretty much every day, so who's the nut here?

Posted by: markfromark

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm also a bit apprehensive about Detwiler going on short rest when he's coming back from injury.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Since one of the options was to try and let the bullpen get through sundays game, it isn't that surprising that Dets gets the nod as I don't think they'll press him to go past 5 innings, if that.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo wants an 'over-the-top, stupid good' offer for Dunn (as he should, imo). If it doesn't come, than I hope the team offers the big guy a front-loaded 3-yr/$48M [$18M/$16M/$14M], with maybe a vested $12-14M option for 2014.
While he's at it, toss a $6.5M bonus offer at Harper/Bora$, with no 40-man guarantees. Hell, it's not my money...

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Dunn has max value in the AL as a DH getting many at bats against RHP. Trade him for a solid everyday player, preferably with power. The Chi WS Cuban 1B maybe?

Posted by: hz9604 | July 23, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

>>Nationals 'considering every possibility' at trade deadline

Is that really considered news? I mean if the Nats said "Screw it, we don't care. We give up." Well that would be news...right? But this? Cmon. Slow news day?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 23, 2010 4:59 PM

Please explain how the screw it, we don't care approach is any different from the bargain basement approach of the last few years?

Posted by: EdDC | July 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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