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Adam Dunn seems headed to free agency

First baseman Adam Dunn and the Nationals both publicly floated their desire to reach a deal on a contract extension all the way back in spring training. Some six months later, with few signs of progress made, it appears likely the Nationals will not reach a deal until the season ends and Dunn will be heading to free agency.

Dunn leaves negotiations to his representatives and generally avoids updates from them, but he said Friday nothing is imminent and he is "assuming" he will end the season without a contract extension from the Nationals. The Nationals can offer one-year arbitration to Dunn and they will have an exclusive window to negotiate with Dunn until 15 days after the World Series. But players eligible for free agency rarely pass up the chance to test their value.

On Friday, General Manager Mike Rizzo said Stephen Strasburg's impending Tommy John surgery -- which will knock him out for at least one year and likely the entire 2011 season -- will not affect his plan to build a winning team next year or his pursuit of Dunn. He called Strasburg's surgery and Dunn's potential signing "two independent things."

Rizzo also told MLB Network Radio he and Dunn's agents are in communication and continue to discuss a possible deal. If the Nationals offer Dunn arbitration and he declines and they don't sign him, they will receive two compensatory draft choices.

Though Dunn's first season as a full-time first baseman has been rough defensively -- his -0.8 UZR is 16th in the majors among first baseman and his eight errors are fifth-most -- Dunn possesses in spades perhaps the two most valuable skills on the market: power and the ability to reach base. Dunn's 31 home runs tie him for second in the National League, and his .537 slugging percentage ranks fourth. Dunn's .350 is above league average but 30 points below his career average.

The Nationals had all season to lock up Dunn for three or four years -- something that would have greatly pleased third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. As the season nears its conclusion, it seems increasingly likely they will have to compete with 29 other teams to sign him.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 28, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
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Next: Today's lineup


The Slows quit on us again.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | August 28, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Coming on the heels of Strasburg's surgery, this is a huge blow to me. I knew it was probably coming but reading it makes it worse.

I read a couple places that Dunn would have taken 4 years for $60m. If they let him walk away when they could have had him for that, I will lose a huge amount of confidence in Rizzo.

You can't let a .380 OBP and 40 HRs walk away. No one in our system is going to do that...ever, except maybe Harper. $15m is a massive bargain for that even w/ the mediocre glove at first. And yes, that UZR is mediocre, not terrible.

Another 90+ loss season, no Strasburg, no Dunn. Yet another low point. At least the Caps start in just over a month.

Posted by: Avar | August 28, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Dunn's declining OBP is worrisome, especially since it's no longer coupled with a higher than average batting average. Being a three true outcomes player (home run, walk, strikeout) is one thing, but Adam seems to be on the path to becoming an all-or-nothing hitter.

Posted by: NTPNate | August 28, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals won't compete have to compete with 29 other teams for Adam Dunn. They don't want him back.

Wil Nieves has out hit him in August and Dunn has only been slightly better than Willie Harris this month. Let the other 29 teams fight over that kind of production at the plate snd his slick fielding.

Posted by: Section314 | August 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This is the capper news of what has been the saddest week in the Nationals history and I'll take that all the way back to 1901.

The punch in the mouth is to endure the mindless chatter that is the tv broadcast for the Nationals and nothing says hello sunshine as Debbie Taylor. Last night she reported? that some bad news that day was Strasburgs need for surgery but the great thing for him was all the wonderful people he could talk to now about how wonderful this surgery really is and he could share this moment with such great people who just happened to be at the park last night.

So how do they handle this bit of Dunn news tonight ......lets talk about people in the future we don't have or have not played an inning in the majors and project how great the team will be about that for an approach.

Correct me if wrong, but were the Nationals not suppose to be flush with great pitching by this time and were we not going to see how far the team has improved and all would be rewarded for the historically bad seasons of the past...was that not what was sold by Kasten Rizzo Lerners etc etc ????

Posted by: CBinDC | August 28, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

3 Yrs for 40M maybe. No way they should sign him for four years. What has changed from 2 years ago when he got no offers? If he signs with an AL team he might get more as a DH.

Posted by: sjt1455 | August 28, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, two years ago, when Washington wasn't even a remotely desirable destination for MLB players, Dunn was a UFA and he ended up here right before Spring Training began.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Dunn ended up a little disappointed with what the market holds for him and ends up back here anyway.

Posted by: CapsNut | August 28, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As stated in an earlier post, Dunn is the 'elephant in the corner' for this team. Sign him, and you lock down a true power-hitting LH bat, one who makes the hitters around him better, but has a less-than-nimble 1B glove. There is little to replace him in the system at 1B (Morse, Marrero, or Moore), all of who are RH-hitters with moderate power & less than sterling defensive reputations as well.

If the Nationals want to risk the FA/trade market for a 1B, they're just throwing up 'smoke & mirrors', imo. Adrian Gonzalez (from SD) will be looking for Texeiera-type $$$, as will Fielder (from MIL); Pena (from TB) is both older & less productive, as is Overbay (from TOR) & Branyan or Kotchmann (from SEA). Lee (ATL), Konerko (CWS), & Cantu (from TEX) are all RH-hitters, and offer no protection to either Zimmerman or Willingham.

My best hope is that the team eventually deals with 'the devil they know', and signs Dunn.

Posted by: BinM | August 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Is this based on anything other than a lack of news to the contrary?

This is worse than Strasburg to me. Its going to set the team back substantially if they get rid one of the few bonafide stars they have for a few bucks.

Posted by: raymitten | August 28, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I believe it will be a mistake to let Dunn go. Sure his defense is suspect at times but overall he has got it done.

Last night on the postgame show Ladson stated that Dunn has killed this team with his poor defense. What hyberbole and Ladson wonders why he is not that well regarded as a sports reporter. What Ladson and others dont seem to realize is that Dunn is always a threat with the bat. Sure he is streaky (August has been bad) but you never know when his streak will flip to good. With Dunn in the lineup, it helps our other hitters.
It will be too bad if he leaves and by the middle of next season we will realize how much his bat helped this team. We just cant replace that offense.

Posted by: CountDemoney | August 28, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone said next year will be a 90-loss season if they don't sign Dunn. Would not that be an improvement over the past two years when they appear to be on the verge of losing 200 games WITH him? When your team is bad, I don't get why everyone wants to resign the same players that make you bad. Do the people that want to resign Dunn even WATCH the games, or just read statistics? Dunn is not a good player, that is one reason why he has never played on a winning team. It is also the reason why no other team beat down the door to sign him two years ago.

I'm not sure it is a given that if we offer arbitration, he won't accept it knowing that is the best he will get. I worry the Nats won't offer arbitration because of that.

Rather than continue to lose 95-103 games per season with the devil we know, I'd like to try to get better with someone else.

Posted by: Section314 | August 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

BinM - you're right on.
Whether losing Dunn is good or bad is all relative on who is playing 1B and batting in the middle of the Nat's lineup next April.
Section314 - You're happy enough for Dunn to leave. You still gonna be happy if our 1B next year is Michael Morse?

We're not going to shell out the dough to win a bidding was for Adrian Gonzalez.

Between what going to be on the free agent market and what's in our minor leagues, it's hard to see how if we lose Dunn we don't end up with a significant downgrade at 1st base / cleanup.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 28, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@sec314: As I hinted at earlier, it's either 'the devil you know (Dunn), or the devil you don't'. The internal options are still lacking at this point, imo, and the external options are either overpriced(Gonzalez, Fielder), aging & underperforming (Pena, Overbay, Branyan & Kotchmann), or currently a bad fit (Lee, Konerko, Cantu).

True, Dunn has never been on a winning team - But making a change just for the sake of change = mindless churning without purpose, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 28, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance. His at-bats are unproductive, he kills rallies, his hot streaks are too few and far between. His current 8-for-67 over the past month is a perfect example. He has come up with 570 men on base and only driven in 78. He has stranded 23 runners on third with less than 2 outs. The guy is worthless and over-rated. They don't call him Adam Dudd for nothing.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | August 28, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that all the Dunn bashers have in common is that they never offer a real alternative to replacing him. That's because there aren't any. At least not that will come to DC to play.

Posted by: Brue | August 28, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The Nats screwed up not signing Dunn when they had all year to do it, as usual they want to make a deal on the cheap instead of being true to their statement that Dunn is part of the Nationals family. Pay the man what he is worth and have it done - I bet he would have taken 3 years at $15M each and that would have been a fair deal. He may have a few weaknesses no question, but overall guys who knock in 100 RBI's and actually want to play for really bad teams don't grow on trees, and the last thing we need with our offense is to lose him. Marrero and Tyler Moore are at least a year away, they don't have anyone to replace him other than maybe Michael Morse, losing Dunn's bat not to mention his attitude in the clubhouse are a real gamble and real bad move by the Nats to not have signed him by now. Cheap cheap cheap.

Posted by: timmy10 | August 28, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Signing Dunn may "please" Zimmerman, but one gets the suspicion that management would rather its franchise player not follow the big 1st baseman's lead too much. This team will not move forward until we solidify our overall team defense, and Dunn is clearly not the answer in the infield no matter how many homeruns he hits.

Posted by: rogieshan | August 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I also note that the Dunn bashers like to cite the last month. So, we can't put anyone at first who has had a bad month? That leaves one. The guy has been one of the 10 most consistent power hitters alive for the last six years. If he leave, his replacement will be MUCH less productive. Count on it.

Posted by: Avar | August 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

When the O's swept the Nats I started to become disinterested in this team this year, figuring any HOPE of this season being special was shot. Now with the news of Strasburg and Dunn being gone for next year I truly wonder if there should be any HOPE at all.
I HOPE the 1st place Potomac Nationals can make the playoffs or Harrisburg so that there is something positive at the end of the year.

Posted by: PNatsFan | August 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

4/60 mil was too much. I wouldn't have signed him for this either.

I like Dunn but he is what he is. At some point you are going to have to move him to the AL. You have to hope he stays in 'good physical condition' until you make that deal.

If you can get him for 4y/50 and a small no-trade buyout I'd do that with the intention of moving him in '12-'13 when you-know-who is ready.

Posted by: NJDPEXP | August 28, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

>This team will not move forward until we solidify our overall team defense, and Dunn is clearly not the answer in the infield no matter how many homeruns he hits.

Posted by: rogieshan

The bullpen has pitched more innings than any team in baseball. The offense is ranked next to last in runs scored.

Those are the reasons they suck. Not a lack of defense. People say that crap because they just want to sound smart and they don't know what the hell they're talking about. People like Bill Ladson. What a slobbering tool.

Posted by: Brue | August 28, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that all the Dunn bashers have in common is that they never offer a real alternative to replacing him. That's because there aren't any. At least not that will come to DC to play.
Posted by: Brue | August 28, 2010 2:23 PM |
But they'll tell us they did, if only the Lerners would have thrown enough $$$ at Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, or even Derek Lee, that would take care of it. Unstead, the team may take a pass on Dunn, and ultimately settle for Pena, Kotchmann, or Morse at 1B. That's a very poor decision, IMO.

Posted by: BinM | August 28, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

In other news, Daniel Hudson has been destroying National League hitters...

Posted by: amo36 | August 28, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Rizzo.Take the draft picks,if Dunn stays a type A.This is probably the last year of how the draft is run with over slot signings because there will be a new collective agreement.

The Red Sox and Yankees will be paying over slot on almost every early pick and the Nats need to do the same thing next year as they did with Cole and Ray.Sign as much talent as possible before the collective agreement runs out and the draft is changed.3 early picks would be a big boost to the farm system.

Posted by: ydor | August 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me that Nats' enablers prefer saving money (for another shopping center?) over signing Dunn, yet the same enablers, the mini-Lerners, are just fine with a roster full of AAA players.

The problem with the Nats is not Dunn--it's the AAA players. Zim knows that.

Posted by: EdDC | August 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I find it fascinating that if one dares make a negative comment about Dunn, some like Brue, call it Dunn bashing. The facts are a lot of teams avoided signing him, despite three consecutive years of forty home runs. As well, this slump may be one of his worst, but it is not uncommon for him. Last year about this time he had one. There have been many droughts in his career. He is far from a consistent hitter with men on base and, let's face it, winning teams are a result of good defense and pitching. Dunn has, as far as I know, never been on a winning team, not even close. Are these comments Dunn bashing? Obviously, there are a few, or many, who think so. Believe it or not I like Dunn, but do not believe he is the answer at first base for the Nats.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | August 28, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me that Nats' enablers prefer saving money (for another shopping center?) over signing Dunn, yet the same enablers, the mini-Lerners, are just fine with a roster full of AAA players.

The problem with the Nats is not Dunn--it's the AAA players. Zim knows that.

Posted by: EdDC | August 28, 2010 4:07 PM


That's because most of the Nats enablers/mini-Lerners wouldn't know a baseball if it hit them in the backside.

You can fill major holes through FA and actually improve your club. The mini-Lerners don't get that. They have bought the slow build crappolla because they don't know any better.

Just sayin'

Posted by: Section505203 | August 28, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I am not fine with a roster with too many AAA players. Not at all. This is just disgusting.

Posted by: NatsFly | August 28, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

But jcampbell, if letting done go is part of the answer, wehat's the rest of the answer?
Who do you see playing first base for the Nats next year that:
- Hits well enough to be a middle of the lineup guy.
- Plays defense better than Dunn
- Will come to contract terms with the Lerners and Rizzo

Posted by: Sunderland | August 28, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'll say it, this is a 90 loss team with Dunn protecting Zimmerman and Willingham. Don't blame Dunn for the team being under average offensively at 2b, rf, cf and catcher.

Without Dunn, this team loses 105 - assuming that he is not replaced by someone. My fear is that the plan is a bargain basement reclamation project at 1b, rf, lf, etc. And without Dunn, enjoy watching Zimmermn hit 250.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 28, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"If someone says, 'You're going to lose 100 games every year,' there's no way I'm going to stay in that place. I enjoy winning, and I think we're going to do it."

-- Ryan Zimmerman, April 20, 2009

Famous last place words.

Posted by: Drew8 | August 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Without Dunn, this team loses 105 - assuming that he is not replaced by someone. My fear is that the plan is a bargain basement reclamation project at 1b, rf, lf, etc. And without Dunn, enjoy watching Zimmermn hit 250."

This is so typical of the hyperbole of the Dunn lovers. Sure, like Dunn adds 15 more wins per season and 50 points to Zimmerman's average? Get real.

The Adam Dunn that I see is someone who will fail to make contact on 175 plus at bats per season, will fail to advance runners from third with less than two outs, will make bad plays constantly at first base (whether they are judged errors or not). Can the Nats live without him? Of course. Can the Lerner bashers live without him? Not so much.

I like Adam Dunn but I am not one of those who see him as being essential to this team by the year 2013. Won't signing him to a multi year contract put him into the no trade category? Adam Dunn's true value to this organization was in his value as commodity to other teams in a playoff race. Since a trade was not made then that speaks volumes on how much he is valued by others.

Posted by: driley | August 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This article has no direct quotes or new information to back up the headline. If it were on the front page of the "A" section, it would be labeled "analysis". I read it as an attempt by AK to flush out the ownership as to their intentions regarding Dunn.

Posted by: bertbkatz | August 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Offer Adam Dunn 2yrs for 30 mil if he doesn't accept it then let someone else over pay for him. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Marrero or Morse at 1B in 2011 for the Nats.

Posted by: 4U2Know | August 28, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It's a long, slow process to depend only on the draft. If you only use the draft as a team-building strategy, losing a first rounder like with SS or Detwiler (a slot player with limited potential who has also been injured) can set you back significantly.

Moreover, such a limited strategy costs you an opportunity to add quality players. Once you get quality players, you open up some options:

1. Keep them and win games, making the Nats fun, attracting fans, and building revenue for further player acquisitions. When the quality players sign elsewhere after their contracts expire, you get compensation draft picks. Or:

2. Trade them for prospects.

How do you get quality players? Signing free agents is one way. Dunn is the Nats only $20 million free agent in the years under Lerner. He could have been traded for prospects or the nats could still keep him and build around him. The problem with the Nats is not Dunn. It is having too few quality players who have market value.

Trading for quality players is another way. The Nats do not take on much salary when they make trades, and this again limits their options. The last big-money guy traded for was Soriano, who netted a first rounder in the draft and Jordan Zimmermann as a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds when he signed with the Cubs. Soriano was pre-Lerner, and I don't think the Nats have had an extra first rounder or a supplemental pick since. The only extra first rounder I recall resulted from not signing their first round pick from the previous year, so it is not really "extra."

By only focusing on the draft plus bargain basement AAA types, the Nats are not only sacrificing their present, but their future as well.

Posted by: EdDC | August 28, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

A few fans keep posting the comment that the Nats aren't going to get into a bidding war for Alex Gonzalez, who will want Mark Teixiera dollars. Let me remind you that Gonzalez is not a free agent until 2012. He may become a trade rental next season but that's the extent of his availability.

Posted by: bupbups | August 28, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo didn't bring Dunn to DC. I can see why he might not want to keep him here.

Posted by: richs91 | August 28, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

My man.....the Donkey....Adam "BEWARE of What you Wish For" DUDD......too many pitchers, and more and more pitching staffs....OWN HIM.....Reds- al.....

1. RHP...down and inside breaking ball...he has NO PRAYER to hit that pitch... !!!!!!!!

2. Defense is mediocre to average at best....just Not acceptable with their AA/ AAA starting rotation for several more years....

3. Now batting a lofty .258.....with almost 2x as many K's as the #2 team mate....

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | August 28, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

driley posted:

Without Dunn, this team loses 105 -
hahahahahahahahaha .... THEY lost 103 with him.....and can they LOSE 22 of the next 35 to LOSE 200 with him over 2 year period...i say.....

YES THEY CAN........but they do get woeful Pitt- Houst- NYM in September.....that could save them from 200 over 2...and 300 losses over last 3 seasons.

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | August 28, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

If they don't sign him... and especially if they never intended to try and sign him... then I can't understand why they didn't deal him at the deadline... if they could have gotten Dan Hudson and that pitching prospect from the Sox (i.e., the package the Sox dealt to get Edwin Jackson), then that would have been way better then letting Dunn just walk away, even with the draft picks...

Hudson would be helping us now and next year... 2011 draft picks will help us, when, like 2014, if ever...

Posted by: Ghost7 | August 28, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Dunn is way too streaky at bat and mediocre on defense. How many games has dunn won for Nats? Rizzo knows exactly what he is doing. Dunn has the most lacksadazical attitude I have ever seen. I do not think that attitude is very good for the Nats to win ball games and I think it affects the whole team.

Posted by: bobilly2 | August 28, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Dunn is fun! It would be a real bummer if Dunn were done.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | August 29, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Dunn has never had a walk-off hit in his entire career. Not exactly a clutch hitter, and with men on base, he is dreadful. Are solo homeruns really that important to you Dunn-loving clowns?

Posted by: lp_lodestar | August 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Why do I have the feeling that all those who argue Dunn is not very good would say EXACTLY the same thing if our first baseman was Ryan Howard? You people seem to want perfection, and there is no such thing. To lp-dodestar -- I cannot testify to whether Dunn has ever had a walkoff, but if you claim he is not a clutch hitter, I suggest that you were not watching last night's game. Or, probably, any other games. Perhaps you were too busy playing fantasy baseball, enraptured with the lovely draft picks you could get for Dunn. You and Daniel Snyder . . . .

Posted by: ammonite88 | August 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It seems like people here are arguing to either keep Dunn or get rid of him, like it's a black and white issue. I think the Nats would love to have Dunn at 1B in 2011 and people who said there's no better alternative are right. But I think they're only lukewarm to have him in 2012 and probably realize that in 3 years, he's probably going to be hurting their chances more than helping. If they could sign him for 1-2 years, I think they would. Dunn knows if he takes that deal, he could be without a decent job in 2013. I think that's why no deal's been struck so far.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | August 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Look, we've got Michael Morse who can play first and who doesn't seem to have the rally-killing tendencies exhibited so frequently by Dunn. We also have Chris Marrero coming up, and Dunn is in his way.

Adam Dunn has wonderful batting stats but they do not reveal the true picture. Most of Dunn's production comes when a pitcher is trying to pitch to contact to keep his pitch count down early in a game. When men are on base or the game is on the line, and the pitcher bears down, Adam Dunn only rarely does anything other than strike out. Yesterday was a welcome exception (twice, actually) but the first such exceptions in living memory.

I like Adam Dunn but will not be horribly disappointed if he doesn't sign. And being friends with Ryan Zimmerman is not a very good reason to get the Lerners to spend $40 million on a player who loses more games for us than he wins.

Posted by: flatworm | August 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Look, we've got Michael Morse who can play first and who doesn't seem to have the rally-killing tendencies exhibited so frequently by Dunn. We also have Chris Marrero coming up, and Dunn is in his way."

Although Ben Geossling's sources claim Nats managment is interested in FA Carlos Pena for first base I just can't see that yet? With Willingham's injuries but improvement especially in the very important Nick Johnson OBP category you have to think he should be placed at first base with Morse and Marerro behind him.

Rizzo is philosophically aligned toward athletic, good power hitting, good fielding outfielders. Bernadina is an example. Their multiple trials of JMax another. Since Bernadina is more comfortable in left one can see leaving him there in 2011 and management concentrating on upgrading center and right along with and second to top of the rotation starting pitching.

In other words I think the infield, adding Espinosa, is pretty much set for next year, 2011. Its the outfield and 1-3 slots in the starting pitching that remain big question marks. The big questions being: can JZimm, Detwiler and Maya fill that need? Where is Wang where that is concerned? Do they need to go outside to fill the need? The end of the rotation is pretty much set next year with many, many candidates for the jobs starting with Livan Hernandez.

Posted by: periculum | August 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

O's are leaps and bounds ahead of the Natinals.

Gotta love it. Shoot, would really be nice to see Dunn meaning 1B for the O's next season. Would love to see Angelos stick it to Natinal fans by signing Dunn.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 29, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind the Nats re-signing Dunn. He's better than anyone else they have at first. But if I were the Nats, I wouldn't want to pay him $15 million-per-season either -- not if the real goal of the organization is to reach the post-season as soon as possible.

Dunn is wonderful fantasy-league player. He racks-up stats better than almost anyone. But how many times has Dunn actually come-up big in the clutch? And how often does he disappear for weeks at a time while he works-out whatever is currently wrong with his swing?

When Adam Dunn is hot, few are better at combining power and average. But the usual track has been for him to be hot for about a week then strike out 20 of his next 30 at bats.

The simple fact is that while Dunn can usually be penciled-in for 40 homers and 100 RBI, he doesn't mean much to the win column. And I think the Nats could put $15 million dollars to more effective use.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | August 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

New management, same stupidity.

Hey idiots. Sign Dunn or I promise you you'll be out of a job. Can we trade Rizzo for a bag of popcorn or something?

Posted by: octobertea | August 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Dunn stay. But not at any price.

I have been critical of the Lerners in the past but they have demonstrated a willingness to step up and spend money, with Strasburg and Harper, despite the considerable risks in both cases. What they have resisted is spending A-level money for B-level free agents, who are not game changers but who can seriously encumber a franchise financially.

I recall the outcry among many fans when they didn't sign Soriano. But does anyone think the Cubs got a good deal? And IIRC, we ended up with Jordan Zimmermann as the compensatory pick. And for that matter, we don't see Aaron Crow mowing down major league hitters yet either.

Whether these decisions are right or wrong often takes years to become clear. Two years ago I wouldn't have said this, but right now, I am prepared to give Rizzo and the Lerners the benefit of the doubt.

I really do hope they work something out that's reasonable for both sides. If not, life, and the Nationals, will go on.

Posted by: Meridian1 | August 29, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's an issue of money, despite all the claims about the Lerner's being cheap. They've spent when they needed to. I think it's all about the length of the contract. For 1-2 years, they'd pay $15m a year or more.

For all the folks pushing to sign Dunn, do you see him as a starting 1B on a contending team in 2013 or 2014 or do you think we could do better? My guess is the negotiation is all about length. That's why they are considering lesser options. If you only want him for a year or two in which you aren't likely going to be in the post-season anyway, how much do you fork over? It's not nothing, because they do want to improve and keep Ryan and the fans happy, but it's not $20m either.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | August 29, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats don't sign Dunn, they will lose me as a fan at Nats Park, as a viewer on MASN and as a listener on 1500AM. It will prove that the Lerners are too cheap to own the team. MLB ought to force the cheap ass Lerner family to sell the team to a group that wants to win.

Posted by: dboz1970 | August 29, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Dunn does what almost no one can do. He makes pitchers think about him while he's on deck. A pitcher with divided attention is at a huge disadvantage. Ryan Zimmerman knows how important Dunn is to him. Zimmerman wants him back. Zimmerman is the franchise. The Lerners must find a way.

Posted by: jy151310 | August 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

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