Nationals 'keeping options open' at first base, with Adam Dunn
As the offseason grinds along, one of the pressing questions remains what the Nationals will do with free agent first baseman Adam Dunn, and how they'll replace him at first base if/when he chooses to sign elsewhere. While it's still early, the Nationals have started planning how they'll proceed.
"We've talked internally about what our options are," General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "We've mapped out our strategy on players that we're going to be aggressive and go after. We're starting the implementing of the process.
"We're keeping all of our options open. Adam, he's opted to include himself in the free agent market. We certainly have to look at not only Adam, but other avenues also."
The Nationals' most likely alternative to Dunn appears to be free agent Carlos Pena, although the Nationals could choose a number of different strategies to replace, including upgrading their outfield and moving either Michael Morse or Josh Willingham to first.
Inside the Nationals clubhouse, there has been a strong push for the Nationals to simply resign Dunn. The most outspoken proponent of keeping Dunn has been Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals' best player. Zimmerman has taken every opportunity to campaign for Dunn's return.
Rizzo, at the very least, is listening to his franchise third baseman. Here are Rizzo's thoughts on Zimmerman expressing his opinion:
"Ryan is an integral part of the team. He's probably the most recognizable face of the ballclub. He certainly has a right to voice his opinions. I've talked to him in the past about player and personnel moves, makeup on players, how the clubhouse is built and that type of thing. His input, his opinion, is important to me.
"But you certainly can't make franchise-changing decisions on the opinion of one player. But like I said, Ryan is not just an ordinary player to us. I've listened to, I've taken his opinions in the past. When he talks, the city of Washington, D.C. listens. And they should, because he's our best player and one our most important athletes in the city."
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