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Posted at 4:40 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Adam Dunn on Nationals fans and leaving Washington

By Adam Kilgore

Adam Dunn introduced himself to Chicago this afternoon in a press conference at U.S. Cellular Field, his new home for the next four years. Dunn joked, because he always jokes. About his role, he said, "I told Kenny [Williams] the other day I'd catch, but I see A.J. [Pierzynski] signed. So I'm good." About his new manager, Ozzie Guillen, Dunn said, "I'm kind of a loud guy, too, so we're going to get along."

At one point, Dunn also got serious about the team he left. He thanked Nationals fans, and went into a little detail about why he ultimately ended up leaving Washington.

"I think that I spent two really good years there," Dunn said in a one-on-one interview following his press conference. "I think everyone realized how much I liked it there. I can't say enough of the fan support there. The fans were, you know, above and beyond. Washington will always have a special place in my heart. I think that the opportunity arose to play for a team that had a chance to win a ring, and that's the ultimate goal."

Dunn held out hope for returning to the Nationals until late in the season, telling the Post as late as Sept. 20 that he thought he would be a National in 2010 2011.

"I think the time that I really realized it wasn't going to happen was probably when we couldn't really get a deal done by the end of the season," Dunn said. "I thought that that was kind of the turning point."

By the last week of the season, the Nationals had offered a three-year contract worth roughly $35 million. Dunn leaves negotiations to his agents, but he said as far he was aware, the Nationals never made a new offer. Asked how much contact he had with the Nationals between now and the end of the season, Dunn said, "I don't believe that there's been any."

The difference, as Dunn said all along, was the security of the fourth year of the contract. There was seemingly some doubt within the Nationals that he would be able to get that fourth year, but he did.

"That fourth year is very important to me," Dunn said. "I don't believe that the Nationals would have matched it."

By Adam Kilgore  | December 3, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals sign Jayson Werth [UPDATED]

Comments

Those of you who feel the need for Rizzo to say something about this don't hold your breath. There are only two options - to say Dunn wasn't worth the money (and I don't think Rizzo will want to say that about a player) or the team is too cheap to spend the money (and he's not going to say that about the owners). He's gone, and as a Dunn fan I'm sad... but let's be serious, Dunn has never elevated his team to the playoffs and, if I'm not mistaken, never played on a .500 team - I know that is somewhat misleading because before last year Marquis had a stellar rep of playing on playoff teams but my point is it's not like Dunn was the magic talisman to lead us to the promised land. Let's hope the FO has some pending moves because we obviously need lots of help, I just can't imagine it will be in the form of Crawford.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 3, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

AK: can we get an op-ed out of you?

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 3, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I get tired of people talking about Dunn not leading us to the promised land. No one is going to do that anytime soon. Baseball is a 162 game season, and if you're not going to win, at least fans can root for something. Tell me you wouldn't like to see Dunn lead the league in home runs even if the Nats only win 50 games? He is a GOOD GUY and we liked him. Winning really isn't everything. If it were, there would be zero Nats fans.

Sell the team, Lerners, you money-grubbing you-know-whats.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 3, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst run professional sports franchise in the country.

Posted by: p_chuck | December 3, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Reposting:

For all those badmouthing Dunn, the point is not that he is the greatest player in the league or that he would lead the Nats to playoffs, it's that the front office cannot replace him with anyone of equal value - particularly on offense, where they are sorely lacking. The Nats now have only two legitimate offensive threats - Zim and Willingham (and they seem to want to get rid of Willingham too). Some of the others are fine, but they scare no one. How can a team so weak on offense let go their biggest longball threat, who made his number 3 hitter much better? Dunn's last two seasons were substantially better than those of any of the players who could realistically end up playing 1st base next year. It's not that they were a 1st place team with Dunn. It's that a team as bad as this can't afford to get any worse, which exactly what happened. Maybe they'll be good by 2014, but will anyone be watching until then?

Posted by: elijah383 | December 3, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Let me preface this by saying, Dunn is a good guy and good player. There is no question that the 2011 Nats would be better with him than what else is out there in FA, except for possibly Konerko.

I wish he was on the Nats for 2011 and 2012, but not beyond that. Anyway, this is what I read from Keith Law who I think is the best "scout" reporter out there:

"Giving Dunn four years would have made little sense for a club in Washington's position. By the time the Nationals are competitive, he'll be approaching the overpaid portion of the contract."

In the rest of his article he talks about how the White Sox are a good fit for Dunn. Granted, there won't be a lot to cheer for in 2011, but since this team is not ready to win next year, you have to look at 2012 and 2013 - and would Dunn be a good fit then?

Posted by: paulhealey | December 3, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

SCNats -- I think that it would be legit for Rizzo to say that it was not really a question of money, but that the club wants to head in a different direction. Fine. But that leads to the question about why did the club hold the guy so near and dear when it was trade time at the break if they were going to head in another direction. They have some splaining to do.

Maybe the get LaRoche or Pena, they get Hawpe to play RF on the cheap, they get Webb and re-sign Wang and grab a non-tnedered bull pen guy here or there. That would be nice stuff, but they need to be bolder if they are going to have a realistic chance to play even 500 ball and they know it, everyone knows it. What is holding them back after all of this time and back to back to back last places finishes??

Posted by: dfh21 | December 3, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Redhot, p_chuck and elija have the right of it.

Adam Dunn is a class act, and an excellent player, and I hope he gets that ring.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 3, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

So to sum up

Nationals Fans = Great - who else gives a standing O to 4 strike outs

Nationals Owners + CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP

Posted by: CBinDC1 | December 3, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

> "That fourth year is very important to me," Dunn said.

This sure puts the lie to Boswell's assertion that Dunn would surely have accepted a three year deal from the Nats if only they'd offered it earlier, now doesn't it?

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly this tells everything, Mike Rizzo really didn't want Adam Dunn back. If he did, he would of at least contacted Dunn since the end of the season.
I can go both ways on this, will miss Adam's production next year and the next but know that he will get worst as time goes by and I bet will be a burden on the White Sox in year four.

Good luck to Adam, glad that he was a part of the Nats and gave us great memories, boy it's time for Rizzo to pull off some magic now that he doesn't have Adam's bat

Posted by: Golfersal | December 3, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he'll be a real burden on the Chi Sox in 2015 when he's knocking on 500 HR's that April.

This nonsense that one of the most reliable, injury-avoiding guys in the game, who has done nothing but super-consistently mash for the last SEVEN YEARS will become some big burden a few years down the road when Howard and Tex will each still be owed as much money as Dunn will have then been paid in total -- is pretty rich. Stop sharing your sour grapes. The guy got a deal which is reasonable and which he deserved. Don't be haters.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 3, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

dfh21--a few posters have been hating on Dunn so loudly and with so little factual basis that one wonders if they are employed by the Lerners. Or perhaps Uncle Teddy himself has learned to use those newfangled internets...

Posted by: NatsFly | December 3, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@redhotCAPSaicin

You think the Nats are run worse than the Raiders? or the Clippers? or the Pirates? or the NY Rangers?...

Seriously?

We get two extra draft picks, don't have to give up any to sign LaRoche,or Pena. If they hit 20-30 homers, that coupled with much improved defense at first base, will translate into a wash in terms of Dunn's homer totals and production and might even translate into more wins.

This franchise had NO FARM SYSTEM WHAT-SO-EVER when it moved here. It is now starting to produce and we have three first round picks next year! That's progress, my friend. When the farm system really starts chunring guys out and we are in contentio for the long haul (see Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Detriot Red Wings, the New England Patriots, the Steelers, and the Caps. Mark Lerner owns part of the Caps and is using the same blueprint to build the Nats! It works!)

Run worse than the Raiders or the Clippers? I don't think so.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

We get two extra draft picks,

Posted by: jmurray019

Their problems lie in the development process. It's something no one seems to talk about - they have a lot of underachievers, especially with pitching. Their top two throwers get TJ surgery the minute they make the major leagues. Too many breaking balls. Too little preparation. The two physically gifted studs JZimm and Strasburg blow their elbows out, and the rest of the guys are needy/skinny not ready never weres. There's no reason that Detwiler or Ballester shouldn't be going 6-7 innings in the rotation. Especially Ballester. His slider is electric, he stays on top of the ball, got excellent velocity in the mid-90's. That's the kind of arm you want. They need to feed him protein so he can pump his legs up and get his motion together. They need to get that Nolan Ryan training tape>

Posted by: Brue | December 3, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner doesn't get any credit for the Caps. Thankfully he is a minority owner there and can't screw up that team. Look how relatively quickly Leonsis turn things around there, and Leonsis will soon have the Wizards back on track. That's not going to happen with the Nats. If we are lucky the Nats will be competitive in 4 to 5 years.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 3, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Adam Dunn. I will be following the remainder of your career with interest and appreciation. Good Luck!!

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 3, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that Dunn is gone the Nars have nothing to draw in the fans. Maybe low attendance will wake up the Lerners

Posted by: ftlmikeflorida | December 3, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

You think the Nats are run worse than the Raiders? or the Clippers? or the Pirates? or the NY Rangers?...

Seriously?
----

Yes, no, no, yes

Yes

For what it's worth, they are run no worse than the Redskins. Possibly no better though...

And other than the Pirates it's all apples and oranges. Baseball has no salary cap. The Lerners might be good NFL owners. Maybe.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Mark Lerner doesn't get any credit for the Caps. Thankfully he is a minority owner there and can't screw up that team. Look how relatively quickly Leonsis turn things around there, and Leonsis will soon have the Wizards back on track."

Yeah, Leonsis bought the Caps in 1998, right after they went to the Stanley Cup finals for the only time in their history. The next two seasons they lost in the first round of the playoffs. Then Leonsis made his big move, getting Jaromir Jagr. We all know how that one turned out, don't we? Right into the cellar!

Yeah, quite the turnaround there by the new owner Leonsis. And so quick, too.

But you know what they all say. Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Dunn is gone? Oh, no I need to cancel plans at work to take leave for the World Series because now Washington won't be there.

How sad.

This is like the Steelers giving up Johnny Unitas or the Eagles giving up Sonny Jurgensen.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 3, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Watching Adam Dunn at bat was one of the top reasons to go to the Nats games. Unless you enjoy seeing Philly or Mets fans there is little reason to go this season. Going to get old very fast. Better do some drink and hot dog specials.

Posted by: Redtopper2 | December 3, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Watching Adam Dunn at bat was one of the top reasons to go to the Nats games. Unless you enjoy seeing Philly or Mets fans there is little reason to go this season. Going to get old very fast. Better do some drink and hot dog specials.

Posted by: Redtopper2 | December 3, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, quite the turnaround there by the new owner Leonsis. And so quick, too.

But you know what they all say. Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

Posted by: nunof1 |

Of course it took a little time for Leonsis to sort things out with the Caps. In my opinion, he still is. They still suck in the playoffs. But unlike the Lerners, Leonsis is not cheap and people like working for his teams. The Lerners have run a lot of good people out of Nats Park (and I don't necessarily mean Kasten) with their cheapness and stubborn ways. From every source I've known within the club, Ted Lerner is terrible to work for. He also majorly f-ed up with the city rent withholding at a crucial time for the club. And he has not lived up to the "public trust" fan relationship he's talked about.

Facts may be facts, but Leonsis has won the war for public opinion and Lerner has lost it. Heck, Leonsis is already doing more for the hapless Wizards than the Lerners have done for the Nats (improving promotions, prices, fan communication, etc).

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing. If we could be 100% sure that this was a deliberate choice by Rizzo, then I think most of us would be able to begrudgingly accept it. If Rizzo took a good, hard look at the prospect of having Dunn in DC for four years and said, "No, I think two draft picks is the better move," okay.

We'd probably have some questions about why he considered two draft picks to be better than whatever was offered for Dunn via trade, but I think we could get over that.

Unfortunately, we can't just assume that's the case. We may agree with the logic, if that's what really drove the decision, but we just don't know what actually happened. There's enough history here for us to consider the possibility that Rizzo did, in fact, think it prudent to offer Dunn a four-year deal, but the decision was vetoed by ownership. And that galls us.

So we're left with these two draft picks and a pang in our hearts. If the upper limit on those picks is similar to what we expect out of Zimmermann, great. Of course, that would mean we can't expect him to be a regular contributor for at least four years from the time he's drafted in 2011.

That's right, not until 2015 - the same time Dunn's four-year contract would have expired.

Which leaves us to rightly consider the short term. And yes, it's possible that Rizzo will now make a hard push for someone like Crawford to address that. But again, we have that nagging history to inform us, and we're skeptical.

The Nats have saved some money. Dunn's contract is off the books. Surely we can take that money and turn it around to acquire some short-term solutions.

But when was the last time this team passed the savings on the to the fans? How did they spend that $50 million they offered Soriano? What about that $150 million they offered to Teixeira? Where did that money go?

I know they shelled out big bucks for Strasburg and Harper. I'm sorry, but they don't get credit for answering that imperative. It was a requirement of an MLB organization to make those deals. No one gives George McPhee credit for drafting and signing Ovechkin precisely because he had no other option.

The Nats offered $35 million to Dunn. We've been here before, and we're afraid ownership is going to peel off a few bucks from that stash and throw it at Brandon Webb, pay lip service to the plan, and call it a season.

Look, I'm not an angry or ungrateful fan. I'm not unnecessarily critical. I've been here since day one, and I love this team. And when people like me start talking like this, things have gone terribly wrong.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 3, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired reading about Adam Dunn and Bristol Palin and...wait a minute I had a connection there, but, for the life of me, I can't remember what it was.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 3, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The Caps at least made the playoffs. With the Lerners we dont have to worry about that anytime soon. Anytime nunof1 accuses anyone (inc. me) of not getting facts right, I know they must be right.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 3, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Dunn says "I think that the opportunity arose to play for a team that had a chance to win a ring, and that's the ultimate goal" instead of something like "the opportunity arose for me to help a team win a ring" or something like that. Perhaps that's why he gets tagged with the label of "never played for a winner" and the like. Reggie Jackson wanted to be the straw that stirs the drink. Adam Dunn just wants to take a sip. Is there any wonder why the Nats were reluctant to build their team around him?

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Really, nunof1? You're going to hang your hat on semantics?

Victor Martinez (2010): "That was one of the reasons I wanted to come here. It just gives you a greater chance to win a championship."

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 3, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps at least made the playoffs. With the Lerners we dont have to worry about that anytime soon."

The Caps have never made it as far into the playoffs as they did before Leonsis bought the team 11 (almost 12) years ago. If you're giving Leonsis plaudits for not even taking the Caps back to where they were before he bought the team after over a decade at the helm, you surely can't crap on the Lerners for not dong it in five years.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about the Caps. I care about the Nats, and the Lerners are lousy owners. Nobody is dumping on them for not making it to the playoffs. People are dumping on them for not paying competitive salaries and fielding a last place team year after year after year.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 3, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the Nats misjudged the market. First mistake they've made. Well, in the last day or so. But they cleverly avoided being locked into paying Peralta an extra couple hundred thousand. Shrewd, very shrewd. I think we're just going to have to enjoy the game and root for the players. How about a right fielder? Everybody else has one.

Posted by: markfromark | December 3, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Like most folks, I liked Adam Dunn because his bat gave us reason to keep watching. How much he hurt the Nats in the field, whether he was worth a 4-year deal, I don't know for sure, but I know it will be difficult to find anybody who is as likely as he would be to put up the same kind of numbers.

As ambivalent as I am about Dunn, I am really upset that Peralta was non-tendered, regardless of his age. What he would have been awarded in arbitration is peanuts. Guys who pitch as consistently as he did last season are not a dime-a-dozen, as some seem to think. The Nats should have paid him, as much as to say "thanks and keep it up'' as for what he might do in '11. If he doesn't, well, management has made much more costly mistakes.

Posted by: nats24 | December 3, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

If Peralta seriously thinks he's worth a two year contract, maybe he asked to be non-tendered so he could pursue one with some other team as a FA. The Nats always have the option of signing him back, too. Not like they've never done that kind of thing before.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I still believe we can come close to replacing Dunn's numbers; what hurts me is he seemed like an awesome clubhouse guy and teammate and I hate to think what this does for team morale and chemistry.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 4, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

You would rather see a guy hit 35+ homers for the next few years on a 90+ loss team then upgrade the roster and farm system byt getting better defensive players that can contribute on offense?

I don't. It took ten years for Leonsis to figure out what worked for the Caps. The Nats played great in April through May last year. That;s a sign for hope. The pitching fell apart. We are closer than you think. Bank on it.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 4, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"We are closer than you think. Bank on it."

Geez, can't you even get the slogan right? It's "Expect it."

Posted by: nunof1 | December 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Here's one reason the Padres were in first place for most of the year last year while the Nats are where they are -
Padres trade Adrian Gonzalez to Boston for ate least 3 out of their top 6 prospects. Nats let Dunn walk and get two draft picks. The difference? The Padres, by signing Gonzalez to a longer term, made him a more attractive trade candidate despite his salary because they received three players that have already gone through the development process, and can probably play in the big leagues right now. They've already been tested and are good to go. The draft picks that Pants seems to love so much will probably take 4 years or so to be ready for the majors and ONLY IF THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH. See, all prospects are not created equal. WAY TO GO PANTS YOU STINKIN BUM if you all had signed Dunn for four years originally, or even THREE, they would have had some hope in pulling off a trade like that. Hell, they have to wait another year just to CHOOSE the draft picks they received. What a bunch of friggin losers

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@jmurray:
I strongly disagree with your statement that "the pitching fell apart" explains the Nats' decline after mid-May 2010. The pitching (both starting and relief) actually improved as the season went on; it was the collapse of our offense and decline in defense that resulted in the Nats' desultory performance from late May through September. The key to the Nats' early offensive performance was Pudge. He started like a house afire and went into a slump before he sat out a couple of weeks with a bad back. He had a brief resurgence upon his return to the lineup, and then resumed his decline for the remainder of the season. Pudge's decline put more pressure on Willingham; pitchers began to pitch around him to get to Pudge, who was dropped from 6th to 7th in the lineup.

@Brue:
Draft picks from college won't take four or more years to develop. That's true of high school players (save for those of exceptional ability, like Bryce Harper). College players should take 1-3 years to be MLB ready. I know, the cavalry needs to arrive yesterday to help the Nats, but don't overstate the development time for all draftees.

Posted by: bertbkatz | December 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Brue is right on this one (man, I've agreed with you twice in a week, Brue! What's going on?). Much better to get guys already playing pro ball than draft picks than could be used on college players. The guys the Padres got are two years, at least, ahead of the guys the Nats will draft as part of the compensation for losing Dunn.

And nunof1, that semantics lesson you came up with was incoherent. We get it, you're glad Dunn's gone. You don't need to invent reasons for saying that. But at least admit he had more value than you thought and that his demands were in line with the market after all.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 4, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

>@Brue:
Draft picks from college won't take four or more years to develop. That's true of high school players (save for those of exceptional ability, like Bryce Harper). College players should take 1-3 years to be MLB ready. I know, the cavalry needs to arrive yesterday to help the Nats, but don't overstate the development time for all draftees.

Posted by: bertbkatz

Look, that's a best case scenario - get college guys who you think are closer to ready. You're also assuming they're a lock to make it. They're not. The players the Padres got are a lock to make it to the bigs. How good they do, who knows, but they're ready. Here's the thing - when you pick college players, their upside isn't as great, right? Standard scouting premise. Now, the Padres are getting at least three guys who not only are probably ready, they might also be HIGH SCHOOL draftees that were pegged to have HIGHER UPSIDES. So, you've benefitted from getting more talented players, you ALSO get them sooner. The Nats have drafted plenty of college players, like Detwiler, and it's been three years waiting on him ANYWAY. Pants is a friggin moron. I just laid out several clear benefits for doing what the Padres did over what the Nats did.

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but pertinent going into the Winter Meetings. Here's a projection of the probable 25-man roster & OD lineups for 2011, based on current status...

CA)- Pudge & Ramos; Flores will option to SYR.
1B)- TBD via FA signing, or Morse; Marrero optioned to SYR.
2B)- Espinosa.
3B)- Zimmerman.
SS)- Desmond.
LF)- Willingham.
CF)- Morgan.
RF)- Bernadina/Morse platoon.
Bench = Ramos(CA-R), Morse (OF/1B-R)/Bernadina(OF-L), Gonzalez(IF-R), ???(FA/NRI-IF), Maxwell(OF-R). Harper(RF) optioned to either HAG/POT to start 2011.
SP)- Livo, JZimm, Lannan(L), Marquis, & either Maya or Detwiler(L); Strasburg on 60-DL, others (Atilano, Chico(L), JD Martin, Martis, Mock, & Thompson(L) to bullpen (Chico/Mock), minors, or off-roster.
RP)- Stammen/Chico in LR roles, Clippard-Slaten-Carr/Mock/Balester in middle relief, Storen-Burnett as SU-CL.

Best projected OD Lineup
1- CF Morgan(L)
2- SS Desmond (R)
3- LF Willingham (R)
4- 3B R.Zimmerman (R)
5- 1B ???? (?)
6- RF Morse (R)/Bernadina (L)
7- 2B Espinosa (B)
8- CA Rodriguez (R)
9- SP L.Hernandez (R)

The prospective lineup isn't good, but at least we have a sense of who our RF should be for 2011. Sadly, I draw a blank at a clear 1B replacement (Pena(L)[NO!]/LaRoche(L)/Berkman(B)/D.Lee(L)/others).

The question in my mind becomes, can the new 1B show a positive split (defensive runs saved over offensive runs scored) over Dunn's 2010 production? LaRoche, Berkman, or Derek Lee might, but I have serious doubts regarding Carlos Pena.

Congrats to the entire FO (Lerners', Rizzo, et al) for punching another hole in an already suspect lineup, and best of luck fixing it. I'll be spending my money in Potomac & Hagerstown next year, and probably get a much better value overall.

Posted by: BinM | December 4, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I still believe we can come close to replacing Dunn's numbers
SCNatsFan

We are closer than you think. Bank on it.
jmurray019
__________________________________________

And I have 2 bridges for sale; one for each of you. BTW, did that bum Dunn have anything at all to do with last season's early success? Seemed to me he did.

Now the savior is Lance Berkman, he of 35 yo and .248? And we'll trade Desmond for .254 4HR 47 RBI Bartlett to get a Garza with giving up Zimnn too? Rizzo's plan is to hide the real plan -- keep losing but make $$. The other owners hate the Lerners for taking all that revenue sharing $$ in a huge market, while skimping on the field. And the front office trolls on this site applaud every move that is made -- even though we have moved backwards, looking at 55 or fewer Ws in 2011 right now.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | December 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Here's one reason the Padres were in first place for most of the year last year while the Nats are where they are -
Padres trade Adrian Gonzalez to Boston for ate least 3 out of their top 6 prospects."

How did getting these prospects now help the Padres win games last season? I'm confused. (Although that's not unusual when reading Brue's comments.)

"WAY TO GO PANTS YOU STINKIN BUM if you all had signed Dunn for four years originally, or even THREE, they would have had some hope in pulling off a trade like that. "

Rizzo didn't sign Dunn, Brue. Bowden did. It was pretty much his last official act as GM.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Brue,

A couple of huge flaws in your reasoning:

First, I believe that Adam Dunn only signed for two years because he was convinced he could get more money after this signing. As I remember, he was offered more years by the Nats initially.

Second, you are measuring the value of Adrian Gonzalez as being the equal of Adam Dunn in your comparison. AG is superior to Adam Dunn in hitting and fielding, and would have been the class of the first baseman free agents if he was able to declare this offseason. According to Zuckerman's article today Rizzo could not even get the White Sox GM to part with just one starting player for Adam Dunn. The Red Sox would never have parted with 3 of their top prospects for a trade for Adam Dunn. You can continue on your tirade against Rizzo on another track but this one won't wash.

Posted by: driley | December 4, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

>Rizzo didn't sign Dunn, Brue. Bowden did. It was pretty much his last official act as GM.

Posted by: nunof1

And screw Bowden too. That cheap caffeinated-half drunk punk MLB pawned off on us. Yeah, Bowden was beating the bushes. Right. He was beating them for money. He was on his blackberry all day long trying to look busy. I didn't think it was possible to loathe the garlic-smelling Selig any more than I already did because he made me wait 33 years, but I think he's done it by tapping the Lerners. The evil sob>

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

>According to Zuckerman's article today Rizzo could not even get the White Sox GM to part with just one starting player for Adam Dunn. The Red Sox would never have parted with 3 of their top prospects for a trade for Adam Dunn. You can continue on your tirade against Rizzo on another track but this one won't wash.

Posted by: driley

I just told you why the White Sox wouldn't offer anything, because he was a rental and Gonzalez wasn't. Get it? I tell you what, the White Sox gave up $56 million for four years and they still had Dunn holding out for part time 1B duty. So they gambled twice on him, financially and performance-wise. They would have given up plenty if he had been signed. Plen-ty -
Who knows whose idea it was, but they were already taking Pants' advice because Bowden was already halfway out the door when they signed Dunn. It's the last thing he did, so it had to be ceremonial. Pants is guilty as sin in every aspect. If he can't convince the Lerners to pay more, it's his own damned fault. I don't think they respect his intellect, so it would be virtually impossible for him to educate them about the game, because they're not really listening anyway.

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Brue: Do you really want a better baseball team in DC, or are you in this just to advocate collecting former all-stars, & sound off like you're supposed to be the next Pitching Coach for the Nationals?

Between the rants for acquiring ManRam in early 2010 & your "get them to bulk-up & change their arm-angle" posts, it's hard to tell the difference.

Dude, it's a game, and you're only a spectator, just like the rest of us. It's OK to get irritated about what you see on the field, just don't try to be something you're not.

Posted by: BinM | December 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

>Dude, it's a game, and you're only a spectator, just like the rest of us. It's OK to get irritated about what you see on the field, just don't try to be something you're not.

Posted by: BinM

Oh but I am the GM. The GM from hell. I'd have to take a pay cut to work for those bastards.

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh but I am the GM. The GM from hell. I'd have to take a pay cut to work for those bastards.
Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 5:12 PM
-----------------
OK Pants (as you like to refer to the GM, or would that be under-pants), knock yourself out. How do you resolve the lack of a LH-power threat, the bench weakness, no 1B, and no #1-2SP, without spending DET-style $$$ ($110M+), or selling the farm (giving away 3 years worth of draft picks in the system)?

Posted by: BinM | December 4, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

>OK Pants (as you like to refer to the GM, or would that be under-pants), knock yourself out. How do you resolve the lack of a LH-power threat, the bench weakness, no 1B, and no #1-2SP, without spending DET-style $$$ ($110M+), or selling the farm (giving away 3 years worth of draft picks in the system)?

Posted by: BinM

I'd solve it by firing Rizzo. The rest is easy. You and your add/subtract zero sum game. 'Well if we only had, or could get, that power game we'd be in the mix'. How do you get it? You build. You add until it's a disadvantage to keep somebody who was formerly in the mix, then you know you have a surplus, and only THEN could Pants enter any trade talks. But he can't build a surplus because he's stoopid.

Posted by: Brue | December 4, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Did Ryan Zimmerman really say that the Nationals offer of 9 million dollars a year for Adam Dunn to play baseball was NOT fair?

How out of touch can arrogant professional athletes be? Unbelievable! Not fair that he make only 9 million dollars a year to hit a little ball with a stick? It almost makes me want to quit watching this game.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | December 4, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

If there were a viable alternative, I would not be so quick to hand Espinosa the 2B job without him earning it in Spring. BinM's projected lineup, honesty, looks like a lock for a sub.-500 season if not for 5th (and only because the Mets look pretty weak.)

I've gone into so many seasons with lots of hope ("Gee, if this guy does what he could, and if this other guy does it...'') It just never happens that everything breaks positively.

Posted by: nats24 | December 4, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

This was Adam Kilgore's opening line in Saturday's print edition.
"The Washington Nationals have been aggressive in pursuing free agents and trades this winter...."

This boggles me.
There's no evidence the Nationals have been aggressive except perhaps that the Nationals might say that they've been aggressive.

What evidence is there that the Nationals have been aggressive?
Have other GM's said Rizzo's been aggressively pursuing trades?
Have player agents said Rizzo has aggressively pursued their client?

What is reported as fact (the Nationals have been aggressive) is based on essentially nothing.

For years many have noted that the DC media is too lax on the Nationals.
Here's another example.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 5, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"I'd solve it by firing Rizzo. The rest is easy. You and your add/subtract zero sum game. 'Well if we only had, or could get, that power game we'd be in the mix'. How do you get it? You build. You add until it's a disadvantage to keep somebody who was formerly in the mix, then you know you have a surplus, and only THEN could Pants enter any trade talks. But he can't build a surplus because he's stoopid."

Well, I knew my days of agreeing with Brue wouldn't last long. What a stupid, or should I say "stoopid" comment. "Easy?" It's never easy to build an organization and especially when you're doing it basically from scratch. But the first step is commitment of resources, financial and human. You have a full-fledged front office and scouting staff (which the Nats may finally have, after how many years in DC? And even that's not certain, given that when some guys leave, they're not immediately replaced).

Then you have a full-fledged farm system and major league roster. That means you work at developing and signing players who you believe will be legitimate big league players, now or in the future. If you don't have them, or if you don't have star caliber players, you get the next best thing: quality journeymen. That means you don't build a rotation out of Tim Redding, Jason Simontacchi and Mike Bacsik, you get Randy Wolf or Jon Garland, even if you have to overpay.

You develop overseas talent (hopefully, with guys using their real names and ages) and try to find a unique pipeline somewhere that's not being farmed by everybody else (back in the day, the Orioles pulled Dennis Martinez out of Nicaragua; now teams should be looking hard at Taiwan or S. Korea).

Then, you sign every draft pick you can (don't draft an Aaron Crow without having a good idea if he'll sign) and try to find some hidden gems somewhere. Finally, you hope nobody blows out their elbow or shoulder or ends up with a drug problem or worse.

So, it's never easy, but the first step is to try and that costs money and its not likely you can easily show a Return on Investment on a balance sheet when you lay out this kind of plan. I think that the Lerners' problem. They think every move they make, every dollar they spend, every person they hire, should produce an immediate or obvious payoff and be "worth it." Baseball doesn't work that way. I actually think Rizzo understands that far better than Brue and some other critics think he does, but he's not the guy writing the checks. As always, the focus goes back to ownership, which is where it should be.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@baltova1: I'll use a restaurant analogy for Brue's response. I asked him what ingredients or 'menu' items he would change to make things more appealing, and his response is "Fire the Chef"? Brilliant.

Posted by: BinM | December 5, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@baltova1: I'll use a restaurant analogy for Brue's response. I asked him what ingredients or 'menu' items he would change to make things more appealing, and his response is "Fire the Chef"? Brilliant.

Posted by: BinM | December 5, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

> As always, the focus goes back to ownership, which is where it should be.

Posted by: baltova1

Hey, don't believe me - Fill Wood said on MASN yesterday that the Lerners wanted to sign Dunn, but the baseball people didn't want to. All they had to do was be convinced that signing him was a good idea, and Pants didn't do it. Of course he's culpable. All these Rizzo apologists - all I'm doing is holding up the mirror to him - I didn't put the team chronically in last place, or have them pulling up the rear in almost every notable statistical category, Pants did/does. You can blame the Lerners all you want, because it's lazy and cheap, but they need help making baseball decisions, and Rizzo's supposed to know baseball. That's supposed to be his expertise.
Yeah, 'scout overseas, sign all your draft picks' - effin brilliant. Anybody can trot out those bromides. People sit around here like they actually have something to contribute - you look at things the way you think they are, I look at them as they are. I don't have to lift a finger to make this front office look bad, they do it all by themselves. I merely describe how incompetent they are, and what I would do to fix it. This team can't trade anybody because they haven't built up a surplus, and they can't get results with the guys they have because they haven't created any tension or competition on the roster. Pants thinks it's a 'piece-adding' exercise when all he should be doing is stockpiling talent and shifting the players around to accommodate new talent, regardless of position. Once you get established players at positions, THEN you add 'pieces'. You see Rizzo saying one day 'we need starting pitching', then it's 'we need a leadoff man', now it's 'we need a 1B'. Hey - they need TALENT - they don't need to find someone explicitly for an assumed role or position. The guy's a fool. Yeah, let's see what he does at the winter meetings - right - and let's see how many hardball questions he gets from the press - a prime opportunity to pin him down.

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It's a dead horse, but if the Lerners' really wanted Dunn back, why didn't they instruct Rizzo to offer close to what his agent was asking for?

No, instead they reportedly offer 3/$30M, then a 3/$36M 'deal' toward the end of the season. That's nowhere near 'market rate' for a 30 y.o. hitter who has delivered 38HR/100RBI for the last 7 years, on average. Dunn got what he deserved (and earned) in terms of salary; The Lerners' will get what they earned (probable lower attendance) in return for a further degraded team on the field.

Posted by: BinM | December 5, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's a page on the Nats News Network where they link to numerous articles run last winter that include all the 'near-misses'. Pants is a joke. And he's doing it again. And he'll do it for another five years.

http://natsnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2010/12/history-lesson-quick-study-in-futility.html

"Most of these articles simply quote Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo describing his desire to bring a veteran staff ace to the Nats -- or defending why it did not happen.

You will notice the lion's share of these articles were from 2009's off-season though. I included a couple recent articles to prove that history seems to be repeating itself. I only included links to Rizzo talking about acquiring talent. "

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It's a dead horse, but if the Lerners' really wanted Dunn back, why didn't they instruct Rizzo to offer close to what his agent was asking for?

Posted by: BinM

You just don't get it - the Lerners can have all the tea in china, but it doesn't mean they know baseball. They HAVE to rely on their baseball people to tell them what to do, and this is what Rizzo told them to do - let Dunn walk. This is all Rizzo's plan - he talks about having his fingerprints all over the organization for the last couple of years. See, he doesn't look SMART having Dunn at first - you just put him out there, and he produces. Hell, anybody can do that, right, just acquire him and let him play. That's why this ninny is dangerous - he's so worried about how his baseball IQ is being judged, he can't see the forest from the trees. 'We need more defense from the position' - this is supposed to prove that he's thinking about the situation. How do you scout 40 homers and 100 rbi's? You don't. It comes up and smacks you in the face, you sign him and you move on to solving other problems with the team. People who want to look smart generally aren't - that's why they do things that aren't for the good of the team, but for themselves - only they're too dumb to know they're missing the big picture. The team's in last place and they've gotten worse since the end of the season.

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Brue: It looks like we just need to 'agree to disagree' on this point. You see it as Rizzo's responsibility to negotiate the deal, while I see it as an unwillingness on the part of the Lerners' to cut the check.

Regardless of who is right, the fanbase loses in the long run, imo.

Posted by: BinM | December 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"People who want to look smart generally aren't "

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 12:39 PM

Exactly why I tend not to believe a word that comes out of know-it-all posters like you.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 5, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

>Regardless of who is right, the fanbase loses in the long run, imo.

Posted by: BinM

I tell you what, if Rizzo is so interested in player development, why doesn't he skip over a couple of retreads like Willie Harris and Adam Kennedy and get a couple of Rule 5 picks and see if they stick? Adam Loewen, whatever. All of their bench players are on one-year contracts anyway. This team is way too old as it is. They should have cut or traded Pudge just to get him off the 40-man roster. They have enough catchers. Too many if you count Norris. Here, Pants has four catchers, but in his relative brilliance, he can't figure out how to package them in a trade. Pants is still wearing those khaki dockers and talking about concepts. He needs to get hip in a hurry. Like this week.

Posted by: Brue | December 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

WE GOT JAYSON WERTH!!!!!!

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Thats per Ken Rosenthal on Twitter by the way. With Heyman following it up saying Nats have "an announcement"

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Thats per Ken Rosenthal on Twitter by the way. With Heyman following it up saying Nats have "an announcement"

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Still wish we had Dunn in the lineup.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Jayson Werth, wow.

Combining him with Zimmerman, Dunn and Hammer makes a formidable lineup. Oh, wait....

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Imjust - good bird-dogging! MLB Rumors is reporting it too. That'd be a big feather in Rizzo's cap!

Posted by: NATurallyYours | December 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

But for those who said Dunn wouldve had declining skills. We just gave a 31 year old a 7-year deal. Defend that...

Not knocking the signing, I love it, but we should have Dunn in the order and then we'd be talking.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Now, we don't know what the contract is, but the Nats went out and spent some money. That should be a source of positivity. Let's see......

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 5, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Where did you see 7 year deal musiq?

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Rosenthal is reporting it on Twitter.

No financial terms have been disclosed yet.

Press conference coming in about 10mins.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

$126mil/7 years is the deal

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow...pretty enormous deal. Shows that the Lerners are willing to spend the money.

Now, let's bring over Lee and Crawford...hahaha

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 5, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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