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Posted at 5:14 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Adam Dunn agrees to four-year contract with White Sox

By Adam Kilgore

First baseman Adam Dunn has agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, pending a physical, a baseball source confirmed. The deal, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, closes the door for the Nationals to resign their best slugger over the past two seasons and one of their most popular players, both among fans and teammates.

The sides agreed to the rough outline of the deal late Wednesday night, the source said, and finalized the deal this afternoon. Dunn, 31, will move on to Chicago after drilling 76 home runs in his two seasons in Washington.

"I'd be disappointed for me," Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "I'm very happy for him. Obviously, if he's going to go there, he's going to get a four-year deal, and that's what he deserves. He doesn't get the amount of respect he deserves for what he does every year.

"There's no question he wanted to be here. So it's unfortunate. I couldn't be happier for him that someone's recognizing his work."

Dunn's signing will force the Nationals to move on to their other free agent targets. The most likely free agent first basemen the Nationals will pursue are Carlos Pena, who hit .196 with 28 home runs and a .325 on-base percentage in 2010 for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Adam LaRoche, who hit .261 with 25 home runs and a .320 on-base percentage for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both are regarded as defensive upgrades over Dunn, who played as a full-time first baseman for the first time this season.

In compensation for losing Dunn, the Nationals will receive the White Sox' first-round draft pick, 23rd overall, in the 2011 draft and an additional pick in the "sandwich round" between the first and second rounds. In effect, since they did not end up with Dunn, the Nationals chose the draft choices over what they could have received for Dunn in a trade this summer.

Both Dunn and the Nationals publicly expressed the desire to strike a contract extension before last spring training. But the discussions never got going, with Dunn hoping for the four-year deal he eventually received and the Nationals offering only a three-year deal, with that coming late in the year. Dunn admitted during the season that the lack of an extension frustrated him, as he expected, and wanted, to remain with the Nationals.

"I think he has wanted to be in Washington," said Zimmerman, one of Dunn's closest friends. "From the last time we talked about baseball, the last day of the season, he said he would love to come back here.

"If they would just have given him a fair deal, he even would have probably gone a little bit cheaper to come with us. That's the business side. That's not as easily done as it is said."

Dunn anchored the Nationals lineup from the moment he signed with the Nationals in February 2009. He was a modern day Frank Howard, a behemoth whose presence lent credibility and drew fan support even for a team that specialized in losing. His 354 home runs over the past decade rank fourth, behind only Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Jim Thome. During his time with the Nationals, only Pujols and Prince Fielder hit more homers.

With several months remaining in the offseason, the Nationals have time to replace Dunn. But his departure obviously leaves a massive hole in their lineup and a scar for fans and even teammates, who cherished not only his production but his affable presence in the clubhouse. At games late in the season, every Dunn at-bat at Nationals Park was met with chants of "Sign Adam Dunn!"

Zimmerman, the face of the franchise who, with great frequency, both privately and publicly expressed his wish the Nationals sign Dunn, did not lash out at the team's inability to resign Dunn. "To me, this is the place where I want to be, where I want to be for the rest of my career," Zimmerman said. "The only reason I wouldn't want to play here is if I thought we didn't have a chance to win. ... I still believe that we will."

But Zimmerman was clearly frustrated, a frustration that will likely represent the overwhelming majority of the team's fan base.

"I hope that this plan they have intact - I guess this one of the years we were supposed to take that next step and become one of the teams that gets those free agent guys," Zimmerman said. "They've told us and the fans to be patient. Hopefully this is one the years we start acquiring impact guys and taking the team to that next level."

By Adam Kilgore  | December 2, 2010; 5:14 PM ET
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Next: Ryan Zimmerman wants to stay in Washington, but he wants to win, too



Posted by: PattyinSJ | December 2, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Certainly not unexpected.

Now we sign a 1b. or Of. (moving Morse to first). I'd bet on Adam LaRoche, he makes sense for a two year deal.

Posted by: CJArlington | December 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Zimmerman's comments are a not so thinly veiled shot at Nats management...

Posted by: 4-12 | December 2, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ok, now we simply move on. All along the Nats had to have figured that was going to happen. So it becomes a matter of whether to find a first baseman from within the organization or one of the free agents on the market. My own preference would be to put Morse on first base. Give him 600 at bats and see what happens.

Posted by: driley | December 2, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

New Owners please

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

I've said it once and i'll say it again the wrong ownership group was awarded this franchise they are not baseball people they are real estate and commercial retailers. They are slow in their approach to any and everything where business is concerned that's how they became multi-millionaires(damn near billionaires!).This franchise is in troulbe big time the Lerners could care less about winning they are all about the bottom line.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 2, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Not surprised he got the contract he did... not sure he'll be worth that for 4 years... but I do know one thing... it really, really, really irks me that if they weren't deadset on doing what it took to keep him that they didn't deal him to, oh, say, the White Sox for Dan Hudson back at the trade deadline... we aren't getting anyone that good out of the draft picks we'll get now... and if we did that trade, we'd already have our starting pitching help for 2011 in our hands... and the fact that he signed with the White Sox of all teams just throws a glaring spot light at how poor the plan was in regards to what to do with Dunn since way back in July... nice work...

Posted by: Ghost7 | December 2, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I guarantee you that now that Zimmerman has matured that he now feels comfortable about speaking out about the ownership of this team. The first chance he gets he will be out of here.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 2, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this Zimmerman quote is the real key. If the Nats aren't over .500 in 2011 with a hot prospect at first base, then he is definitely out of here. Talk about betting the farm, at this point you have a very short window to prove to Ryan Zimmerman you know more about baseball than he does before he makes up his mind.

Don't get me wrong, Rizzo probably DOES know more, but that doesn't mean he has enough time to prove it to his core player.

Posted by: Section506 | December 2, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Excellent summary, Ghost7. Based on how awful the rotation is right now, Hudson would maybe even be the Nats' best starter... Unbelievable. No matter what went wrong there (ownership not wanting to trade Dunn apparently was one explanation suggested by Boswell, but then it's Rizzo's job to tell and convince them why that's not acceptable): it's inexusable

Posted by: amo36 | December 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

When Selig picked the Lerners, he picked owners in his own image. I guess the used car salesman saw something in the tightwad shopping mall landlords. Bud gave fans racing sausages, the Lerners gave us racing presidents. Bud gave fans "we're building the team," low payroll, same with the Lerners.

But the Lerners are handing out shiny Christmas ornaments. Forget about how the team never gets much better (thanks, Mets and Marlins, for trashing your teams so we can get a few more wins!), forget about losing the one big-time slugger the team's had ever, look at the shiny ornament! See how it sparkles!

Posted by: gbooksdc | December 2, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

This has to be a blow to face of the franchise, whom I would suspect at this point, unless a lot changes between now and 2013, will seriously consider taking a hike to greener pastures, and who could blame him. A true competitive athlete has a small window in which to realize a dream. That window shows no sign of opening any time soon in Washington. There are many owners who will stop at nothing to obtain that championship ring/trophy. That priority seems lacking with the Washington Nationals. Its to bad really, these owners had a chance to capture this city. That chance is fading fast now.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 2, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Dunn very adamant about not wanting to play for an AL team? Didn't he see himself as more than just a DH, which is what he's going to end up as, regardless of how much the White Sox FO sweet-talked him with tales of him being able to field a position...

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Word to Ryan Zimmerman, this won't be the last time in your baseball career management will do a player transaction you dislike whether with or not with the Nationals.

Personally, I think the Nats made the right move not re-signing Adam Dunn, he was never going to sign a 3 year contract with the Nats. Adam Dunn wanted a 4 year contract which would've been a bad move for the Nats. It's time for the Nats to move to their off season plan for 1st base (Pena, LaRoche, Loney or Morse) and start getting Bryce Harper ready for the 1st base job in 2012 or 2013. The Nats got in the draft Zimmermann & Burgess for Soriano, keep your fingers crossed the draft picks for Adam Dunn will turn out well.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

So is this the tipping point to which the Nats fall further into obscurity or are they not there just yet?

Posted by: ImWithStupid | December 2, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

If it had been the Nats signing him to this contract, I would have said we overpaid. So, good for Adam -- or Adam's agent anyway -- getting this deal; bummer for my kid, who did enjoy seeing the big donkey hit bombs; and now the ball is in Rizzo's court to come up with a way to make sure the steps forward the team has been making don't turn in the opposite direction.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | December 2, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

They'll be GIVING tickets away before the All Star break. Unbelievable incompetence from the owners about this market. Hope Rizzo can pull off 2 or 3 miracles, because he's going to need it.

Posted by: poeticfire | December 2, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Good for him -- he will be back playing for an actual MLB franchise squad.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 2, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

and the management are one gets credit for drafting "Jesus" or the kid from Vegas. A dumb monkey, like Bowden/Rizzo, can do this.

Posted by: jwing14 | December 2, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

We have now officially become the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Posted by: cr8oncsu | December 2, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats signed Dunn to this contract every fan would have been furious for signing an extremely poor fielding, 30+ year old 1st baseman to a 4 year deal.

Good for Dunn but this is going to be a bad contract after a year or 2 for the sox.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 2, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from a second rate organization. These guys are no different from the Expos ownership. Get a decent player and let him walk. Get your big 23rd draft pick. Wow!! That ought to work out great. Next will be Zimmerman, then Strasbourg won't be able to come back from the injury. Harper will blow out his knee and the team will continue to be a joke as usual. Now they get to sign big-time free agents like Carlos Pena--yeah a .196 batting average or Adam LaRoche. The Pirates didn't even want him. I'm sure that Nationals will make a big splash in free agency, maybe they'll sign another Jason Marquis??

Posted by: johnhoward19 | December 2, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Lousey team, lousey ballpark. I stopped going to Baltimore because they were keeping DC from getting a team, but the way this one is run, it's time to stop going to that overpriced hole in the ground the Nats call a ballpark, and go back to Baltimore again. At leat they have decent food and a place to go before and fater a game.

Posted by: mcstowy | December 2, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

It is now officially time to boycott going to watch this team at the prices they charge for tickets. What a joke!!! At least you can get a box seat in Pittsburgh for $25. If you are going to charge people at Nationals Stadium such ridiculous prices, then you better be able to put a quality product on the field. The Lerners have ruined this franchise in its infancy and it is sad for baseball fans in this area who have been patiently waiting for them to at least make an effort at being competitive.

Posted by: eml33 | December 2, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm......Let's see. Their best pitcher and best hitter from last season---GONE.
And the Nats have replaced them with....uh.......
But don't worry, DoubleSwitch Riggleman will be back.
So all is well in NatsTown.

AHH, this joke of a franchise continues......

Any1 got Robert Short's number???

As for Mr. Rizzo?
Meet the new boss.
Same as the old boss.

And I'm glad I was able to see Dunn in person blast 2 in 1 night against the Dodgers back in April. That, and the Strasburg debut, was special.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 2, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey. How about this as a back-up option. Joe Koshansky of the Nashville Sounds. He's been buried behind Helton at Colorado and Fielder of the Brewers. He played with Zimmerman at UVA and was ACC player of the year as a senior. He hits with power from the left and can field better than most. He a local Nova guy that's matured in AAA. The Nationals could take a chance on him and hit the jackpot.....

Posted by: dparis7482 | December 2, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Wasnt this the same crowd that wanted him traded at the deadline during the season because he struck out too much and his defense was not adequate? Now that he is gone you blame management? Had the nats matched the deal there would be people criticizing management for signing a 30 year old slugger who strikes out a lot in the clutch and glove is suspect. You cant please everyone. Personally I wanted him to stay. Fans are fickle.

Posted by: ged0386 | December 2, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to agree with petey re. the contract, though I'm also going to miss the big guy (and his bat).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 2, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Vote Lerners for SI Owners of the Year. These guys are so consistently inept it takes a real talent.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 2, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, boy, Zimmerman's talking like one of us disappointed fans. It does not bode well for the long-term health of the franchise when your key player is griping publicly about management. Zimm's basically put up a "Don't Come Here, I'm Outta Here" sign for any free agent worth his salt considering the Nats.

Mike Mussina walked because he couldn't stand what was going on in Baltimore.

I'm not with those who think Rizzo's smart. He's a baseball lifer who has landed a job he's cherished. That does not make him smart. Or successful.

Yeh, the Pirates do come to mind.

Posted by: JohnRDC | December 2, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

>>Wasnt this the same crowd that wanted him traded at the deadline during the season because he struck out too much and his defense was not adequate?

So what's your point? Trading Dunn for something rather than losing him for nuthin (and don't give any load about future draft picks who will never amount to anything) is a big difference. If you weren't gonna sign him, why on earth didn't the Nats trade him and get something--ANYTHING!! Oh that's right, that would make to much sense.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 2, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Note to Ted and Mark Lerner...SELL THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!! You cheap sons of!!!! BOYCOTT THE NATS!!!!!

Posted by: eddie5 | December 2, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Hooray, the overrated one tool King of K's and defensive liability stole money from a team other than the Nats. After 10 consecutive losing seasons in Cincy and two more with the Nats, the White Sox are a cinch to finish under .500.

Call Vegas and book that bet. Winning has never mattered one iota to Dunn. By August he'll be a full time DH and whining about it, too.

And RZ, maybe now you'll stop pimping for your fishing buddy and quit being a crybaby.

Posted by: howjensen | December 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry I'm sure Mr. Rizzo will make a big splash when he brings back Livo as the ace of the staff.
Also introducing the Nats new and future cleanup hitter Pudge.
But on the bright side, 2011 dugout box seats----$10.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | December 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow......can't WAIT to come to the ballpark and watch a .196 hitter hitting behind Zimmerman! An outfield of Bernadina and Morgan puts the fear of God into the opposition! What an awe inspiring lineup! I'm sick of waiting

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 2, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

SO glad that I didn't go for that season ticket package I was on the verge of buying in the middle of last season! ...

Not a good move to let him go IMO, defense notw/standing.

Rizzo's fine but I just don't think the Lerners "get it."

Posted by: fendertweed | December 2, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

oh man..FINALLY !!!! BEWARE of What You Wish For" DUDD has left and taken his KKKKKKK/ no field *** the American League where he has BELONGED..all along....

With or Without him, this team will finish DEAD LAST....year before last...last year...year after next !!!!!!!

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | December 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I would be all for Adam Dunn (DH) to stay with the Nats if the team played in the American League. 4 yrs 56 million for a 1 dimensional everyday player who strikes out close to 200 times a year would've been the wrong move for the Nats

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, we both, Bud & Joyce, really liked the "big guy" as fans. But, business is business, I guess. I'm banking on Rizzo and Riggleman. We have a lot of up and coming young talent. Compare us to Pittsburgh, I don't buy it. I'm a born and bred DC sports fan and I stick by my home town's teams. I'm grateful we, DC, have a baseball team and I'll continue to support them. Can't wait for opening day. We'll be there cheering for "our" boys of summer.

Posted by: budandjoyce1 | December 2, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"And the count is 2-2 at the bottom of the ninth, Strasburg fires a 100+ mph fastball toward the home plate! Dunn swings and it's a strike-out!!! Nationals win the American League pennant!!! World Series here we come!!!"

Good-bye, Dunn. We hardly knew ye.

Posted by: RedCherokee | December 2, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Well I hope Adam is ok .....but I wonder how many White Sox fans will give him a Standing O after striking out 4 times in 4 at bats in the last home game of the year.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | December 2, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

The sports teams in this crappy city reflect e broken, dysfunctional, corrupt, inept, incompetent government that occupies the nice buildings. It's a fitting tribute that DC sports teams lead the way for lousy play and ineptitude - year after year after year after year after year.... Maybe the Mystics can pull through and attain .500? Whooooooo Hoooooooo!! The Redskins have a two decades long path of incompetence and embarrassment - highlighted by the Monday Night slaughter curtsy of A DIVISION RIVAL!!! The Wizards are the most consistent losing franchise of the last decade - the NBA's worst! The Nats? If I want to watch AAA baseball I can do it in Norfolk or Hagerstown for a lot less money. This is a royal freaking JOKE!! Wonder why the Nats are being "shut out" of the free agent quest? Cause NOBODY wants to play for a perennial LOSER you morons!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 2, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone said the Nats are now the Pirates -- the Pirates have better young talent, better management (I'd trade Rizzo for Huntington any day) and they play in an easier Division. We WISH we were the Pirates.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 2, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Lerners are cheap, and I'll miss Dunn's four exciting at-bats each game, but I'm OK with this IF, and only, if another $10-15 million player is signed this winter. First basemen, especially "defensively-challenged" ones can always be found (Morse will not be too much of a dropoff), and four years is just too many. Dunn will cross 200 strikeouts this year, stopped walking as much last year, and will NOT be a great player in 2013 and 2014 when the Nats should be in their prime. (I can always hope). over the long term, it's the right decision. The ball is now in your court, Lerners. Go pick a winner.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | December 2, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

>So is this the tipping point to which the Nats fall further into obscurity or are they not there just yet?

Posted by: ImWithStupid

They've finally managed to piss off their soft spoken superstar. They're officially rotten at the core.

Posted by: Brue | December 2, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Put Bryce Harper at 1st base in 2012 and all will be forgotten.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but this is just another example of the Cheap Lerners doing dumb, cheap things. The Boz has laid this all out in spades many times over the last year or so, and no one on the Nationals, well, no one with any authority, listened. I was looking forward to buying a ticket plan next year for the Nats, but I sure as shooting won't do so now. Carlos Pena...baloney.

Posted by: LarryMason1 | December 2, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, Zimmerman's comments are a not so thinly veiled shot at Nats management..."

You mean this one?

"To me, this is the place where I want to be, where I want to be for the rest of my career," Zimmerman said. "The only reason I wouldn't want to play here is if I thought we didn't have a chance to win. ... I still believe that we will."

Posted by: nunof1 | December 2, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Please sell this franchise to someone who cares.

Posted by: rcc11 | December 2, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

National are just plain dumb for letting Dunn get away.

Posted by: lostdogrwd1011 | December 2, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

i've been a believer and a supporter of the Nats and ownership.

This particular signing doesn't bother me too much. American League teams can take a defensive risk such as his because of the stupid DH position.

What annoys me as a fan is the Vazquez and De La Rosa signing. How did we NOT sign one of hese two pitchers ???

...Dunn leaving is simply icing on the cake so far in this early disappointing offseason.

Posted by: Nats1924 | December 2, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

What's worse, he ended up in the AL Central. While I'll get the chance to see him at Target Field, I won't be able to root for the guy.

Good news for Phillies fans: there are now loads of tickets available for the April 12 series...

Bad news for Comcast: at this point in time, I can't see myself buying Extra Innings in 2011.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Please, not Carlos Pena. Felt that way before the Boz column, but he hit the nail on the head. The guy is in serious decline. Despite his age, I'd love to see a now-healthy Derrek Lee here for a year or two.

I'm glad I got to see Big AD for two years, and if he had to go, at least it's to the AL. I will always remember some of his blasts. (And thanks for the Hondo reference, AK)

All we can do now is hope one of the big outfield FA's signs here. There's precious little pitching left. I'm not holding my breath.

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Posted by: highshopping | December 2, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

How much longer is management going to ask us fans to be patient? For the possibility of a clean-up hitter hitting .196?? For a compensatory draft pick to take 3-5 years in minors to (maybe) make an impact? How many big time free agents are gonna rush to sign with the Nats after watching management botch this. Good for Ryan Zimmerman for saying what he did, maybe the owners will start to listen to him, since they don't seem to listen to their fans. Do you think Zimm would have had the last two seasons he's had without a big, dangerous bat behind him in the lineup? Don't get me wrong, i love the Nats, and always will, but in order to be competitive they have to stop being so CHEAP! SPEND SOME FREAKIN' MONEY!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: buzzerbob | December 2, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah show them Nats Management!!!!!

You will lose Zimmerman next time.

more years of last place - again. then the team will re-locate.

Getting to the park is terrible, the team is terrible (for many years to come). Oh well, the fans will continue to come (for a sort while more)

Posted by: mrcox54 | December 2, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey ABM/nunof/FeelWood, it's amazing you have the guts to show your face around here you know-nothing arrogant prick. You still think Dunn is going to fire his agent because no team would offer him a 4-year deal? You had it nailed once again, didn't you, huh?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 2, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey! On the bright side we get two draft picks! Maybe we can have a reincarnation of Josh Smoker or McGeary and get told how great they'll be! What's it going to be? By 2016? But not to worry! Because the Nats can't sign a free agent and excite us with guys who all have blown out elbows and shoulders we'll have to trade the prospects anyway to fill out the big league roster... While other teams sign free agents and acquire a sure thing, we draft a crapshoot... Has Marrero made it yet? I guess this "can't miss" is suddenly all miss and his game is full of huge holes.... Nice pick. Not to worry! On opening day, 11,976 fans will be watching Livo's 80 mph flutter ball strike the fear of god into te opponent

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 2, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Well the good news is that this didn't drag out, it's over with. I fully expect Rizzo to now go out and get Carl Crawford, and a retread first baseman.


Posted by: Sunderland | December 2, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If we get Carl Crawford all is forgiven..... But he ain't coming.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Dunn is certainly a nice guy and a good teammate and I wish him well. However I can't get too grief stricken over this because he is clearly a DH that complements a lineup with his power potential but not a NL cleanup hitter. Strikes out too much, poor numbers with RISP and a real defensive liability. His glove work and footwork arond the bag were just atrocious. I don't think the Nats can afford a one diminsional player, no matter how personable.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

White Flint Mall was a nightmarish hellscape the minute it opened. And it wasn't take business genius to then absorb the massive discretionary income from millionaire morons living in nearby bethesda and potomac. DC is cursed with snyder and the ownership of this team.

No comment from management on this? what kind of two bit operation hasn't had a preplanned press release ready for this inevitability (inevitable given there pitiful decisionmaking).

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | December 2, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Dunn can knock it outta there with the best of them, but 4 years with an NL team for a guy who can't field his way out of a wet paper bag is probably a bit much. Adam did what was prudent for him -- take the money, since by the end of this deal his skills could (maybe should) potentially be in decline.

LaRouche would be a decent replacement...but why not go after someone like Jorge Cantu, who had 100 RBI in 2009?

Oh, and I see Nick Johnson on the free agent list, too...
(just kidding)

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | December 2, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Geez, CiL, we're all disappointed today, but do we really need to resort to ad hominem attacks? It's only a game, and there's more to life than baseball.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 2, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse


After two huge buys, the Nats are now hanging on to their wallet. You guys are going to have to wait years for a winning season.

Me? I am going to become a Cubs fan. They are a better bet.

Posted by: JPMcC | December 2, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Capitalist1, 80 mph is Livo's fastball

Posted by: nats24 | December 2, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

1a, I'm not the one who for months has been making personal attacks against other posters about this issue. And this isn't the first time he's done something like this, and then been proven wrong (not gonna trade Milledge, right ABM?). The guy's a jerk, and he deserves to be called out for it.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 2, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Just really stupid. I am sick of this BS sabermetrics. Dunn won many,many games!This a major step backwards. I am sick and tired of the plan. Losing Dunn shows that the plan is a joke.

Posted by: cbushea55 | December 2, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The San Fran Giants won a World Series without an Adam Dunn in their line-up. The Nats need starting pitching and good defense.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

If he had signed with National League team I would be upset but probably shocked that he received such a deal. Signing in the American League is a little different deal. Now he is a DH, in spite of what he said about not wanting to be a DH. I think the ChiSox overpaid, but time will tell. At any rate, we lost a ton a games with AD in the lineup, so he wasn't the obvious answer and it is time to move on.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | December 2, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for nothing, Lerners and Rizzo. Let's trade one of the top three FAs for baby players who may or may not even make the majors in some distant year from now. And then field a team with no one to protect Zimmerman at the plate. The "best prospects" for 1B are only marginally better than Dunn was at defense, and would bat #8 in any lineup. Good going. This season ticket holder is tired of waiting for them to invest in honest to goodness, ready for prime time players. I'm bereft.

Posted by: JaneBeardIVL | December 2, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Ground control to Major Pants~~
Ground control to Major Pants

Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on

Posted by: Brue | December 2, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Yep, it's time to move on from Adam Dunn just like we did with Alphonso Soriano. Life goes on, the Nats will get another bigtime homerun hitter just like they got Adam Dunn and Alphonso Soriano. Don't be surprise Carlos Pena has a better season in 2011 than Adam Dunn.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Full year, 4 seat season ticket holder here since Nats came to town. I am NOT renewing. After July, you couldn't get 50% of face value on stubhub for the field box tickets.

This is an awful move. Dunn deserved an equal offer. I am flabbergasted and bewildered. So they are getting .198 Pena to replace Dunn? Give me a break.

There is something seriously wrong with Nats management. Seriously wrong. I can't believe Dunn isn't going to be on the Nats. This sucks.

Posted by: jim000122 | December 2, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for nothing, Lerners and Rizzo. Let's trade one of the top three FAs for baby players who may or may not even make the majors in some distant year from now. And then field a team with no one to protect Zimmerman at the plate. The "best prospects" for 1B are only marginally better than Dunn was at defense, and would bat #8 in any lineup. Good going. This season ticket holder is tired of waiting for them to invest in honest to goodness, ready for prime time players. I'm bereft.

Posted by: JaneBeardIVL | December 2, 2010 7:42 PM

I think the opinion that Adam Dunn rank as one of the top 3 free agents this off season is false. Lee, Crawford & Werth rank ahead of Adam Dunn.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I understand that Dunn has his detractors. And sure, there's some validity to criticism about his average with RISP, his defense, or his strikeouts. And it's not like this is the first time people have said Dunn belongs on an AL team.

But isn't it a bit much to dismiss this by saying it's too big of a contract for an NL team?

I mean, this isn't just any old NL team. This is a team that has lost 298 games over the past three seasons. A team that is now losing a middle-of-the-order bat who drove nearly 16% of the total runs scored in 2010. A team with no heir apparent at 1B in a year with no comparable replacements available. A team with a low payroll that only gets lower in 2011, and a team that arguably has to overpay for talent on the free agent market.

For this particular NL team, Dunn made sense. Now, it looks like a bad team stands to get worse. But hey, at least we don't have to watch him strike out anymore, right?

And about that fourth year - was it really going to be so much of a burden? In 2014, is a $14 million salary going to be prohibitive? He wasn't asking for a no-movement clause; if he were better suited to a DH role in his fourth year, the Nats could conceiveably trade him.

I just don't see how this makes the Nationals a better team.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

When Rizzo announces the Crawford signing, you'll all feel better.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

How many games did the Nats lose with Adam Dunn on the team ?

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I wish Dunn had stayed... really liked the guy. Obviously management, for whatever reason, didn't want him back and have a plan to replace him. Before we burn the front office in effigy lets see their plan to replace him then you can accurately judge the decision to let him walk.

For all those out here who are convinced we'll do nothing to replace him - and there are alot of you - you can say 'told you so' when the season starts but you can't really say that right now.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 2, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

This news strikes at so many levels that it's hard to sort it all out, but I'll try...

First of all, this calls out ownership as not yet being 'baseball competent', much as Boswell did in his column. Their seeming hesitance in signing a contract worth more than $10M a year (on average) continues. Their reported offers of 3/$30M, or even 3/$36M were a 'low-ball' insult to one of the 10-best "LH Power-hitters" in baseball today, regardless of his defensive prowess at 1B, imo.

Second - By not signing Dunn, they may have 'tainted the well', forcing the likes of RZimm, Willingham, Pudge, and others to call their agents, plotting exit stratigies.

Third - With the surrender of proven Middle-of-the-lineup offense (35+HR, 100RBI, .870+OPS), what other FA, be they either pitcher or hitter, would be willing to come to DC for even 'Market-level money'? The cost just escalated for any other Free Agents by $1-2M/yr.

Fourth - This carves another hole into a projected 2011 lineup. Even if the team shifts bodies to cover 1B (Morse/Willingham), they still lack a realistic LH threat; Morgan or Bernadina isn't near enough for 2011.

Fifth - Dunn to the WhiteSox has aroused most of the obnoxious website trolls to regale in their opportunity to trash the Nationals.

Posted by: BinM | December 2, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

1a your not really defending ABM are you? Nice the CIL and many of us have the corporate history to support CIL's response.....ABM has been this way for years....the only thing he changes is his handle....He attacks everyone and knows nothing.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 2, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Whatever you do...DO NOT sign any free agent wanta be's for 1st base. Look inside. You lost Adam.Do not compound your failure with a no load first baseman.

5 yr STO

Posted by: navboss | December 2, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Please Do not sign ANY free agents.... instead get a completely new set of Owners AND Management.

Be patient - will only last maybe one more year.

Saying used to be 'First in War; First in Peace and Last in the American League'.
The new saying will now be 'Last in War; Last in Peace and Last in the National League'....looks like Washington is destined to be losers forever in baseball.

Posted by: mrcox54 | December 2, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners are a disaster. Cheap, penny pinching profiteers running their franchise like they run their malls. Perhaps a savior will emerge that will persuade them to sell the team.

Posted by: dboz1970 | December 2, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, let's dump that loser Zimmerman, too. The Nats have lost 486 games since he got here.


How many games did the Nats lose with Adam Dunn on the team ?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Terrible move unless we go get Crawford... not likely.

Watch Zimms #s plummet and the nova fanbase start to turn their attention back towards Baltimore

Posted by: DMoney28 | December 2, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Okay, there's an awful lot of conflation going on, so I'm going to break some things down...

1.) Not resigning Dunn at that price and years was not a bad baseball move in isolation. In fact, it was probably more than the big fellah is worth.

2.) The Adam Dunn non-signing is not happening in isolation, as this very frank statement by Ryan Zimmerman indicates. There are fans and there are teammates that Dunn meant a lot to. And Dunn did just about everything he could short of taking out a billboard on 495 to broadcast his interest in staying. Even forfeiting a shot at the post season.

3.) The Nationals have nothing else lined up for first base. They don't have progress on any free agents, Marrero is a more injury prone and less proven version of Dunn, and Morse is a back-up player for a reason.

4.) Compensatory draft picks are a long-term solution, not a short-term solution.

This adds up to my thinking they should have bit the bullet and taken a bad deal on Dunn in the regular season. But no, they wanted to be smart and as you sow so shall ye reap.

Posted by: Section506 | December 2, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

If Ryan Zimmerman doesn't want to play for the Nats how about a trade to Arizona for Upton ?

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

1a1 was not defending anybody. She was asking for a degree of civility and respect that, despite strongly held and stated opinions, generally prevails here. I thank her for that.

The 2011 season, even if the Nats had signed Dunn, looks kind of bleak. That said, if the bar is low, we could all be surprised by how well the Nats might do.

Has anybody wondered if the uniform change might be a prelude to dropping the name "Nationals''? (sorry if I missed that discussion, and I'm not in favor of it) If the naming rights for the stadium are every sold, there won't be much official mention of the team nickname.

Posted by: nats24 | December 2, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

What 506 said.

Also, what Kasten said ("We will get the attendance we deserve").

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I heard Dunn signed with the White Sox because their black uniforms are slimming. The new Nationals uniforms were the last straw in Dunn's opinion. Not flattering one bit.

Carl Pavano....come on down and bring your moustache with you!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 2, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I heard Dunn signed with the White Sox because their black uniforms are slimming. The new Nationals uniforms were the last straw in Dunn's opinion. Not flattering one bit.

Carl Pavano....come on down and bring your moustache with you!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 2, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's not trying to be an a**hole. It just comes out that way.

Because he is.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 2, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Ryan Zimmerman is disappointed that the Nats didn't re-sign his good friend Adam Dunn but people should read his full statement before misquoting him.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@JohninMpls: I don't think it's about the finger-pointing that some bloggers use (It's Bowden's / Rizzo's ineptitude); That's just infighting & frustration.

It's becoming more about what the FO foists on the fanbase as a "major-league" team. When ownership consistently manages to avoid signing a single contract valued at over $10M/yr in the course of five years, you begin to see a pattern, imo.

Posted by: BinM | December 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I am about DUNN with putting up with Nats ownership. This is a huge disappointment.

Posted by: crawfamva | December 2, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I see a pattern, too, BinM - to the tune of about 96 losses per year on average since the Learners' first full year of ownership.

But hey, let's all go build a Screech!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, remember a few years ago a lot of Nats fans were jumping off bridges because the team fail to re-sign Soriano, move the clock forward sub Dunn's name for Soriano. Let see how this pan out before going crazy about not re-signing Adam Dunn.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Mixed feelings. Love all that power and he was a good dude, but he also struck out a lot AND was a defensive liabiity. 3 years was doable but 4 years was too long.

Start Harper training at first in 2011 and maybe he's good enough for the bigs in 2012. Morse should be able to handle the position this year.

Posted by: shanks1 | December 2, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree, BiM.

Marquis and Pudge are off the books next season. The only team salary commitments are to Zim, Strasburg, Harper and Maya. Everyone else is either team controlled are will be gone. Long term salary commitments are minimal. Its time to overpay.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 2, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse


You are right on all scores. LaRoche is the same age as Dunn and had 177Ks in 2010, and 13 fewer HRs; like Loney, he is at best a marginally better fielder (check their dWAR stats). Don't be surprised if AD has more HRs than Loney, Pena and LaRoche combined over the next 4 years. Those who think Carl Crawford will sign here as opposed to NY or Bos probably think we could sign C. Lee too -- don't you get that players like these want to sign to win, not just for money (TB is too cheap to sign him)? Zimm loved throwing to Dunn and now will have at best a .192 hitter to protect him in the lineup. Rizzo has made ZERO progress on his stated goal of signing a #1 pitcher -- unless he means that #23 draft choice, who admittedly will be a first rounder. StanK got out because he couldn't stand the Stink. The "plan" is to hope we don't notice that the plan is that this team will never win, but make $$ as long as we fools keep showing up.

STH since day 1 who has not renewed.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | December 2, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@JohninMpls (again): Stan was more prophetic with that statement than any of us would like - "We'll get the attendance we deserve".

I'd predict more games under 11K than over 40K in attendance this year, given the current state of affairs. I'd 'guesstimate' total attendance for 2011 of somewhere around 1.4M or less. That's pitiful.

Posted by: BinM | December 2, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

What hell it is to be a Washington DC sports fan!
Redskins, Nats, & Wizards---does anyone in this town know how to put together a team just a tiny per cent better than ridiculously mediocre?
Gawd, and now the Nats seem to have double-downed to secure being the worse of the lot! (Is that possible?)
Oh, how I wish we could be the city of Pittsburg---even their worst team is better than all three of DC's!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | December 2, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn better buy himself a good pair of ear plugs because White Sox fans won't be cheering after he strikes out for the 3rd and 4th time in a game and prolong slumps like Nats fans.

Posted by: 4U2Know | December 2, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Braves non-tendered Matt Diaz. I'd take in heartbeat as a backup OF and PH.

Posted by: nats24 | December 2, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I had remained hopeful but since they were not going to sign him, it is good that it is over. I am truly sorry for the frustration that some of my fellow fans feel. It sucks to feel so negative about something you care about. With the winter meetings starting on Monday, a week from now there should be some new Nationals. Maybe that can take the sting out of it for you.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 2, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again,the Nats are horrible, this is going to be the final straw,they wont win 20 games,are we Pittsburgh now etc etc, didn't I hear all of this last year.Amongst all of the hyperbole are some realistic comments that actually don't simply react in typical knee jerk fashion. Yes Adam was a fan fav and great teammate, yes the Nats probably should have moved more seriously sooner and YES if they weren't going to sign him and they really could have gotten Hudson THAT would be a good trade. But all of that is projections,are we sure the Nats didn't seriously try to negotiate a contract with Dunn?No we are not,if Dunns people as stated were only looking for 4 yr deals then what was to be"leaked",the Nats weren't going to sign him to 4,only 3 so maybe that was THE sticking point all year,with that in mind those that say"if the Nats had signed Dunn,a poor fielding 1st baseman to this deal the fans would be screaming"are absolutely right,they would have & rightfully so,4 yrs is too much of a gamble with him,this team,& almost any other team.That's how the Sox got him,obviously all of the DH talk was BS talk,if Dunn thinks he plays more than 50 games at first he is buying the a Bridge, you know it,I know it,the whole damn world knows it.So let's now take a realistic look at this,perhaps Dunn's"people" had made noise about not accepting or fighting a trade to an AL team,perhaps Rizzo took a chance and figured the chances were pretty damn slim that anyone in their right mind would sign him for 4,well he was wrong,so we get 2 high draft picks next year,don't make a bad 4 year contract & move on.Zimm I thought was very professional in his comments&this entire situation,he didn't"SLAM"management as some of you have said,he isn't going anywhere,he simply stated what he wanted,giving his "opinion",nothing wrong with that,note the 2nd part of the comment"They've told us & the fans to be patient.Hopefully this is one the years we start acquiring impact guys &taking the team to that next level."
Ok fair enough but I fail to see the SLAM in this,man is simply stating the obvious,& his comment is again truthful,but did you really expect Rizzo to sign another 1st baseman before Dunn signed somewhere else?Now that would have been media suicide,so this is playing out precisely as sold,now yes,they do need to sign Pena,or LaRouche preferably & quickly,as many others have said this is a sound decision and a huge defensive upgrade with little drop in the offensive production if past history is our guide.Both will sign for 3 years or less and be damn happy to do so.The Morse option is intriguing as well,this would leave much more money to pursue starting pitching,but leave us shallow perhaps on the offensive side,but many players from last year will likely"IMPROVE"upon their production.Guys like Bernadina,Desmond, & Ramos to name a few. So let's all take a deep breath,sit back & watch.Give Rizzo a chance,then sound off.500 is in our grasps.Let's see what happens.

Posted by: mfowler1 | December 2, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The point is not that they did not re-sign him. I'm not sure he's worth the money the White Sox are paying him. But you can't just look at this in isolation. The point is that they could have gotten a lot more for Dunn at the trade deadline. And yet even though they were not going to re-sign him at the price he might command this winter, they did not trade him for Daniel Hudson plus a fringe major leaguer.

And that is awful, awful work by a FO that is now supposed to be a lot better than a couple of years ago.
I haven't seen anything to make me agree with that.

Posted by: amo36 | December 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I have always been neutral on Adam Dunn, I saw both the advantages and disadvantages of resigning him and thought this out for the last nine months. But I can tell you this morning was a hit in the gut to read that Dunn is gone. I always thought that between Dunn and Rizzo they would work it out. I always thought that there would be some common ground.
Last year at this time with the signings of Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Marquis, Matt Capps and the understanding that Strasberg was just a June call up away, we had a lot of excitement and hope. Last year I was able for the first time to get five people to help pay for my season tickets.
But with the disappointment of the year, with the advent of Stubhub being a cheaper choice for getting seats instead of being part of a group, the market has dropped. Four of the five have said no to my season tickets for 2011 and frankly I wonder if it's worth while to spend the $7,400 for season tickets.
It's not the Dunn deal, I could understand the reasons why Dunn was not worth the four years. What is bothering me and many other Nats fans this morning is the total lack of respect that Rizzo and the Lerners are showing us, the season ticket holders. The Nats season ended 2 months ago and the powers to be at the Nationals haven't shown us one good reason to write a check for $7,400. They have shown us how a cheaply run team will trot out a team of retreads and possible young guys that could have a future, but will go off to better teams with better offers. They are trotting out the Nyjer Morgans that will be cheap but will have no love of the fans.
Yes many will criticize what the Colorado Rockies did in showering Troy Tulowitzki with such a great contract. But I see this as a good will jester to help bring loyalty to not only the players but the fan base. Stuff like that will never happen at the Nationals who have proven in the last year to care more about the moment line and not what is right for the fans. I am not basing this on the Adam Dunn deal but the way they treated Ryan Zimmerman, who in reality didn't get that great of a deal for a future hall of famer.
With the way the last couple of months have gone I changed my mind a couple of weeks ago on Dunn. I felt that since Rizzo hadn't signed any starting picture or anyone of substance, that he would have to sign Dunn, or risk a revolt of the fans and seaon ticket holders. I am hearing that almost a third of last year's seaons ticket holders have not paid up a penny for '11 tickets, despite the fact that we had to put a big deposit on them November 1st.
Sorry but this is the seventh year of the Nats in Washington and we are seeing no improvement whatsoever. We saw some promise last year but it seemed the dream died in Philadelphia when Strasburg hurt himself.

All I can say as a season ticket holder, I hope the Lerners and Rizzo know what they are doing and will clue us ticket holders and possible ticket holders very quickly on their thoughts

Posted by: Golfersal | December 3, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, nats24. That was the point.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

1a, perhaps then you should direct some of your reprobating comments to the multi-monikered poster who routinely mocks other posters, refers to them as "dumb" or other such variations, etc. He's done more than anyone else to undermine the degree of civility and respect that generally prevails here. Taking exception to my comment calling him out on it is just a bit bass-ackwards.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 3, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The Nats owners are so stupid that they must not even look at their own web page.
Over there it still has a picture of Dunn at the number one batter for 2010. How lame is that? So they just let him leave?
They need to figure out a way to win at least 81 games in 2011 or I'm done with them.

Posted by: blankspace | December 3, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

CiL, my bad for mentioning your moniker specifically. I was reacting to the most recent name-calling incident, which happened to be yours. As you're probably aware as a long-time NJ denizen, I've taken exception to ad hominem remarks by others in the past as well (tilting at windmills: a 1a specialty since the beginning of NJ blog time :-)).

On a more general and personal note, while I'm personally disappointed at the loss of Dunn, I just can't get that spun up about it. Maybe I've burned up too much psychic energy over the recent death of a family member. I love baseball, and it's a great diversion from the messier side of life, but in the end, it's just a game.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 3, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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