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Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Mike Rizzo's statement on Adam Dunn

By Adam Kilgore

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo gave his first public comment on Adam Dunn's signing with the Chicago White Sox. Here is the full extent of the statement, released via the team's p.r. staff:

"The Washington Nationals wish Adam Dunn and his family the best of luck and good will in Chicago. Adam contributed much to the Nationals and to the Washington, D.C. community. He will be missed, but will remain an important figure in the early history of this franchise and will always be a part of the Nationals baseball family."

Obviously, there are plenty of questions left to answer. The media will be able to speak with Rizzo next week at the winter meetings in Orlando.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 3, 2010; 3:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

B.S. from P.R

Rizzo needs to man up and meet the media,

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

Crawford, Webb, LaRoche, and trade or 2 for SP is the only thing that can save the rep of the front office and keep the fans relatively interested.

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 3, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

JimBo would be manning up and meeting the media, with lines like "We pray for his buttocks and his family." I'd rather have Rizzo manning up and meeting agents and other GMs to sign FAs and make trades. But that's just me.

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

I think he'll talk when he has something (positive) to talk about. Clearly he's not going sit on his hands all winter and trot out the guys we currently have under contract.

My dime store theory on Rizzo right now is that he's going into moneyball mode. He likes Dunn and won't say a bad word about him - but Rizzo also knows that he has a budget under the Lerners. He also knows that Dunn is a talented slugger, might have a few more respectable years - but you can't say that his career is on the upswing. Buy low before 30 and sell above 30. You can say that selling for two picks was not a high enough reward, but Rizzo feels different. He's pulling off a band-aid with Dunn - tough to do but he wants to get younger, hungrier and better defensively.

Rizzo is probably staking his tenure as Nats GM on what he can do in the next 9 months - Dunn, trades, free agents, draft, signings. We're going to stink in 2011 - barring some sort of miracle. I hate that, but I'm willing to give Rizzo more time to see what he has in mind. The Lerners have dug an enormous hole for this club, let's see how Rizzo can try to get them out.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

What exactly would Rizzo say to the media? "we didn't sign him because he wanted too much money and too many years?" or "we are better without him?" or "don't worry, we have a plan".

The only thing productive he could say is that "I understand that many of you, both fans and players, are disappointed, but this was a difficult decision that we made in the best long term interest of the the team." How would that go over???

Truth is, I loved Dunn. Loved watching him hit HRs. Hated watching him play the field (he was a statue at 1b!) and hated him taking a walk when we needed him to take a big swing. I have mixed emotions, but I can see the logic in not bringing him back. In the AL, he can DH in 2-3 years. I would not want to have him as our 1b for the next 4 years. That would be hard to watch and in the NL he would not have a place to play other than 1b.

Short term, it is a disaster. Long term, probably a blessing.

Best wishes to Adam.

Rizzo, go sign someone none of us think we can sign and do it NOW! I vote from Crawford.

Posted by: NatsWin | December 3, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing about how they wouldn't pay AL prices for him comes from Rizzo - he used the angle that Dunn would have more value as a DH/1B as opposed to just a 1B, and that an AL team would outbid them anyway. This says nothing that if they signed him for 4, and after two years wanted to trade him, he'd still have two years left on his contract, and they'd be able to get something good for him. Pants planted these seeds months ago by not going after him harder.

Posted by: Brue | December 3, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The "early history of this franchise"? That is a tell. There was no reason to include a reference to the history of the franchise in 3 sentence statement. Rizzo is expecting our expectations to be tempered. Not a good sign.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

And people saying that this was a bad move because it's going to piss off the fans... here's the thing, WE HAVE NO FANS. The damage has already been done from 2006 til now - this organization is dealing with a scorched earth (of their own doing, of course). Their traction with the DC area sports community can't get any worse - so what are you losing with Dunn? They could still lose 90+ games and could still bring in 20-25k fans per game. They're already at the baseline - and that's probably a good place to make tough decisions. Sure, you're pissing off the three of us who want Dunn to stay here and be Frank Howard - but 99.9% of the people in this area have no idea who Frank Howard is. 90% probably don't even know who Dunn is.

The only thing that is going to work in building a fan base in this area is winning. Dunn slugging 39 HR and winning 75 games gets the team nowhere in three years time. But if they can somehow assemble the kind of young talent to win 90+ games in three seasons then 2011 won't matter that much to the newcomers who would find the team. Just look at the Caps now and the Caps in 2005.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

AK -- when you do get to ask Rizzo questions at the meetings, please ask Rizzo why he did not even actively shop Dunn at the break and why he demanded that he had to be overwhelemed in order to move Dunn to a club that wanted him. (Dunn could have ended up a Type B, or a club with a protected first rounder could have gotten him, why was two months of Dunn rental so super valuable for the Nats as opposed to a MLB-ready pitcher under control plus the $4M in saved salary/signing bonus money, etc.)

Rizzo's non-trade and no real attempt to sign Dunn demands a big, long explanation of what was going on, what was being offered, why the club acted the way it did and why the club was passive instead of proactive trying to make a deal for something that could help the club fill a big need in 2011. All I can remember hearing on this from Rizzo was that they simply did not get an offer they thought was worth trading Dunn. That response is inadequate.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 3, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo was a real wiz in Arizona. What has happened here? MGJ.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 3, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Bad move Nationals. You have a lot to do to prove to the rest of the team and the fans you are willing to do what it takes to win.

Posted by: lsmith002 | December 3, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

dfh21, in the parlance of my old college math profs, you want Kilgore to demand that Rizzo show his work. But why should he? Neither you nor anyone else is prepared to offer partial credit. Just chill out, dude. Sit back and watch what ultimately transpires this offseason, then enjoy the game. Or not.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 3, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

So much negativity. Look, Mark Lerner is part of the Caps ownership and he saw what happened when they went young, traded their vets and piled up picks and prospects. The Nats are doing the same thing, except they had NO ONE of VALUE IN THE SYSTEM! The farm system was empty in 2006. BOwden puuled off a coup by trading Wilkerson, Sledge and someone else who doesn't play anymore for Soriano. When he left, we got an extra pick who turned into Jordan Zimmermann.

You all have to shut up and be patient. Long term stability is way more important that signing big name free agnets and losing draft picks. (See Baltimore Orioles circa 1994-the present)

Build the farm system. Trade the guys who want a lot of money for prospects or let them sign elsewhere and get high draft picks. Eventually, those picks and the system start to produce. Then the team is in contention and can afford to trade for a missing piece. Or they can trade their would-be free agents for prospects and promote from within while replacing those positions in the system.

The Griffiths and Bob Short stole our teams twice. Long term stability is priority #1 for baseball in this town. If i have to wait a few more years for a winner, I'll do it. I waited 34 years to be able to root for this team. I don't plan on jumping ship with the fair weather fans anytime soon.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 3, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Four years later the farm system is still poor despite all the Lerner BS talk of building it up. Most of our recent top draft picks are already up in the majors.

It is going to take a change in ownership before the Nats have a chance to be competitive.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 3, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo looks really bad here.No justification for for a terrible evaluation of a good player and a stupid negotiation.

Posted by: cbushea55 | December 3, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

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