Put On Your Speculatin' Caps...
Washington Post sports writer Chico Harlan took stock of the interest in free agent outfielder/first baseman Adam Dunn the other day in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "The Market For Adam Dunn", and essentially concluded that unless someone gets desperate after Manny Ramirez chooses a home, Adam Dunn is there to be had by DC, for a considerably lower cost than Dunn probably anticipated after becoming a free agent following an '08 season in which he hit for a .236 AVG with 23 doubles, 40 HR's and 100 RBI's in 114 games with the Cincinnati Reds and 44 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Dougout Central's Jeff Moore, in a post at FOXSports.com today entitled, "It's not too late to land big, free-agent stars", deemed the Anaheim Angels the "Best fit" for Adam Dunn, but saw DC and the Nationals as the "Likely destination" for the 29-year old left-handed hitting Houston, Texas native, who is reportedly asking for 4-years and $56M. Mr. Moore determines that the Washington Nationals, desperate to, "...make a splash with a big bat," might be the only team that will offer anywhere near what Dunn's asking, provided that:
"Dunn is happy playing through the rest of his prime on a last place club in a park where home runs die on the warning track, then he might be able to get his money."
I'm not sure why Adam Dunn, or the Bigger Wilkerson as he's known here, (Big Wilky for short), won't just accept his density, (I mean destiny)* and sign with DC already. DC GM Jim Bowden is waiting with open arms no doubt, though Washington Post writer Chico Harlan did note, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Why Adam Dunn just became more appealing", that, at least as of early December, there was an "internal debate" as to whether to the team should even pursue Dunn. With less than four weeks left before pitchers and catchers report, I'm sure Dunn wants to know where he'll be living and playing this summer, and the Nationals, barring an increasingly unlikely trade for Prince Fielder**, are running out of options to add offense to a team that desperately needs some...
(ed. note - " ** = I wrote recently, in a Nationals' Hot Stove post entitled, "Was MLB.com's Bill Ladson Right About DC and Prince Fielder", about Washington's interest (at least according to Mr. Ladson), in the hard-hitting Milwaukee first baseman, and apparently the Nationals are the only ones who think the Brewers might be willing to part with the 24-year old slugger, as FOXSports.com writer Ken Rosenthal reports today, in a post entitled, "O's have tough choices, Dodgers primed to pounce", that the San Francisco Giants, while still alive in the hunt for Manny Ramirez, have also, "...according to a major league source":
"...contacted the Brewers about acquiring one of their young position players, presumably first baseman Prince Fielder or outfielder Corey Hart..."
(ed. note cont... - "I'm starting to think, (with all of MLB.com's Bill Ladson's mentions of the Nationals' intentions towards Fielder while Washington's pursued Te - - - - ra and now Dunn, and now with the Giants' calls to Milwaukee, at the same time they're thinking about adding Manny Ramirez...), that "asking about Prince Fielder" might be the official bluff of the winter for GM's looking to scare power bats into signing...")
If you've got nothing to do but read about the Washington Nationals...I found an interview with DC starter Collin Balester, who is considered a likely member of DC's '09 rotation, at Bugs and Cranks.com where Mr. Balester, in the article entitled, "Bally Banter: An Interview with Collin Balester", daringly reveals a secret about DC Skipper Manny Acta, offers his opinion on two of DC's new arms, and even some of the Nationals' prospects in a wide-ranging, interesting conversation.
And don't forget, if you want to know more about what Collin Balester's thinking, you can always turn to Bally's Blog...Balester's own blog at mlblogs.com...This guy's everywhere.
For the self-loathing Nationals fan, I offer you Gordon Estes' Yahoo! Sports column entitled, "Hot Stove Daily: Baltimore Orioles", where Mr. Estes takes a moment from working out the problems of DC's neighbors to the north to offer this assessment of the Nationals' new starter, Daniel Cabrera:
"Cabrera, who was snapped up by the neighboring Washington Nationals, had the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio in the big leagues (95 whiffs, 90 walks in 180 innings) and also hit 18 batters, most in the majors."
(ed. note - "I wonder how many plunked Orioles Cabrera's lack of control resulted in?")
Over at John Sickels' Minor League Ball.com, there's a post and a POLL asking, where Stephen Strasburg, the projected #1 overall pick in '09 ranks amongst the top prospects in baseball entitled, "Where does Strasburg fit in with top prospects?".
And if you haven't been keeping up with Doghouse and the Federalbaseball.com W.A.R. effort, (which is being conducted in cooperation with the SBN's sabermetrics blog, Beyond The Box Score), now is the time to catch up...
And The News Of The Night...
Arbitration $'s Announced...
Here's what the Washington Nationals think of one another, as each side, players and owners, announced what they were asking for, or alternately, offering, to play for or pay, this afternoon...
Difference of Opinion
We'll Go One At A Time, Zimmerman first...
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? NEW POLL BELOW...
(ed. note - " * = Crispin Glover? Anyone?")