Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Adam Dunn's Last Games Under The Bowden Deal.

The last time he tested the free agent market, a then-29 year-old Adam Dunn didn't find the long-term deal he and his agent anticipated, so the left-handed hitting power bat accepted a 2-year/$20M dollar deal with the Washington Nationals, becoming the big middle-of-the-order slugger the nation's capital's Nats had been lacking since Alfonso Soriano skipped town for Chicago. The move to D.C. reunited Dunn with the GM that drafted him, Jim Bowden, and fellow Cincinnati Reds' product Austin Kearns. At the time, Dunn admitted in an interview, as reported by MLB.com writer Bill Ladson in an article entitled, "Nats sign Dunn to two-year, $20M deal", that he thought there would be other offers:

"The opportunities [as a free agent] weren't exactly what I wanted them to be, but I get a chance and hopefully turn the program around," Dunn said on the MLB Network. "I think it will be a better feeling of accomplishment to help turn the program around than go [to a place] that is established."

Mr. Bowden, who would be replaced as the general manager less than a month later...

told Mr. Ladson later that week in an article entitled, "Dunn a big gun for Nationals' lineup", that the team wanted, "...a big bat in the middle of our lineup that could drive in 100 runs and hit 30-40 home runs...we didn't want someone with potential. We want someone who is going to [hit] home runs." In his two seasons in D.C., Dunn's hit 76 home runs, falling short of the 40-HR-a-year-mark he'd reached in the previous five seasons in '09 and at 38 again with three games left this season. He's also hit 65 doubles and driven in 208 RBI's, with a .265/.375/.536 slash line at the plate while he's provided adequate defense at first where he's currently got a -2.3 UZR/150, which is the 5th worst in the National League, but better than expected by most. Mr. Bowden, now in his role as a Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio host, was asked for his gut feeling yesterday on where Dunn would play in 2011 by his co-host on Inside Pitch, Casey Stern, and the retired MLB exec said he thinks Dunn will likely stay in Washington:

"In terms of Adam Dunn I think it really all comes down to negotiations. I think that the Nationals have set parameters that make sense to them, and if Adam wants to sign within that group I think he can get it done. I also think that Adam's gotta test the market. The one concern with Adam Dunn that has to be out there is he doesn't want to DH and you don't want to put him in a position like Pat Burrell where he doesn't want to do it, tries to do it and it fails. I don't think you want to do that. I certainly think he'd be a good fit with the Chicago White Sox, I think that's a good fit. We've also heard rumors that the Chicago Cubs have interest in him as well at first base. So it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Again, you know how negotiations are. They're very difficult and Adam Dunn's numbers are huge, you can't find that power everywhere. So my gut says, he probably ends up back in Washington with both Chicagos having a chance." 

Dunn and the Nats are in Citi Field for what could be his final three games as a National. He's said he isn't thinking of it that way, or at least wasn't thinking about the last homestand in Nats Park as his last games there, but he's also hinted he'll test the market. A final impression won't matter as much as what he's accomplished in his career and over the last two years, when it comes to negotiating a deal, but he's got three games left to add to his exploits in a park where he hit the second-longest HR of 2009. Like Senator fans of old who wouldn't leave games just in case Frank Howard hit one of his mammoth HR's in his last at bat. I'd suggest you tune in for Dunn's last few at bats of '10. You never know when he'll do it again...

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