Wire Taps: Washington Nationals/Adam Dunn Rumors.

Remember back in late July, as the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline neared, when ESPN.com's Keith Law reported that a deal involving the Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Adam Dunn and Edwin Jackson had somehow fallen apart and Sox' GM Ken Williams was supposedly furious with the Nationals? Mr. Law (@KeithLaw) wrote at the time on the Twitter that he'd, "Heard from an exec not involved in the discussions that the White Sox are furious with the Nats over Edwin Jackson," who'd been acquired by Chicago from Arizona in what many saw as a prelude to a deal with Washington that never transpired. In a post deadline press conference, the D.C. GM was directly and specifically questioned about the reports of the Nats, "...having a lot of interest in Edwin Jackson?" Can you comment on that?" the reporter asked, "Did you have [interest]?" 

"I'm not going to comment on any single player," Mr. Rizzo said, "There was no player that we asked some team to acquire that we were going to trade Adam Dunn for."

The night before the July 31st deadline, with the White Sox having already acquired Edwin Jackson, ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Buster_ESPN) published a Twitter novella which "reported" that "Other teams" were saying that, "...the Nationals had told other teams that a key piece to anyone who wanted Adam Dunn was Edwin Jackson...":

"This caused a number of teams to try to pry Jackson away from the D-Backs, with the White Sox finally landing Jackson today--and as of 7 p.m. Eastern, the Nats are indicating they're not sure if they want Jackson anymore. So as of tonight, teams are pulling their hair out over the Nats' machinations. We'll see if the White Sox can finish a Dunn deal."

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) reported in the final hour before the deadline passed that the, "#WhiteSox [are] still working on Dunn. Would be Jackson-plus. Source: 'This thing is far from over.'" Did Rizzo ask for Carlos Quentin in addition to Jackson as rumors at the time had it? Or infielder Gordon Beckham possibly? Daniel Hudson's was the only other name ever mentioned in the press? But he was dealt to D-Backs (along with '09 2nd Rd. pick LHP David Holman) in the deal that got the Sox Jackson. As with most non-deals, the specifics rarely come out afterward explaining what might have been, but Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell noted in a chat with readers entitled simply, "Ask Boswell" on Thursday that, at least according to his "sources":

"Rizzo wanted to trade Dunn and had a deal worked out for Edwin Jackson, who ended up with the White Sox. So, yes, the rumors at the time were correct. However, Kasten and the Lerners didn't want to do the deal and killed it. Partly bad PR. In Kasten's case, he really believed, and still does, that it's crazy not to resign Dunn."

Adam Dunn for Edwin Jackson? Straight up? Mr. Boswell doesn't mention any other names as being involved in the potential deal, but he does cite it as a, "..perfect example of different parts of the front office being on different pages for different reasons." MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling reported in an 9/28/10 article entitled,"Sources say Nats unlikely to resign Adam Dunn", that a "scout for an opposing team who covers the Nationals regularly" had told him that Dunn, "...is a favorite of the Lerner family; principal owner Mark Lerner", who sees the current Nats' slugger as a modern day Frank Howard, the Senators' slugger he'd watched before the second Senators departed. However, "sources familiar with the team's thinking" told MASN's Mr. Goessling that, "...general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman, see Dunn's defense as the chief issue," with retaining the soon-to-be 31-year-old slugger. 

Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore listed potential replacements at first for Adam Dunn a week or more back in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "If not Adam Dunn, then who?" with Paul Konerko, Aubrey Huff, Carlos Pena, Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder the names he thought would be considered should the Nats not sign Dunn. MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in an article entitled, "If Dunn doesn't return, Nats have option", adds Adam LaRoche and (should he be made available) James Loney of the Dodgers, though Mr. Ladson notes that the Rays' Pena, "is on the top of their list." The Nats have five days after the World Series ends to exclusively negotiate with Dunn, after that Dunn's available league-wide. The Hotstove's heating up. Gather round for warmth...

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