In what is perhaps the second-least surprising announcement so far this winter (I'm saving the no.1 least-surprising status for the inevitable "Jeter Signs With Yankees" headlines), the Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they had offered 31-year-old free agent first baseman Adam Dunn arbitration, ensuring that they will receive compensatory draft picks in return should the 31-year-old big middle-of-the-order bat choose to sign elsewhere this winter. Dunn and his reps now have until Nov. 30, 2010 to accept or reject arbitration. With 1B/C Victor Martinez agreeing on what is reportedly a 4-year/$50 M dollar deal with Detroit today and San Francisco re-upping with first baseman Aubrey Huff for 2-years/$22M, both Dunn and the Nats might want to move quickly to make a decision before their options are limited to one another.
The Nationals haven't officially said they're interested in Carlos Pena. D.C. GM Mike Rizzo, in a recent interview on MLB Network Radio would only say that, "[Pena] fits kind of what we're doing, he's one of a handful of guys that would give us what we're looking for," while acknowledging that Dunn was still the Nats' first choice. MLB.com's Bill Ladson was the first to break the news that the Nationals had offered Dunn arbitration. No word yet from the Tampa Bay Rays (as of 1:32 pm EST) on whether or not they've offered Pena arbitration. Pena's a Type-B free agent this Winter, coming off a down-year statistically though he still showed power in helping the Rays win the AL East. The Detroit Tigers were the one team that was supposedly interested in giving Dunn a long-term deal, with reports last week saying they might be willing to give the big slugger the four years he wants, but with Miguel Cabrera at first and now Victor Martinez added at a $50M dollar price tag that seems less likely than it did a day ago. The two Chicago teams are the most-mentioned potential suitors for Dunn, though the Cubs in particular have salary concerns that would need to be cleared up before any such move could be made...
I said it about a month before the Washington Nationals signed Adam Dunn in February of 2009, and I'm saying it again now: Can't the Nats and Dunn just accept each other already. And if the Nats are moving on, they'd better move quickly to find a replacement, because the schedule seems to (and literally has) sped up this winter and they need to find the power they're going to lose if Dunn doesn't return somewhere...Zim said so.
In Rizzo We Trust?