"dunn deal is basically done, no pun intended. told he got "a bit less" than the $60 mil, 4-yr asking price from #chisox"
"Dunn, White Sox closing in on four-year $56MM deal, the LA Times reports."
(ed. note - "I apparently picked the wrong night to take in a NJ Devils/Montreal Canadiens game, as this story appears to be breaking right now. More info when it's available later tonight...")
• Dunn Wrong: I have a hard time believing what I read this morning in Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell's article entitled, "It's hot stove time, and it's not too early to worry about the Nationals", where the WaPost writer reported that, "...the Nats' internal view all summer [was] that Dunn would be more likely to sign a contract extension as the season came to an end because he really liked playing in D.C." If they were actually working under that delusion, all they had to do was ask the Nats' FOF Ryan Zimmerman if that was a likely outcome to the year-long negotiations with the Nationals' big middle of the order bat. As soon as the Non-Waiver and Waiver Deadlines passed and the proverbial ball was in Dunn's court, there was no reason whatsoever for Dunn to sign without first testing the market. As Mr. Boswell writes, "This naivete stood 30 years of free agent history on its head and left industry insiders howling - with dismay or laughter."
In MASNSports.com's Pete Kerzel's early November article entitled, "Zimmerman: Nationals can't afford not to re-sign Dunn", the 26-year-old third baseman who's signed through 2013 with Washington, clearly explained Dunn's (or really any player in that situation's) motivation in testing the market before accepting what the Nats were offering (which Mr. Boswell says was 3-years/$35M):
"'I think he's a little upset that stuff didn't get done (earlier), but that was not the team. You know how it is with that stuff. Now, you get to a point where he's so close to free agency. He's never been a free agent before*, so obviously it makes sense for him business-wise and career-wise to at least go out there and see what's out there. That's not to say he won't come back here, he won't be here or he doesn't want to be here, but for him and his family, he's at least got to go out and entertain other offers and see what his real worth is.'"
This appears to have been a serious miscalculation by the Nationals, if it is in fact true, especially in light of the recent reports that have the 38-40 HR/100 RBI threat now looking for a 4-year/$60-70M dollar deal. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) reported on Twitter earlier this afternoon that, as he put it, "The Chicago White Sox have jumped in on free agent Adam Dunn, according to sources. Kenny Williams' interest appears serious." The Sox were, of course, one of the teams with which Washington reportedly talked before the 2010 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, but the two sides couldn't work out a deal. Now they'll lose their 1st Round pick if they manage to work out a deal, which will be weighed in Washington against the names (Carlos Quentin, Gordon Beckham, Edwin Jackson and apparently Daniel Hudson since half of the Nats' fanbase is convinced that Rizzo passed on Hudson though I'm not sure why Hudson's name in particular took precedence over the rest) that the Nationals could have had at the deadline.
The White Sox hold the 23rd pick in the 2011 Draft, which would leave Washington with the 6th and 23rd picks (and then a supplementary pick between the 1st and 2nd Rounds) in what is supposed to be a deep draft if they Chicago manages to sign Dunn, which is far from a sure thing. But there aren't too many fans out there that I've seen or heard from celebrating the fact that they'd have to 1st Round picks...and the Nats would still need to get a 1B and big middle-of-the-order bat...
• Non-Tender Candidates: The Washington Nationals have until midnight tonight to decide whether or not to tender contracts to the following players: LHPs Sean Burnett, John Lannan, Doug Slaten; RHP Joel Peralta, Chien-Ming Wang; C's, Wil Nieves and Jesus Flores; OF/1B candidates Mike Morse and Josh Willingham and IF Alberto Gonzalez. Flores and Chien-Ming Wang are the big ?'s as far as I see it, with several writers following the Nats predicting that they'll non-tender Wang and try to re-sign him for less than the $1.6M dollars he'd be due in arbitration after they paid him $2M to rehab his surgically-repaired shoulder all season in 2010, especially if they're going to invest money in another recovering starter in Brandon Webb. Flores, who's missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, has taken a dropped a bit on the Nats' organizational ladder with Pudge Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos expected to be behind the plate when the season starts, but hopefully the Nats won't give up on the catcher they swiped from the Mets a few years back in the Rule 5 Draft.
• I'll include any updates in the Comments section as the night goes on.
(ed. note - " * = Zim's wrong, here, as much as it pains me to say so. (#sarcasm) Dunn was a free agent before after the '08 season.")