MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote recently, in an article entitled, "Inbox: Should Dunn get an extension?", that though he's gone back and forth, he's finally reached the conclusion that, "The Nationals have to find a player who can hit and play defense. If they can't, then sign Dunn to an extension," while offering the caveat that the signing has to be supplemented by the acquisition a "superior defensive second baseman" as Mr. Ladson describes it. ESPN.com's Buster Olney, however, writes this morning in a section of an article entitled, "The glare of the race", which is subtitled, "Moves, deals and decisions", that getting the Nats' big middle-of-the-order-bat signed became a much more difficult proposition when they failed to do so in Spring Training, during the season or before the recently-passed Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. Now, Mr. Olney writes, "...they essentially will have to compete against what Dunn could get as a free agent in the fall,":
"So any number the Nationals propose to Dunn before he becomes a free agent will have to reflect that reality. Here's a scary thought for the Nationals: What if the Yankees or some other team signs two or three Type A free agents? It's possible that Washington could come out of this with only a second- or third-round pick and a sandwich pick as compensation for Dunn, as the Brewers did with CC Sabathia after the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in the same offseason."
And if you somehow think the possibility of Dunn leaving via free is unlikely, one glance at an article by Chicago Sun-Times' writer Gordon Wittenmyer entitled, "Zambrano still the man in the middle", should destroy any illusions about what a serious risk the Nats have taken, as Mr. Wittenmyer quotes Cubs' third baseman Aramis Ramirez discussing the possibility of adding Dunn to a roster that will more-than-likely lose Derrek Lee to free agency this winter, opening up a significant amount of space on Chicago's payroll:
"'I don't know if they're going to spend the money,' returning third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. 'But Adam Dunn would fit anybody's lineup. But they're going to have to spend a lot of money to get Adam Dunn.'"
In Rizzo We Trust, but please, #signDunn!