WASHINGTON - AUGUST 01: Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals tosses his bat after striking out in the tenth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on August 1 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian appeared on the Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio show "First Pitch with Rob Dibble and Jim Memolo", to talk about the aftermath of the 2010 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline this morning, and was asked for his thoughts on the Washington Nationals' decision to hold on to Adam Dunn:
Tim Kurkjian: "[The Nats] just didn't get offered enough for him and I know they've taken a lot of heat out there for not moving him, but I was listening to you yesterday, Dibs, you know, you still have to have somebody to come out the ballpark and watch, and if Stephen Strasburg is hurt, I mean, really, who are you coming out to watch on the Nationals? That guy hit another homer yesterday, he's got  of them now, he's a fun guy to watch, and the Nationals are also in a spot here where they have to make some progress at some point, they have to win as many games as they can to show people, 'Look, we're moving in the right direction here,' to just trade a guy just to say, 'Hey look, we have the best hitter on the market, we're going to deal him,' I'm not sure I understand that, if you don't get what you want then you still try to sign him to a free agent deal, if you don't, then you lose him to free agency, you take the picks and then you do your best to go sign [Paul] Konerko or Derrek Lee or Carlos Pena or another free agent first baseman out there, I'm just not a believer of 'OK, we're not going to win the division so let's trade all of our best players, even if we can't get equal value,' I don't think they got equal value for him and that's why he's still on the Nationals."
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said the same in a post-deadline press conference on Saturday afternoon:
Mike Rizzo: "The reason that we didn't trade Adam Dunn is that we never got a deal that we thought was equal or greater value to Adam Dunn. We were on the receiving end of the calls, we weren't making the calls, we got a lot of interest in Adam and just didn't see an equal return to what Adam Dunn brings to the ballclub on and off the field."
Nonetheless, ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who was still expressing disbelief on Sunday afternoon in a column entitled, "The deadline from all angles", was left asking, "What in the world was Washington thinking?" Mr. Olney reports that the Nats made a late attempt at getting their big middle-of-the-order bat signed, but failed to do so, and in his opinion at least:
"...their chances of landing the slugger to a hometown discount evaporated as it became clear how much the big-market contenders value his two particular skills, mashing homers and getting on base."
As the deadline passed, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@ken_rosenthal) was tweeting that new sources were telling him that the Nats were not actively shopping Dunn, "Source says #Nationals have not made counter-offer on Dunn 'in days,'" and in the end, minutes before the deadline, Mr. Rosenthal reported that the White Sox, who were reportedly apoplectic about their dealings with the DC GM believed that the, "#Nats are using them to drive interest in Dunn. Nats had asked for Beckham. No discussions, to repeat, in days." And in his final Tweet on the subject, Mr. Rosenthal, as the deadline arrived said simply, "Exec on Dunn: "He's not going anywhere. Bank on it."
The reports out of Chicago, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney again, were that the White Sox were, "... pulling their hair out over the Nats' machinations," having acquired RHP Edwin Jackson from Arizona with the intention of flipping the pitcher the Nats reportedly desired to Washington in exchange for Adam Dunn, but as Mr. Rizzo told reporters Saturday afternoon, "I'm not going to comment on any single player, but there was no player that we asked some team to acquire that we were going to trade Adam Dunn for." "Could any one player have gotten the deal done?" Mr. Rizzo was asked in a follow-up question, "They would have to be a player that has equal or more impact value than Adam Dunn has in our lineup and clubhouse right now." "But it could have been one [player]?" "It certainly could have been one, yes," Mr. Rizzo stated finally.
That one player? Back on the Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio show "First Pitch with Rob Dibble and Jim Memolo", Mr.'s Memolo and Kurkjian identified the one player they believed would have gotten the deal done all along, with Mr. Memolo mentioning Gordon Beckham as one player who could have gotten the Sox their slugger, to which Mr. Kurkjian responded:
Tim Kurkjian: "Right, and if the White Sox had given them Gordon Beckham, of course, they drive to Chicago and drop [Dunn] off, they pick [Beckham] up immediately, that's ridiculous, there's no way the White Sox are making that trade, obviously, but [RHP] Daniel Hudson is not Gordon Beckham and Edwin Jackson who makes $8.35 million with an ERA over 5.00, he's not Gordon Beckham either, so in the end if those were indeed the best offers for Adam Dunn, than that simply isn't good enough, now if they did better than that and turned down somebody, well then they made a mistake, but I pay pretty close [attention] to this and I did not see anybody coming Washington's way that was worthy of trading basically the best hitter on your team and a guy that people actually come out to watch."
In Rizzo We Trust.