I really felt that Boswell's column would have touched off a bit more of a firestorm than it did. Dunn is widely liked by fans and teammates, and I was a bit suprised that this news didn't anger or alarm more people, but maybe the answer is we now view the media as part of the process. I doubt Boswell would take orders from the team as to what to write, but I do not doubt that Rizzo or Kasten would lead him to believe something they want writen. There is a mass of first base free agents this off-season. Dunn and Konerko could be viewed as the best of them, but it could be believed that Pena, who has had a down year could bounce back and have a good year next season. Then there are guys like Derrek Lee and Lance Berkman who are aging but are still viewed as good defensive guys and team leaders. Then there are the guys like Wigginton and Huff that have had seasons well above their career numbers that could be looking to turn one good season into big money. Lower down the list are players like Cantu and Glaus that could be viewed as the last resort. There are also players like Victor Martinez that most likely will have to change positions to extend their careers, and first base is the most likely home. Also do not forget that Adam LaRoche has a $7.5 mutual option that he could opt out of if he thinks he can make more money as a free agent. And there are even guys I left out like Mark Kotsay and Xavier Nady that can play right field as well as first base.
Mike Rizzo of course keeps saying publically that the team wants to keep Adam Dunn, and everything else is a back up plan. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Dunn doesn't like the idea of another two year contract, but the decsions he made might be what led him here, and with the added emphasis around baseball on defense and paying players there true value I don't see many other clubs willing to overpay for Dunn either. --Harper from natsbaseball.com
I am hoping Gaby Sanchez gets booed and to see at least one hit batter. Of course my opinion doesn't matter, but with the way the Nationals play against the Marlins we might need something to keep the game interesting, but it most likely won't be happening as manager Jim Riggleman is encouraging the players to put it behind them. --Mark Zuckerman at natsinsider.com
More thoughts and links on the Nats and baseball after the jump.
What is the biggest off-season need? According to Mike Rizzo it is an ace starting pitcher. Of course this doesn't mean the Nationals can get Cliff Lee, but it might mean they get a guy like De La Rosa, Bonderman, Lilly, or Pavano that aren't aces but can be good middle of the rotation guys. --Mike Rizzo via Ben Goessling at masnsports.com
No chance. No dice. Less than zero. That is how much chance a couple of scouts think Nyjer has of being back with the Nationals next season. --Jayson Stark at espn.com
I think it is a little presumptive to go ahead and say that Dunn and Morgan won't be here next year, but it does make for more entertaining reading, and at least people are talking baseball. I hear there might be some game Sunday night that has some people in this area intrested. --Holden Kushner from csnwashington.com
If a prospect wants to play in the Nationals' minor leagues then they have to play the game hard, the right way, get their uniform dirty, show toughness, grit, and scrappiness. Sorry I couldn't resist. --Byron Kerr from masnsports.com
Ian Desmond has hit better after the all-star break, but is it enough to move him into the conversation for ROY? No, it isn't, but I do wonder what his defense would look like without all the errors. Desmond has a high range factor and a good arm, so you take away some of his errors next season with either experience or practice and his WAR most likely goes up due to him simply playing the defense that is expected of him. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
Livo has done a great job for the Nationals this season, but could it be the best minor league deal handed out this past off-season? Your vote could help decide. --Ben Nicholson-Smith at mlbtraderumors.com
Is it possible that a line-up that includes Wil Nieves, Willie Harris, and Alberto Gonzalez can actually score more runs than the regular line-up? A look at the myth of the Sunday line-up. --The Common Man at platoonadvantage.com
Colorado rookie steals home while pitcher stares at ground. --AP via si.com
Sustained success at the closers position is rare. Trevor Hoffman might be a shell of his former self, but 600 saves is quite a feat. --Tim Marchman from si.com
I hope Lannan's last stretch of games is not an illusion and we can keep seeing this pitcher for the rest of this season and next season. Enjoy your weekend. Hopefully there is good news to talk about on Monday.