2. With the entire baseball world speculating on who would acquire the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat, Adam Dunn, the Washington Nationals went into the 2010 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline with a specific return on their power bat in mind and when they didn't get the offer they wanted, the Washington Nationals and DC GM Mike Rizzo didn't blink or accept less than fair value in return:
"The reason that we didn't trade Adam Dunn," DC GM Mike Rizzo explained in a post deadline press conference, "...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."
Asked by reporters immediately after the Non-Waiver Deadline had passed if the Nats had to sign Dunn to justify the decision to not trade him, the DC GM said simply, "We are going to talk extension with Adam Dunn's representatives, we're certainly not going to discuss that with the media. Adam Dunn is a big part of our ballclub, we've shown that by not trading him for lesser value." As the season came to an end however, with Mr. Rizzo stating in interviews that accepting the draft picks the Nats would receive in return should Dunn depart via free agency rather than re-up in Washington appealed to him as a former scout, the D.C. Faithful decided to make their own feelings known.
"Sign Adam Dunn!" "Sign Adam Dunn!" as the Nats wrapped up their 2010 schedule at home a certain segment of the fanbase made sure to let the Nats know what they wanted. "Sign Adam Dunn" chants emerged from a normally appreciative but not-necessarily assertive crowd, who'd decided that they had to have their voices heard. Adam Dunn heard them, telling Nats Insider.com's Mark Zuckerman, as quoted in an article entitled, "Sign Adam Dunn? Fans say yes":
"'It's starting to become home,' [Dunn] said. 'The way the fans have received me, it's good. I don't know how else to put it. That's something that doesn't happen often.'"
In two seasons as the Nats' BMOTOB, Adam Dunn's connected for 76 home runs, falling short of 40 HR's two-years-in-a-row in D.C. after having hit 40+ for the previous five seasons. Dunn's hit 65 doubles and driven in 208 runs, with a .265/.375/.536 slash line in 2010 and a .264/.378/.533 line combined in his two seasons as a National. How exactly the Nats think they'll replace that offensive production (even if there are signs of decline) is unclear, with the options thus far mentioned less than appealing to most in NatsTown. But it's not just the fans. Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore quoted the Nats' FOF™, the Face of the Franchise, Ryan Zimmerman expressing a sentiment similar to that which the fans shouted throughout the final homestand in an article entitled, "Adam Dunn's homer sends Nationals past Phillies", in which the normally press-and-controversy shy Nat openly shared his own opinion:
"'I think we've all said enough,' Zimmerman said, before saying some more. 'If they don't sign him, they better find someone good to replace him. I think all of us think that. I think, more important, all the fans think that.'"
The fans want it, his teammates want it, Adam Dunn's on record saying he wants to stay. Much to Adam Dunn's dismay it's been one of the bigger stories all year, and will continue to be a big story this winter as Dunn tests the free agent market to see if he can find the long-term deal he was denied before he signed in D.C. Has the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat hit his last Hondo-esque HR (as a Nat) in Nationals Park?