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Wire Taps: Reading Adam Dunn/Washington Nationals/Chicago White Sox Tea Leaves.

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Adam Dunn and his agent may have an argument to make about the value of his 38-40 HR/100+ RBI bat's worth in light of the published reports about the 4-year/$48 million dollar offer the Florida Marlins were reportedly willing to give perennial 30/90+ bat Dan Uggla before he was traded yesterday to Atlanta after turning down that deal, and according to some reports, even an increased offer. Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell, in a chat entitled simply, "Ask Boswell", back in the first week of October, speculated that the Nats' offer sat at the time around 3-years/$30 million, which would have paid Dunn $2M a year less than he made in 2010. Mr. Boswell argued in the chat that even if Dunn were to accept a "hometown" discount to stay in D.C., he couldn't do so at that price without drawing the ire of the players' union:

"...if you go 20-30-maybe-40 per cent below market value, then you've made a decision that hurts many other players...If you woke up in Dunn's shoes, you wouldn't take $10 X 3 = $30 when the market is saying that $12-13-14 X 3 = $36-to-$42M is what you can get. And some think he'll get four years."

D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told Mr. Boswell's colleague, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, in a Nationals Journal post yesterday entitled, "Nationals 'keeping options open' at first base, with Adam Dunn", that the Nats' middle-of-the-order bat in the last two seasons, "'...opted to include himself in the free agent market,'" meaning, as recent reports have hinted, that there was a fair offer left on the table by Dunn. Going forward, Mr. Rizzo said the team would, "'...certainly have to look at not only Adam, but other avenues also,'" to fill the big hole at first base and in the middle of their lineup. The Dunn camp is reportedly looking into other options as well. 

ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine wrote Tuesday in an article entitled, "Source: Adam Dunn expects $40 million", that a "major league source" told him, "Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams met with Adam Dunn's agent in preliminary discussions on what Dunn is expecting in free agency this offseason." According to "one major league manager" Mr. Levine spoke to, "..the starting point for Dunn will be a three-year, $40-million deal." Is that definitive proof that the Nats did up their offer to $13+M a year? No. But it would make sense that Dunn and his agent are starting with the best offer they think they can get from the Nats.

If you remember, Dunn left the Nationals' 2-year/$20 million dollar offer on the table so long in the winter of '08-'09 that some saw it as a clear indication that he accepted the offer not because he wanted to become a Nat, but because it was simply the best offer available for a player many even then saw as a DH. Dunn and his agent might not want to wait as long this time, (and Dunn's on record saying he doesn't want to). The LA Dodgers, who were reportedly potential suitors for Dunn last time he hit the market, are, "...not expected to enter the bidding for free-agent slugger Adam Dunn," as LA Times' writer Kevin Baxter noted in a recent article entitled, "Dodgers ponder decision on Russell Martin" and SI.com's Jon Heyman reported via Twitter (@SI_JonHeyman) this morning, that the most often mentioned option for a Dunn-replacement doesn't look like he's going to stay in Tampa Bay: 

"never count #rays out of anything, but it seems unlikely now they will keep carlos pena. nationals 1 possibility"

Mr. Heyman also observed in another Tweet, echoing recent reports that an offer from the Nats has been on the table for some time, that the, "#nationals try for adam dunn has seemed half-hearted. last offer came sept. 1. they love defense. he may be forced into DH." Something's got to give here...and as it has for several years now, it looks like the only decision to be made is whether or not the 31-year-old slugger will take the biggest offer available and move the American League, or accept the Nats' (or some mystery NL team's) offer and remain in the field...