Adam Dunn is officially a free agent, having filed for free agency at some point after midnight last night (along with fellow Nats Miguel Batista, Willie Harris, Kevin Mench and Tyler Walker) following the official end of the 2010 MLB season. The Washington Nationals, who signed a then-28-year-old Adam Dunn to a 2-year/$20M dollar deal before the 2009 season, now have until 11:59:59 on Saturday night to negotiate exclusively with their big middle-of-the-order bat, who's hit 65 doubles and 76 HR's while driving in 208 runs and posting a .264/.378/.533 slash line during his time in the nation's capital, before he's available league-wide. In a late-season interview with MASNSports.com's Jen Royle, the 30-year-old free-agent-to-be told the MASN reporter that he wanted to get a deal done, whether in D.C. (his preference) or elsewhere, as quickly as possibe once the season was over:
Adam Dunn: "I want whatever's going to happen, hopefully it's obviously here, but early, early in the season, so I can plan for where I'm going to stay and things like that. So, hopefully it's here, but if not, hopefully it gets done fairly early."
Granted free agency on November 1st 2008 with the D-Backs declining to offer him arbitration after they'd acquired the Reds' 1998 2nd Round pick in a trade that sent Dallas Buck (minors), Wilkin Castillo and Micah Owings to Cincinnati, Dunn, who expected to find a long-term deal on the market, waited until February 11th 2009 before agreeing to join the former Reds' GM Jim Bowden in Washington, taking the Nats' 2-year/$20 million dollar contract, which was reportedly the best he was offered.
With the big middle-of-the-order bat's contract due to expire at the end of the 2010 campaign, the Nationals refused to blink at the 2010 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, with D.C. GM Mike Rizzo telling reporters when a much-rumored-and-anticipated deal never materialized that the team, "...never got a deal that we thought was equal or greater value to Adam Dunn," or, apparently, equal or greater value than the two draft picks the Nats will receive if they offer Dunn arbitration (a given, right?) and he ultimately decides to sign elsewhere. The Chicago Cubs are the only NL team that's openly expressed interest in signing Adam Dunn, but there are questions about whether or not Chicago can afford the big deal Dunn wants.
Chicago Tribune writer Paul Sullivan reported yesterday, in an article entitled, "Cubs' organizational meetings begin Tuesday", that Adam Dunn would be a topic of discussion for the Cubs when they met in Mesa, Arizona today for their annual organizational meetings, but MLB.com's Carrie Muskat wrote today, in an article entitled, "With Quade locked in, Cubs aim to patch holes", that though, "Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has said he wants Adam Dunn...the free-agent first baseman may not fit in the budget." The Yankees, Tigers and Chicago White Sox have also been rumored to have interest in Dunn, but until Saturday night, only the Nats can negotiate, though no one who's been asked seems to think any deal will get done. It's down to four days now, and then Dunn's available for anyone who wants him, if anyone other than the Nats wants him this time...
• First Baseman Mentioned As Potential Targets For Washington: