Can we cross the Cubs off the list of teams that might have interest in signing soon-to-be-completely free agent first baseman Adam Dunn? Chicago Sun Times' writer Gordon Wittenmyer started a lot of the Dunn-to-Chicago chatter with an article in late August entitled, "Adam Dunn's a Wrigley fan", about how much the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat enjoyed playing inside the Cubs' ivy-walled home, with the Nats' first baseman quoted in the article saying "'[Wrigley Field's] obviously one of my favorite parks to hit in, [and] I've always really enjoyed playing there.'" Mr. Wittenmyer wrote at the time that, "Dunn is willing to talk [to Chicago] if the Washington Nationals don't make a strong push to get him signed to an extension before he becomes a free agent in the fall." In later articles as the Nationals' and Cubs' seasons ended and the Hot Stove warmed waiting for the World Series to conclude, Mr. Wittenmyer and other Chicago-based writers spoke to several Cubs including Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster who all expressed interest in seeing the 6'6'' 285lb 38/100+ threat added to the middle of the Cubs' order...
Earlier this week, however, Chicago Tribune writer Paul Sullivan reported, in an article entitled, "Cubs' organizational meetings begin Tuesday", that one of the topics of discussion at the Cubs' annual organizational meetings in Mesa, Arizona would be whether or not the team would pursue the 30-year-old slugger:
"The Adam Dunn question will be debated in Arizona, with the Cubs apparently ready to pursue the left-handed slugger to play first base and protect Aramis Ramirez in the lineup. Hendry has a long relationship with Dunn, as does pitcher Ryan Dempster, while Zambrano has already lobbied for the signing."
MLB.com writer Carrie Muskat warned, however, in an article entitled, "With Quade locked in, Cubs aim to patch holes", that in spite of the fact that the Cubs' players were in favor of the team signing Dunn, "...the free-agent first baseman may not fit in the budget," of a team that's already saddled with several long-term deals. And according to the Chicago Sun Times' Gordon Wittenmyer's reporting in an article Thursday entitled, "Hendry won't be big on big-name free agents", the MLB.com writer's prediction was correct as Mr. Wittenmyer writes that the, "[Cubs'] payroll budget...figures to leave little room for big-shot free agents," so GM Jim Hendry had turned to his attention to, "the likes of lefty-hitting Nick Johnson -- if the medicals look good enough -- for first base."
The Cubs were the only NL team that had openly expressed interest in the AL-averse Dunn, who'd reportedly prefer to put off becoming a DH. The Yankees, A's, Tigers and White Sox have come up in talk about potential destinations for Dunn, so much like last time he was granted free agency it appears that the best offers out there will be from American League teams. The Nationals have until midnight on Saturday to negotiate exclusively with the nation's capital's modern-era Hondo. Do the Nats want Dunn back? Are there any other NL teams out there interested in Dunn, or will he finally decide it's time to put the glove away and go American League?