The baseball world is angry. DC GM Mike Rizzo isn't budging. Adam Dunn has yet to be traded, if he will in fact be dealt. Baseball writers around the country, however, are baffled as to what exactly it is the Washington Nationals' Front Office is up to. Take ESPN.com's Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) for example. Mr. Olney, who occassionally hears things, reported the following over his twitter account last night:
"Heard this: Other teams say that in recent weeks,the Nationals had told other teams that a key piece to anyone who wanted Adam...Dunn was Edwin Jackson. This caused a number of teams to try to pry Jackson away from the D-Backs, with the White Sox...finally landing Jackson today--and as of 7 p.m. Eastern, the Nats are indicating they're not sure if they want Jackson anymore. So as of tonight, teams are pulling their hair out over the Nats' machinations. We'll see if the White Sox can finish a Dunn deal."
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) ended the night before the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline speculating that the White Sox, the rumored partner for any trade of Adam Dunn, were, uh, done trying to acquire the Nats' big middle of the order bat:
"#WhiteSox saying, again, that they are out on Dunn. If that's true, Dunn could stay with #Nationals. #Rays only in at [right] price...#Nationals don't seem ready to budge. So, barring mystery team, hard to see Dunn deal. #WhiteSox can wait until Aug. - Alex Rios time."
Buster Olney's colleague at ESPN.com, Keith Law (@KeithLaw) is hearing that Chicago's deal yesterday to acquire RHP Edwin Jackson was done with the Nats in mind, but then Washington decided it wasn't sure if they wanted the former Dodgers' Rays', Tigers' and D-Backs' starter, which has the White Sox scratching their collective head:
"Heard from an exec not involved in the discussions that the White Sox are furious with the Nats over Edwin Jackson."
"If this all true - and while I believe it is, ultimately it's hearsay - the White Sox would be right to be upset..."
"Just speculating, but Nats could have had other irons in the fire and said "if you get Jackson, we can talk, but w/o him you have no chance..."
Throughout it all, the DC GM Mike Rizzo has remained calm, repeating to anyone who'll listen that the Nats will have to be blown away to deal Adam Dunn. It's going to be painful for any other team. The Nats don't have to make a deal...Here's what The RZO had to say late Friday afternoon in an appearance on the MLB Network:
Mike Rizzo on Wilson Ramos:
Mike Rizzo: "We think it was a good solid deal for both clubs. Minnesota needed a ninth inning guy, Matt Capps is an All-Star representative, and we had a hole to fill along with Pudge Rodriguez at catcher, and any time you can acquire a 22-year-old major-league-ready, what we feel is an everyday catcher in the big leagues, it's very, very difficult to turn that down, so we pulled the trigger on that. Matt was a tough guy to move on, one of my favorite players in all of baseball, and did a terrific job for us, but it was a deal that I thought we had to make for the betterment of the franchise."
Mike Rizzo on the Nats' Future:
DC GM Mike Rizzo: "You always have to evaluate your ballclub and see where your deficiences are, as we did last years. We thought that our major deficiency was our bullpen. We really addressed that, actively went after trying to improve that. I think this year, you can never have enough starting pitching. We would like to have a front of the lineup starting pitcher to lessen the load on guys like Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. So that's always a point of emphasis. We certainly have to get better defensively, John [Hart], we've played very shoddy baseball. With the pitch to contact staff that we have now, you have to pick the ball up better, we've really, really been playing bad defense and we have to be better fundamentally. We're looking for upside guys, some power on the corners, starting pitching and we need to get better defense and more athletic."
When will Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiter and Jordan ZImmermann be in the rotation together?:
THE RZO: "Ross is currently with us, he had his first start the other day. Stras, he's going to skip a start on Sunday, and he should be back when his 15-Day Disabled List stint is up, and Jordan Zimmermann is on his fourth rehab stint and he will probably be in the big leagues sometime in the early part of August so, sometime after the first week of August those three of those guys should be in the bullpen together. Jason Marquis should be back from his injury, and we're looking forward to getting those guys down and to help with the starters that we have with Livan and the rest of them..."
Adam Dunn? What's the interest and could you hold on to him?
Mr. Rizzo: "There's certainly a chance we're holding on to him. There's a lot of interest in him. It started with seven or eight teams, there's three or four teams that have serious interest in him but we said all along that we really need to get good value for this player, he's such a popular player, not only with our fanbase, but such a powerful leader in our clubhouse. Of course, 40 HR's, a 100 RBI's and a .400 OBP doesn't grow on trees, so he's an important part for us, the organization and the ownership is not forcing me to move money so that's a point in our favor, it allows me to make a good baseball deal or hold where I'm at and keep Adam Dunn as our four-hitter for the rest of the season and beyond."
10 hours and counting...