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Wire Taps: Should Washington Nationals Fans Prepare For Adam Dunn's Departure?

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MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling has promised another installment of DC GM Mike Rizzo's MASNSports.com blog this morning in which the current state of negotations with the Nats' big middle-of-the-order bat Adam Dunn will be discussed. In light of Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell's article yesterday entitled, "Washington Nationals' future lineup likely won't include Adam Dunn", which Mr. Boswell starts by writing jarringly, "Adam Dunn is done in Washington," only to later admit that he must, "...concede there's a long shot chance I'm wrong. The Nats and Dunn are still on decent terms, and they should be," the post by Mr. Rizzo will be pored over for any hint of a change in the team's public stance about whether or not they'll #signDUNN, as some in NatsTown are wondering if fans of the Washington Nationals aren't being prepared for the eventual departure of the nation's capital's modern-era-Hondo.

The Washington Post writer ends the article by arguing for Dunn to remain in the nation's capital. The crux of Mr. Boswell's argument focuses on the Dunn-effect in the middle of the Nats' lineup, with the WaPost writer noting that in, "The past two years, [Ryan] Zimmerman has blossomed with Dunn hitting behind him," going from .266/.330/.458 in 2007, and .283/.333/.442 in 2008, up to .292/.364/.525 in his first year hitting in front of Dunn and his current .298/.384/.514 line, thanks in part, at least, to the big bat hitting behind him in the order, which in turn results in the hitter batting second benefiting as well, by hitting in front of the two of them, "...where a potential future star of your choice, whether it's Desmond, Espinosa or Bernadina, can get tons of pitches to hit."

Similarly, in an interview on Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio show "The Power Alley" recently, DC GM Mike Rizzo told hosts Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette, that the Nats were, "...trying to get something done," with Adam Dunn, "because we think that he's a big part of our future and he makes everybody in that lineup so much better and we're working at it diligently every day," while Nats' team President Stan Kasten's was quoted last week in ESPN.com's Jayson Stark entitled, "Is it time to push back trading deadline?", saying that the Nationals would, "...still like to bring back Adam Dunn," though he (forebodingly to some) acknowledged that, "if Dunn leaves as a free agent and 'we don't have that," (with "that" being a big middle-of-the-order bat), "'...we have to replace it,'" because as Mr. Kasten sees it, according to Mr. Stark, "... better days are closer than most people realize."

Which is pretty much what the Nats' Face of the Franchise™ Ryan Zimmerman told MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr back in early July when it was still assumed that Dunn would be dealt at the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline:

Ryan Zimmerman: "'One of the hardest things to find on a team is a 3-4-5. I think we have a pretty good one here. Personally, I think if you get rid of a couple of those guys, we will maybe take a step backward instead of forwards. I don't think we are that far away.'"

Dunn wants to stay. The Nats' FOF wants him in the lineup. The GM and team President, at least publically, have said they'd like to work something out...So why haven't they? Why has it gotten this far? Why should Adam Dunn, now that it has come this far, not test the market and see if he can get the 3-4-year deal he's wanted for years? According to the Washington Post's Mr. Boswell, the 10-year-veteran and perennial 38-40 HR/100+ RBI threat wants to know what else he's got to prove "What do I have to do [to stay here] that I haven't done?" Dunn said Tuesday. "I get it - the defense, the stat guys." Can the Nationals replace the offense and simultaneously improve the Nats' defense? Not likely. Mr. Boswell ends his article by answering his own questions: 

"Sluggers who have 350 homers at the age of 30 and want to play for the Nats don't grow on trees. In fact, there's only one in existence.

"Take a (last) good look."