When the word came out that Adam Dunn had signed a four year contract with The Chicago White Sox yesterday, the first thought that came to mind was: "What's Ryan Zimmerman going to think about this?" The Z-Man had openly campaigned for Our Washington Nationals to re-sign the lefty slugger to an extension. In the two years Dunn wore the Curly "W", Zimmy had arguably two of his best seasons offensively of his still young baseball career. Adam protected Ryan in D.C.'s lineup because Dunn put fear into opposing pitchers. "Lone Star" was capable of launching a monster home run just about any time he stepped to the plate.
Unfortunately, Dunn was also just as capable of striking out every time he stepped to the plate. He also wasn't the best fielder defensively. But he was still the best offensive threat out there on the free agent market this off-season. And he was ours--at least over the past two seasons.
Washington has no one else currently waiting in the wings to fill Adam Dunn's rather large shoes. Four years after being drafted by Our Washington Nationals in 2007, Chris Marrero is nowhere near ready for The Big Leagues. Defensively, he's challenged too. Looking at the current Free Agent market for 1st Baseman, there is little top talent there as well. Some have mentioned Carlos Pena and Adam LaRoche as possibilities to wear a Nationals uniform, but those two don't exactly draw fans to the ballpark.
As it almost always come down to--money made the final decision. Washington reportedly offering up three years and $35 million, while The ChiSox ponied up four and $21 million more. You can't blame Dunn for taking it. You also hope Our GM Mike Rizzo has something else up his sleeve because right now, Our Washington Nationals have plenty of holes to fill in their efforts to put together a competitive team in The National League East for 2011. Not getting Adam Dunn to sign on the dotted line to remain in The Nation's Capital for the forseeable future just added another.
Ryan Zimmerman chose his public words wisely last night while talking to the press about Dunn signing with The White Sox. He wished his friend well. He proclaimed how much he still loves playing in Washington. And he remained confident in Washington's Front Office building a winner.
But Zimmy clearly was not happy about Adam Dunn switching teams.
P.S. For the record, Sohna and I were hoping Our Washington Nationals would re-sign Dunn to a three year deal. Adam returning to Washington would have brought credibility to this baseball market, without hampering the long-term effects of building a championship caliber team.
Good Luck on the South Side--Adam Dunn.
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