Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nationals Sign Adam Dunn

Well, that was quick.

Just one day after I pleaded with the Nationals to add talent, the Nationals signed Adam Dunn to a very reasonable two year contract worth $20 million big ones. The deal gives the Nationals the power hitting presence in the middle of their order that they have been missing since they came to Washington DC.

Here is what I wrote just a week ago about Dunn and the Nationals:
"Hypothetically speaking, I think the Nationals would actually be a pretty good fit for Dunn. Odds are the Nationals would have to overpay for Dunn because nobody wants to come to DC right now except for that Obama guy. The Nationals are not exactly a hot bed for free agents and the baseball culture in DC is still a work in progress. However, at the same time, if you stick Dunn in the middle of the Nationals lineup (in between Milledge and Zimmerman), all of a sudden that lineup does not look so bad. The big donkey could actually put up some huge numbers in that lineup and help those young players develop.

But there is no way to get around it, the Nationals are Dunn's last option. He does not want to go there...period. But at the same time, the Nationals may be Dunn's last option if he wants to get a big payday. Something in the 2 year/$26 million dollar range would not be unreasonable for either side and would allow Dunn to become a free agent again at the age of 32."
So obviously, I love this move for Dunn and the Nationals. Dunn has his deficiencies (defense, batting average, RISP), but everyone knows that he brings so much to the table with his power and ability to get on base that it would have been foolish for the Nationals not to go after him. It remains to be seen how effective Dunn will be at first base, but I look forward to watching Dunn perform in DC. He instantly becomes one of the most talented players to put on a Nationals jersey. Good move, Jim Bowden.

I might have to go buy some Nationals tickets now...

12 comments:

Andrew Vazzano said...

You don't think that's a little (a lot) too much money considering the market?

Plus, they're the Nationals.

Josh said...

Andrew,
But as you said, they're the Nationals...who would want to play there? Nobody. Hell, Dunn didn't even want to go there, but he was left with no options.

Because of this, I think the Nats had to overpay to get Dunn to come to DC. There is no doubt that they paid a premium price during a very, very bad market.

Thanks for the comment.

Andrew Vazzano said...

I guess you're right.

But yeeeesh. As if the Nats needed another outfielder.

Josh said...

Andrew,
I'm guessing that the Nationals will have Dunn play first, which is a scary thought in itself.

This guy has DH written all over him.

I can see it now...Jose Reyes leading off the game against the Nats with a drag bunt and Dunn lumbering over to pick up the ball. By the time he gets to the ball, Reyes is well past first with an easy single.

I'd love to see Luis Castillo try that as well...

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Damn it!! I hear Wren's budget was too strapped to offer him or Abreu very much. Well, let's hope a platoon of Brandon Jones and Matt Diaz does the trick. Sure worked well last year.

Josh said...

theMARksMiTH: What do you know about Brandon Jones? In your opinion, he is a good enough talent for the Braves to pass up on the bigger names?

thanks for the comment.

Michael said...

Overpay? $20 million over 2 seasons for a 40 HR, 100 RBI talent is STEAL! Defense is overrated, getting on base is how baseball games are won and lost, and Dunn is one of the best in game at getting to first. He's basically a lock for a .900 OPS every year, from a highly durable (knock on wood) guy who plays nearly game. The Nats lost so much last year because the team couldn't muster a .700 OPS collectively. (sidenote: Acta's practice of having guys who refuse to take balls/walks lead off games should get him fired) My only complaint is that they didn't sign him to a longer deal. Great move Nats!

Josh said...

Michael,
I agree that this was a very good move for the Nationals. They needed pop, and that's exactly what Dunn will give them. I love his ability to get on base and take a walk, all of which will help the Nationals lineup.

But when you talk about Dunn being "overpaid", its in this sense. He did not have another offer out there, no other teams were interested, and there was even talk that Dunn was only going to get a 1 year/$5 million dollar offer. Obviously, the Nationals were bidding against themselves here and probably paid more for Dunn than any other team would have or was willing too.

But when you consider that Dunn wanted 4 year/$56 million dollar deal at the beginning of free agency, you have to say that the Nationals still did quite well for themselves.

And I'm sure the Nats would have liked to sign Dunn for a longer period of time, but for Dunn, it would not have made much sense. This year's market was awful and he might be selling himself short by having a longer contract now, instead of testing the market again at 31, when the market might be better.

thanks for the great comment.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

As for Brandon Jones, the simple answer is no. He really hasn't been that great in his minor league career. I think a few people got excited about his 2007 season, but his 2008 was as poor as the 2007 season was good. He and Diaz could prove to be an acceptable platoon, but I'd rather Schafer (don't mark me on this until after Spring Training -- I want to get in a few looks at him) share time in left with Diaz and have Anderson in center. I still think the Braves should have tried to get Dunn or even Burrell (though that ship sailed a long time ago). I just hope Heyward goes Jay Bruce on the minors this season.

Michael said...

Josh,
I totally agree that Dunn got way more here than he would have elsewhere, but the Nats couldn't have signed him at that price. If Dunn were likable, he'd have gotten most or all of what he asking for. Lucky for us, he's considered to be a jerk. Thankfully for us, you don't here too many complaints from his actual former teammates, and he had already been friends with Kearns and Zimmerman prior to signing.

As for him lumbering down to grab a Jose Reyes bunt, are there any first basemen who'd make that play? Certainly not Demetri Young or Ronnie Belliard, and Nick Johnson would get a season ending injury running into the pitcher (or perhaps from a stiff breeze).

I know signing him long term was never an option as Dunn wants a World Series ring almost as much a s huge paycheck.

One thing we can probably all agree on is that we'll be hearing "Bustin' Lose" a lot more this season. Hopefully they won't all be solo shots. If Dukes stays healthy, pays his child support, and hits like he did after May last season, the middle of the Nats line up becomes rather formidable, perhaps one of the better ones in baseball.

Great blog, keep up the good work, and thanks for providing a venue to start talking baseball for the new season. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training this weekend!

Josh said...

Michael,
Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

I really looked forward to watching a Lastings Millege-Elijah Dukes outfield this season, but that might have wait...how sad.

Great comment as always.

Anonymous said...

$20 million to suck even more than you did last year? Sounds reasonable. How them tickets working out for you?