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Dunn ready to commit

Mar 1, 2010, 11:17 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Adam Dunn has spent the last nine years in the major leagues, during which time he has established himself as one of the game's most-consistent sluggers. Yet he believes he's never produced a full season up to full capability.

Aside from a 1 1/2-month stint with the Diamondbacks in 2008, he's never played for a winning team, so he could sign with any contender who would have him. Yet he'd rather stay with the Nationals.

He could move to the American League, serve out the rest of his days as a designated hitter and not worry about anything having to do with defense. Yet he'd rather stay in the National League and learn how to play first base.

In fact, if Dunn had his way, he and the Nats would agree to a long-term extension before the club breaks camp and heads north in four weeks.

"I hate doing contract stuff during the season," he said. "If it happens before Opening Day, great. If it doesn't … I want to worry about baseball. I hate when the trade deadline comes around. I hate that part of it. I like just concentrating on baseball and talking baseball as opposed to [contract talks]. Hopefully something gets done before Opening Day. If not, then 162 games."

Dunn and the Nationals commenced preliminary talks about a long-term deal about a month ago. His current contract — a two-year, $20 million deal — is due to expire at the end of the season, and it'sRead more ยป

  1. Nate - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I love Adam Dunn, but I have a bad feeling both he and the Nats will end up regretting any long-term extension signed this spring.

  2. LoveDaNats - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Sign Adam! I love the way you could tell the ball was outa here right off the bat. Adam is one of the Nats most positive players, a great influence on the younger guys.

  3. Positively Half St. - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    For what it is worth, Baseball Prospectus puts Dunn's "True Average" (formerly EqA- Equivalent Average) at .302. They claim their measure is a better indicator of a player's worth. It also gives Dunn that .300 average.Of course, if he could bring his batting average up to .300 while maintaining his power and walks, he would be a monster, with a crazy "True Average".

  4. Andrew - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Such a positive article and then BOOM, I read Nate's comments.The Nats should sign him for 3 to 4 years with 2 option years if they can get away with that. If they can get some option years, then the risk isn't as great.I like Adam Dunn and hope he stays long term. 2011 is a huge year for this team that Rizzo should not want to search for his 40 HR 1st baseman and take the focus off of pitching, pitching, pitching and shortstop.

  5. Tegwar - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    If Adam can play a decent first base and continue to put up the numbers he has in the past his salary will increase quite a bit. The Nationals will have to decide if they want to take that gamble and wait…I say they will.

  6. peric - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Makes sense to go for that gamble … but have a back up plan. Something Rizzo seems quite adept at.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_is_Too_Pessimistic_For-_Me - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Pay the man, Shirley.

  8. spike94wl - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Sign Dunn and trade Chris Marrero for pitching. Please, Rizzo, please.

  9. Jim - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    At the Hot Stove lunch aq few weeks ago, either Kasten or Rizzo said signing Dunn was a top priority. It's troubling that it's not done yet.

  10. JayB - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:33 AM

    They are not going to do a deal with Dunn until he proves he can be at least an average defensive 1B man. Looks like he came in early and is working on it…..15 games should give them some comfort level with what he will be at 1B

  11. peric - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    GREAT interview today … interesting commentary hearing your thoughts about Capps, Bruney, and Storen plus a lot more … but I lost the link!

  12. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Peric: Which link?

  13. greg - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    wow, jim, you're quite impatient.

  14. Andrew - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    Jim – If you remember Zim's extension last year took to the end of Spring Training and a few days into the season.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    I get so frustrated when players cry about not being able to "just concentrate on baseball" because they don't have a new signed contract! Anyone who can't concentrate on a game when they just received 20 million dollars for these last two seasons can not be serious. Come on Dunn, just play first base. You already have all the darn money you will need in your life.

  16. Sec3MySofa - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Anon, I know what you mean, but the distraction isn't "How much?", it's moving your family to a new city on a day's notice, leaving your friends and coworkers, some of your identity, sell your house, buy a new one, maybe it's Toronto and you now need a whole new wardrobe for your whole family, and oh, yeah, be at work day after tomorrow and prove yourself all over again. Only people whose lives aren't working must like being traded, I think.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I love the idea of extending Dunn too, as long as it is not for more than 3 more years. Bottom line these big guys can break down fast and I don't think any of us would want a 35 year old Adam Dunn playing first base for the Nats.Buy 3 years at $30 to $35 million with a team option for a 4th year sounds pretty good to me.

  18. markfd - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Adam should be a long-term addition to the Nats, he is working hard in spring training to become a better first baseman and it is good to hear that he wants to become a better hitter too. If we can get done through 2012 at least it is a coup for Rizzo.

  19. raymitten - Mar 2, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Give Dunn a contract for as long as he's willing to sign. He's extremely important to the long term health and success of this franchise. Mark, if you have any suggestions that fans/season ticket holders can aggressive urge Rizzo and Kasten to get this done, I'd love to hear them.

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