Sunday, July 5, 2009

It is Official

The Nats can no longer trade Adam Dunn. Doing so would be franchise suicide. It doesn't matter how bad his defense is*, people get excited whenever "In the Air Tonight" and "Turn the Page" pierce the speakers. Despite his reputation for not playing with passion, he has connected with the media and fans as much as any Nat, is frustrated by losing, and has assumed a leadership role in the clubhouse. He is never going to be the vocal "rah-rah" type, nor is he going to be obsessive worker type. He is the Big Donkey, a family man and best hitter on the team. He takes the pressure off Ryan Zimmerman to be the star every night.

The best advantages the Nats will have keeping him is that he is only tradable to the American League at this point. Most clubs see him only as a DH. His personality doesn't fit into the celebrity/playboy scene the Yankees and Red Sox cultivate, and those are the teams most likely to overpay for his bat. Therefore, it would take a confluence of events and "Godfather" deal for Rizzo to pull the plug on Dunn.

* Dunn has made 8 errors this season, though 5 of them have come in the 39% of the innings he has played out of position in right field or at first base. He continues to post the same numbers he always has in left field, which he covers effectively with his bat.

Rizzo doesn't need to make a move to improve the team... he needs to make the right move. Adam Dunn will be able to perform with his bat for years to come, but which players may be seeing diminishing returns on their skill set?

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