The Nationals and first baseman Adam Dunn have had a bit of a falling out over negotiations toward a contract extension and now it looks as though Washington GM Mike Rizzo is trying to deal the big slugger. The problem? Other teams aren’t willing to give up much.
Bill Ladson, who covers all things Nationals for MLB.com, reports that Rizzo “does not like the offers” that he has seen for Dunn. Meanwhile a source close to the team told Ladson that he thinks a trade might not happen at all.
“As I said in the past, Adam Dunn is a big part of this club —
anchors the middle of the lineup, anchors the clubhouse,” Rizzo
said. “It would take an extraordinary deal to trade him, but we are
going to keep our options open for anything that happens.”
Dunn, 30, has posted a .288 batting average, a .955 OPS and 22 home runs in 326 at-bats this year. He will be a free agent this offseason if an extension is not reached, so the Nats would be wise to look for a fair offer and unload him. The Yankees and White Sox are thought to have some level of interest.
Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.
RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole
Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.