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.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.