Report: Adam Dunn-to-White Sox talks heating up

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A source told ESPNChicago’s Bruce Levine that the Nationals appear willing to move Adam Dunn if the White Sox are willing to part with a second quality prospect from a group of Tyler Flowers, Jordan Danks and Brett Morel, along with young right-hander Daniel Hudson.
The same source also told Levine that the White Sox rejected the Nationals’ proposal of a Dunn-for-Gordon Beckham swap.
Turning down the Beckham deal was likely a no-brainer for White Sox GM Ken Williams, but he has more to think about here. It’s believed he’s willing to trade Hudson in a deal for Dunn. The second quality prospect could be a sticking point, but if the White Sox are willing to accept Morel, rather than Flowers or Danks, then a deal could work for both parties.
Morel, 23, has hit .303/.348/.421 with five homers and 48 RBI in 363 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A this year. He’s a solid defensive third baseman, but he obviously wouldn’t move Ryan Zimmerman off the hot corner in Washington. He’d probably end up in in the outfield if dealt to the Nationals. His line-drive stroke should turn him into an average regular in time.
Flowers and Danks both have a bit more upside. While he’s right-handed, Flowers is a Dunn-type hitter, with few singles but plenty of homers, walks and strikeouts. He’s also improved defensively behind the plate, though he still might end up at first base for the long haul. Danks, John’s younger brother, has been pushed too aggressively by the White Sox and is hitting just .243/.314/.377 with 112 strikeouts in Triple-A this year. He’s a terrific athlete, though, and he has a chance to blossom into a 20-homer-per-year center fielder.
We heard earlier today that the Nationals have yet to extend Dunn a contract offer with free agency looming. A trade is becoming more likely by the day.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.

The Dodgers asked the Tigers about Justin Verlander this offseason

DETROIT, MI - MAY 18: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.

It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.

The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.

So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.