Adam Dunn says 'nothing going on' in contract extension talks with Nationals

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During spring training Adam Dunn made it clear that he wants to remain with the Nationals long term, but he recently admitted that there’s “nothing going on” with contract extension negotiations.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that the two sides “are seemingly at a momentary standstill” while “Dunn still believes a deal could be struck before the end of the season.”
Complicating matters is that Dunn is off to a 7-for-43 (.163) start with just one homer through 14 games, which will inevitably lead to fans and media members questioning whether the contract situation is hurting his performance. Dunn isn’t having any of that:

That’s not why I’m not hitting the ball like I’m not supposed to, I promise you. I don’t control that. That’s out of my hands. I can only control one thing. I’m not going worry about [stuff] that I can’t control. It’s probably No. 50 on my list of things to worry about right now. I’m not worried about that at all.

Incidentally, if negotiating a contract extension that would no doubt be in excess of $20 million is truly 50th on Dunn’s “list of things to worry about” then he sure does have a ton of important stuff to worry about. I suppose earning $50 million by age 30 will do that to a person.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.