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.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.