Nationals not happy with offers for Adam Dunn

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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.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.