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.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.