It can. Now that "Waiver 2 : Waive Harder" is over and Dunn is still with the team the options have become even more limited for the Nats. They HAVE to either resign him or offer him arbitration, or else he walks for nothing. You don't want nothing. Anything is better than nothing. I don't know much about math (not true at all) but
Daniel Hudson >>>>>> nothing
so it HAS to be a resign or an arbitration offer. That's the only "have to" though. Dunn doesn't "have to" be here for the Nats to continue with what seemed like their plan - trying to compete in the next couple of years. That's the only conclusion one can come to when they are trying to get a player like Gordon Beckham back for Dunn. That's not about 2013. It's about 2011 and 2012. Is it the best plan? Probably not. Is an arguable course of action given the current state of contract on the team and the still questionable health of the minor leagues? Probably so.
If the Nats resign Dunn, or he stays though arbitration trying to compete in 2011 and 2012 is a bit more possible. If he walks the Nats still have the opportunity to try to compete by going whole hog after free agents like Crawford, Lee, etc. Does it make it incredibly hard for one to see the Nats competing? Oh god yes. How are they going to then get the (at least) three stars they need? But it doesn't necessitate a change in direction.
If he walks and they don't sign anyone, either by their choice or by market choice, then that would necessitate a change in strategy to look more toward 3 or 4 years down the road. That would make this trading period a huge opportunity loss and Rizzo look incredibly foolish after setting himself up nicely with a couple crafty deals. Which is why I expect Dunn to resign. Will the possibility of failure though drive Rizzo to make a bad deal for Dunn?