Dunn turned down the Nats deal of arbitration yesterday. It was no big surprise, but it virtually guarantees that he won't be back for the Nats next season. For one, if he and his agent really surveyed the free agent market and thought there was no chance he could get what he wanted (which is a 4 year deal) they might have accepted arbitration. At worst it would have given Dunn a nice little one-year deal of around 15 million, and at best it would have given him back leverage in dealing with the Nats for the best 3-year deal he could get. By turning the Nats down, we have to assume that Dunn feels he can get that 4 year deal somewhere. (I agree - but not at 15 million a year. I see something closer to 4 years 50 million)
Also now Rizzo is "free". As long as arbitration was hanging over his head, Rizzo couldn't move forward because Dunn could force his way back onto the team. If Rizzo signed a random firstbaseman, all of a sudden you'd need a place to put Adam. We'd have to start talking about OF rotations and other things that make Ozzie Smith wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night clutching onto a stuffed Fredbird. With no contractual obligation to Dunn anymore, Rizzo can finally make that Carlos Pena deal that will make the 2011 Nats fans swoon once every 5 at bats. After he makes that deal there is no reason for the Nats to resign Dunn.
Dunn is gone. No matter how you slice it that's a lot for the Nats to make up.
A .264 / .378 / .533 line, with 76 homers and 208 RBIs, leading the Nats in OBP, SLG, HRs and RBIs over that period. That's also 3rd in the NL in homers, 5th in RBIs, Top 20 in OBP, and Top 10 in SLG.
Trying to encompass that into one adjusted offensive stat he had an adjusted OPS of 141, Top 10 in the league.
That's what you are trying to replace in the lineup. The fielding true, does hurt him. If we use an all encompassing stat that includes fielding, like WAR, Dunn is more of a Top 50 player the past two years... but then again that's against positions where you can really help a team with good fielding. Among first baseman he'd still be around a Top half guy overall, and last year he flashed the potential to be a top 5 guy. In other words - even factoring in the defense he's still helped the Nats a great deal in winning.
Carlos Pena can make up some ground in the field, but unless he experiences a renaissance at the plate, he's not going to match Dunn's total contribution. Anyway you slice it, with the loss of Dunn the Nats now need at least two more bats. They might be hoping that "bat" come from improvement from a young player or a comeback by Morgan. There's a chance, sure. I'd feel alot better for the team if they instead looked at a free agent OF, though.
Goodbye Adam. It's been fun. Hope you get that 4th year you've been looking for.