Is Dunn Done in D.C.?

For the past two years, the Big Donkey has been grazing all across the Nationals Park grass, whether in the outfield corner or down the 1st base line. Nearly two full seasons after signing a 20 million deal with the Nats, Dunn’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2010, which begs the question, should the Nationals re-up with an extension or is it time to let the Donkey roam free?Over the course of his Major League Baseball career, Dunn has been impressively productive at the plate. Since his breakout season in 2004, in which he ballooned his long ball total from a previous high of 27 all the way up to 46, Dunn has never managed fewer than 38 dingers over the past 7 seasons. He has been a model of consistency with the bat, swatting exactly 40 home runs in 4 straight seasons from 2005 to 2008, dropping off the torrent pace by just 2 in his first year with the Nationals. Sure, he has been rated as the worst fielder in baseball, but when signing Adam Dunn, it’s not as if a team doesn’t know what they’re getting into. Boasting the same elite power numbers so far this season, it would be tough to say Dunn has disappointed in any aspect regarding his performance as a National. Still, despite his productivity and generally congenial attitude amid the sinking ship around him, actually citing a desire to stay with team, it may indeed be time to part ways with the slugger.With the Nats lacking talent at several key positions, such depth issues have forced to play out of position at 1B, further exacerbating his fielding woes. A move to the American League could position Dunn as the preeminent designated hitter in the Majors, erasing fielding concerns in one fell swoop. A move to a more immediate competitor might also benefit both sides, as Dunn is 30, a few years senior to the Nationals other big name players, better suited to endure rebuilding efforts. Though Dunn isn’t winding down his career by any means, still potentially capable of sending shots to the far regions of stadiums for 5 seasons to come, it stands to reason his talents might be better served elsewhere. The Nationals should try to get something in return for the big fellow while he is still under contract (via waivers, now that the trade deadline has passed), before the Big Donkey relocates for greener pastures in the off-season.

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