This may be the product of an incredibly slow news day, or maybe there’s something to it, but according to a source, the Washington Nationals are offering Drew Storen to the Chicago White Sox in order to bring back much maligned slugger Adam Dunn.
Justin Bopp of MLB Daily Dish (an SB Nation joint), who broke the story, says this is nothing but a rumour at this point and they are still waiting to confirm with a second source, so it is to be taken with a twenty-pound bag of salt, but it is very interesting none-the-less.
The Nationals just missed out on signing Prince Fielder so re-acquiring Dunn, who had two very good years with Washington before signing with the Pale Hose last winter, would make sense on some level. The problem is, Dunn is owed $44-million over the next three years and is coming off a season in which he was considered to be the worst player in baseball according to FanGraphs’ WAR; not to mention Dunn doesn’t really have a defensive position anymore.
Giving up a young, controllable reliever like Storen and taking on Dunn’s contract (to be fair, I’m speculating here, we know nothing about specifics or how much of Dunn’s contract Washington may be willing to take on) would be a huge gamble for Washington. Then again, they have truckloads of money and there’s no way Dunn is as bad as he appeared to be last season. A return to the NL might just be the type of thing that gets Dunn to start hitting like he was before last year.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams is probably the most confusing executive in baseball; he can sometimes look like a genius and other times look like he knows nothing about the game, but when the White Sox signed Dunn last year, I actually thought it was a great deal. Dunn, after all, was coming off a year where he hit at least 38 home runs for the seventh straight time; only Babe Ruth and Rafael Palmeiro can lay claim to such an accomplishment. If Dunn can regain even some of what made him such a great home run hitter, $44-million over three years is not a terribly high price to pay, even if a talented reliever like Storen is thrown in. That, however, is a sizable if.
It will be very interesting to see if this rumour goes anywhere. With Kenny Williams, you just never know.
UPDATE: Well, so much for that. Jim Bowden of ESPN tweets that he spoke with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and there is no truth to the rumour. Cool-guy wink and gun salute to @StivBators on Twitter.