The trade deadline came and went in Washington for Nats slugger Adam Dunn, and Mike Rizzo talked once again with MASNsports.com Nats Beat Writer Ben Goessling about what he sees as the next steps with Dunn.
Then, looking to the next important date on the MLB calendar, Rizzo talks briefly about the upcoming deadline to sign No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper.
Ben Goessling: There are a lot of fans saying, 'OK, Dunn wasn't traded, but if you don't sign him, none of this matters.' What's your take on that, and what's the next step?
Mike Rizzo: My take on that is, we like Adam Dunn. We like him around here. But the worst-case scenario is, we get two first-round draft picks for him. And that's very exciting to me. Being a scouting guy and an ex-scout, that's very exciting to me. Those can be impact players, as you've seen with (Stephen) Strasburg and (Ross) Detwiler and (Drew) Storen and up and down through the years. Those are impact players, and part of the strategy of not taking players you don't believe are equal value is, you always have that opportunity in the background. The players that you're going to acquire have to be at least better than the two first-round draft picks you can get in 2011.
BG: Obviously, to do that with Dunn, you'd have to offer him arbitration. Is that something you're open to doing?
Mike Rizzo: I think we're going to consider all options. We have the option of extending and resigning him, of offering him arbitration and taking the draft picks. There's a lot of different things we can do. We're going to exhaust all the options that we have.
BG: The next big thing on everybody's mind is signing draft picks. Is there an update on negotiations with Scott Boras and Bryce Harper?
Mike Rizzo:We're not going to update on any kind of negotiations, be it the major league side or the Amateur Draft. But suffice it to say, we have an open line of communication. We want to sign the player; we anticipate signing the player. It's a two-way street, and we'll see where it goes. As always, we know the type of player he is, and we want him in the system.
BG: Have you talked with Scott?
Mike Rizzo: I've talked to him many, many times about many, many subjects.
BG: Is Harper one of those subjects?
Mike Rizzo: Yes, Harper's one of them.