I'm getting a lot of mixed messages from fans regarding the Nationals re-signing Adam Dunn. For every three fans who tell me the ballclub "absolutely" has to sign him, there's one who bemoans the club not trading him last month.
On the plus side, I'm not hearing the old, tired "he'll allow more runs with his poor defense than he'll drive in..." I assume those people finally figured out it would be difficult to allow 100-plus runs playing first without a blindfold.
Dunn's detractors point to his current .214 average with runners in scoring position. Can't sugarcoat that, and with many fans, this game is purely a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?" affair. By comparison, last year Adam hit .283 with RISP, with 66 RBI. For some historic perspective, in 1967 Frank Howard, who batted .256 for the season, hit .281 with RISP, with 53 RBI. The following year, when Hondo led the league with 44 HR's, he hit just .230 with RISP, albeit with more RBI- 57 - than '67.
But let's revisit that RISP number. Despite the low BA, Dunn has driven in 47 runs with RISP. It's not spectacular, but it's not shabby either. It's easy to get hung up on the numbers, and many fans do just that.
Dunn wants to stay, and the ballclub has made it clear they'd like him to stay. A three-year deal will likely get it done, but there are some complications. A three-year deal gives Dunn 10-and-5 protection when it's over, but he'd be a free agent anyway. The club's not crazy about the whole "no-trade clause" concept, and chances are that's on the front burner in any potential new contract.
There's plenty of time to get a Dunn deal done, and I'm inclined to believe that they will. In retrospect, the failure to re-sign Alfonso Soriano turned into a Nats' success story, but you can't always count on results like that with draft picks.