Since the Nationals said at January's season-ticketholder luncheon they wanted to extend first baseman Adam Dunn's contract extension, there hasn't been much progress to report toward a solution. But general manager Mike Rizzo said on Wednesday he is still working on a deal.
Rizzo, in a Q-and-A for his first blog entry with MASNSports.com, said he has met with Dunn's agent, Greg Genske, about an extension since the start of spring training. He said talks are "amicable and upbeat," and he is still optimistic about getting a deal done.
"It's something we think about all the time, and we're discussing that," Rizzo said.
Dunn, who is a free agent after the season, has said he wants an extension done by Opening Day. But the Nationals set a similar deadline for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman last season, only to finalize a deal hours before the opener and announce it two weeks later. And Rizzo said in his mind, Opening Day isn't a hard-and-fast deadline for a deal.
"I hate to put any date restrictions on anything, because I don't want to rush anything. I don't want him to feel rushed, and we don't want to feel rushed," Rizzo said. "If there's a deal to be done here, we certainly have both sides that are willing participants."
Rizzo discussed a number of other subjects with MASNSports.com, including the health of shortstop Cristian Guzman and the things he'd like to see No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg improve before his major-league debut. The full interview will be posted later this afternoon.