(Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. Photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI via Newscom.)
Rizzo shoots down Zim's pleas for Dunn?
The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore fired off a series of stories from MLB's annual GM Meetings in Orlando on Tuesday after speaking with Mike Rizzo, and they're all must reads, with topics ranging from the search for a #1 starter to the possibility of increasing payroll to Adam Dunn. And on that last topic, Kilgore got the answer to the question of whether or not Ryan Zimmerman's opinion on the Adam Dunn question will impact Rizzo's decision to bring Dunn back. In a word: No.
"Ryan is an integral part of the team. He's probably the most recognizable face of the ballclub. He certainly has a right to voice his opinions. I've talked to him in the past about player and personnel moves, makeup on players, how the clubhouse is built and that type of thing. His input, his opinion, is important to me.
"But you certainly can't make franchise-changing decisions on the opinion of one player. But like I said, Ryan is not just an ordinary player to us. I've listened to, I've taken his opinions in the past. When he talks, the city of Washington, D.C. listens. And they should, because he's our best player and one our most important athletes in the city."
(Mike Rizzo, via Nationals Journal, 11/16/2010)
In other words: It's Carlos Pena or bust. And by bust, we mean: Michael Morse or Josh Willingham at first base for the Nats in 2011.
And Mike Rizzo is correct, by the way: you shouldn't make franchise-changing decisions on the opinion of one player. But you also certainly shouldn't come out and say that publicly; especially when you're talking about the best player on the team.
Meanwhile, maybe the first tangible sign that Dunn is open to moving to the AL and becoming a full-time DH, (via MLB Trade Rumors) ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine reported today that Dunn's agent met with White Sox GM Kenny Williams. Via ESPN Chicago/Levine:
Kenny Williams met with Adam Dunn's agent in preliminary discussions on what Dunn is expecting in free agency this offseason, according to a major league source. ... One major league general manager told ESPNChicago.com that the starting point for Dunn will be a three-year, $40-million deal.
(via ESPN Chicago, 11/16/2010)
Wait, so if Dunn's starting point is a three-year, $40 million deal, does that mean that the three-year deal Rizzo reportedly offered to Dunn months ago was a low-ball number, or a three-year, $40 million deal? Hasn't all the talk been about Dunn demanding a four-year deal?