WASHINGTON- No one can argue Adam Dunn’s two year tenure with the Nationals was a productive one.
Dunn hit 38 home runs in both 2009 and 2010. He hit .267 with 105 RBI’s in his first year and hit .260 while driving in 103 in his second season. Dunn also remembers the last month of the 2010 season. The talk of a contract extension was a topic of daily conversation which became increasingly harder for him to talk about every night, especially with the crowd chanting “sign Adam Dunn, sign Adam Dunn.” Dunn expressed his desire to stay and was asking for a four-year contract but the Nationals were offering just a three-year deal.
At that point, the Nationals had to balance the offensive output against having a below average fielder, as Dunn committed 29 errors throughout his two years in Washington. The White Sox gave Dunn the four-year deal he was searching for, paying him $56-million dollars.
Dunn was not in the lineup on Tuesday night with left-hander Gio Gonzalez throwing for the Nationals but he did talk about his time in Washington and eventually having to test the free-agent market.
“I’ll be honest with you, we had such great communication with Stan (Kasten) and Mike (Rizzo) and those guys,” Dunn said.
“I knew they were going to do what was best for the team and I was fine with that. Sometimes things just don’t work out and there was no other reason, other than things just didn’t work out.
“You will never hear me say anything bad about anybody in this organization top to bottom. Everything they have ever done has been first class and I really enjoyed it over here.”
Dunn had his new contract but his first year with the White Sox wasn’t what he or his new team had envisioned.
Dunn hit .156, which would have been the lowest mark in the league except he was six at bats short of the required plate appearances. He hit just 11 home runs, snapping a string of seven straight seasons with 38-plus. He had just 41 RBI in 122 games.
Last season, he returned to the Adam Dunn we have been used to, hitting 41 homers while driving in 96. So far this year, Dunn has hit two home runs with three RBI in five games.
“I’m just glad my body feels good and I’m healthy,” he said. “That’s always been my thing is that if I’m healthy, I’ll be fine. I’m healthy now so I’m looking forward to getting back in there and playing.”
While Dunn didn’t get a chance to be part of the Nats winning the NL East and getting to the playoffs two years after his departure, he is happy to see the success his former teammates are having now.
“Oh yea, absolutely, they got some of my old buddies on that team and I obviously want the best for them, not these three days, but beginning Friday,” he said laughing.
“I am definitely happy to see what they have done. Everyone has done a great job and it’s good to see for guys like Zim who has been here through the worst times and now he’s getting rewarded for it.
I think everyone saw it coming. They probably didn’t see it coming as quickly as it did but it was definitely a matter of time. They’ve got the right people in the right places; they’ve got people making good decisions and should be making the decisions. They’ve got a good thing going over there.”
With the White Sox in town this week, they will play by National League rules without the designated hitter, and its inter-league play that always sparks the discussion as to whether or not the DH is a good thing or a bad thing for baseball.
“I have an opinion,” Dunn said, not wanting to say the wrong thing. “But, I’m going to keep it to myself because I’d like to keep my job. Its tough man, I see both sides of the argument. It has been around forever but now that having interleague is a year around deal