Nationals searching for slugger

December, 7, 2008
12/07/08
12:29
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The Washington Nationals are prowling around for a big-time slugger, most notably beginning the process of courting first baseman Mark Teixeira. But they've also expressed serious interest in slugger Adam Dunn, which makes sense -- Washington GM Jim Bowden ran the Reds at the time that Cincinnati drafted and developed Dunn. If the Nationals wind up dangling the largest offer to Dunn, in a winter in which the corner outfield market prices are depressed, Dunn will have an interesting decision. If he signs with the Nationals, for at least the first season or two he might find himself in a similar situation to what he experienced in Cincinnati -- playing among a few stars on a team that figures to struggle. Does he embrace that chance, or will he prefer a place where he has a better chance to win, such as with Tampa Bay, for less money? We'll see.

• There have been reports that the White Sox are trying to move Jermaine Dye, but sources indicate that is overblown. The stark reality right now is that this is not a good climate in which the White Sox can make a good deal involving Dye. He is set to make $11.5 million next year, with a $1 million buyout on an option for 2010, and the White Sox presumably would want decent return for the slugger. But if a team actually wanted a corner outfielder, they could simply offer a contract to a Bobby Abreu or a Dunn, rather than swap prospects to Chicago.

• Sources don't expect Orlando Cabrera to accept the arbitration offer with the White Sox, even in the depressed shortstop market, because Cabrera has been made aware that Chicago is fully committed to playing Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. Even if Cabrera were to decide that he could get the most money by taking arbitration with Chicago, he figures to be leery of remaining in a situation in which he might not play very much. And at this stage in his career, the best thing for him might be to go and play someplace, such as with the Baltimore Orioles.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
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