It finally happened. Adam Dunn, he of the five consecutive 40-homer seasons, has found a new home in Washington DC.
Dunn reportedly signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Nationals, presumably to play first base and hit cleanup for a team that was in dire need of a legitimate power threat behind Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup.
The already crowded outfield is no place for Dunn’s lackluster defense so he’ll take over at first base, a position he has played 127 times in his career. Dunn’s fielding percentage at first (.984) is lower than incumbents Dmitri Young and Nick Johnson, however, his penchant for staying healthy and crushing the long ball makes both Young and Johnson expendable.
Dunn shouldn’t suffer too much of a drop in power production at Nationals Park as the dimensions are only slightly larger than Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati where Dunn hit 124 of his career 278 home runs.
It was reported that the Dodgers and Angels were interested in Dunn as a second-option behind Manny Ramirez and Bobby Abreu, respectively. The Angels locked up Abreu on a one-year deal today and the Dodgers are rapidly running out of Manny-alternatives now that Dunn has signed on with the Nats.
Dunn was originally seeking a long-term deal with a contender, but failed to land a job when the market was flooded with left-handed DH-types this winter. This deal does, however, make plenty of sense for Dunn long-term. He will be a free agent again at 31 when the economy figures to be improved and the market for a slugging lefty should be far more favorable.
For now, the Nationals are the big winners as they gain one of baseball’s premier power bats—at a discounted rate no less—and they can now look to thin the offensive herd they’ve acquired to add more pitching via the trade market.