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Olney: the Nats are shopping Willingham so Adam Dunn can play the outfield. Yikes.

Jan 23, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

Buster Olney passes this along:  “Heard this: The Nationals have Josh Willingham back out on the trade market, perhaps to give them the option of shifting Adam Dunn back to the outfield.”

Willingham just signed a $4.6 million deal to avoid arbitration. He hit 260/.367/.496 with 24 home runs, 61 RBI and a career-high .863 OPS in
2009, and though his defense is lacking, he’s a useful player who would help a lot of teams and possibly provide some value back to the Nats.  They’ve shopped him in the past. They’ll likely shop him again. It makes some sense.

But the impetus for this move can’t be to move Dunn to the outfield, can it?  I mean sure, Dunn would probably be the absolute worst defensive first baseman in the game if they keep Willingham and left him there, but he’d do far more damage in left field, wouldn’t he?  In 2009, Dunn had the single worst defensive season for any outfielder since they began to calculate UZR. And 2009 was no fluke: he was bad in 2008, 2007 and just about every other year in his career.

Makes you wonder what the Nats’ know about how his first base “skills” have developed in the past year.

  1. Pete Toms - Jan 23, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    What I don’t understand is, who do the Nats plan on playing 1st if Dunn doesn’t?

  2. John - Jan 23, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    MIKE JACOBS!!!!
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100121&content_id=7952272&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

  3. Moses Green - Jan 23, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Zowie!

  4. Old Gator - Jan 24, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    By all means, since we haven’t got Kevin Gregg serving up gophers like a waiter at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans serving up platters of beignets to unsuspecting tourists, let’s have another swing-hard-in-case-you-hit-it style batter on a team the Feesh have to hope will land harder on their asses in thge basement than the Feesh will themselves. Especially one that the Marlins pitchers know you can get out with any pitch that’s not right in his wheelhouse, including flat sliders at the ankles. Oh and surley you want a team of Jacobs at first and Dunn in right (which will probably prove less humiliating to him than, say, playing for the Mutts where Minaya would have obtained him to play center), routinely turning routine groundouts into triples, if not inside the park circuits, down the rightfield line. Or even, may the Buddha be merciful, a platoon of Dunn and Jacobs at first. Try and imagine Bill Buckner recorded at 45 and played back at 78 and you’ve got some idea of what such a platoon would look like.

  5. Honeywell Oil Heater - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    I really enjoy reading the articles on this blog. I’ll bookmark this so I can read more later.

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