The Washington Nationals are 40-53 and in their usual spot at the bottom of the National League East standings and by all accounts should be selling off pieces at the trade deadline. However, according to CSNwashington.com's Mark Zuckerman , the store is not only not open, the lights are off.
"He's not the one initiating any of the talks," Zimmerman quotes a source "familiar with [Mike] Rizzo's thinking."
The Nationals' biggest trade piece is slugger Adam Dunn, who is a free agent after this season. There have been on-again, off-again reports about a contract extension for Dunn, who is tied for second in the National League in homers (22) and third in OPS (.950). According to Zuckerman, Dunn is searching for a contract longer than three years at more than $15 million a year. The Nationals don't want to give Dunn a contract that long and risk him having 10-5 rights and the ability to kill any trade at the end of his contract.
If the Nationals don't offer Dunn such a contract, he'll test his worth on the free agent market. Dunn has drawn interest from the White Sox and Angels, among other teams.
With a very thin reliever market, the Nationals also have a relatively attractive trade piece in closer Matt Capps. Capps is arbitration-eligible after the season and the team has Drew Storen, their closer of the future, already in the big leagues and pitching well as a setup man.
The team's other trade candidate is outfielder Josh Willingham, who is hitting .277/.404/.490. He's on a one-year contract worth $4.6 million, but like Capps is arbitration eligible and under team control through next season.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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