Tag:Josh Willingham
Posted on: July 20, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:01 pm

Nationals' Rizzo isn't actively selling

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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 16, 2010 10:41 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:34 am

Zimmerman doesn't want Nats broken up

Ryan Zimmerman The Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman knows the team isn't headed to the postseason in 2010, but he's hopeful the team doesn't look too far into the future and keep some of the pieces the team does have right now -- especially Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham.

Zimmerman is under contract through 2013, so it's understandable he'd like the others to stay. However, Dunn and Willingham are free agents after the season, so even not trading them will guarantee they stay in DC.

"We're so close," Zimmerman told the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore . "I mean, they know. Mike [Rizzo] and Stan [Katsen] are smart. They're one of the biggest reasons we're so much better this year. They drafted well. They traded well. They know what we need to do to win. I don't think either of them want to get rid of either of those guys. They understand what we have, and they're proud of the team we have."

The Nationals are 39-50 and hoping to avoid 100 losses for the third season in a row.

Both Willingham and Dunn have expressed a desire to stay with the Nationals, but Dunn may be wavering because of the Nationals' lack of communication on an extension.

Dunn is also the team's best trading piece, but there's no immediate replacement for Dunn's power production in the system.

The team's other trading piece is closer Matt Capps, signed to a one-year deal. Capps has 23 saves and in a market short on relievers, he could bring in more than his future worth, especially with Drew Storen ready to take over the closer's role and Tyler Clippard with cloer's stuff, as well.

Zimmerman, though, said he'd like to keep the team together and pal the rest of the season at full strength in order to stay below 100 losses and maybe entice free agents to come to Washington.

"I think this year is the first year where we can kind of see over the hump," Zimmerman said. "Next year -- I hate talking about next year already -- but next year we have a possibility to do a lot of damage."

The Nationals are clearly a team on the rise, but Dunn is 30 and may be looking to play for a winning team for once, in his 10 seasons, the only winning team he's played for is the 2008 Diamondbacks, a team that finished 82-80. Dunn joined the team in a trade after the deadline and failed to make the playoffs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com