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Dunn and Willingham Rumor Mill

Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports that several new teams have moved into the running for Adam Dunn, hinting that National League West teams such as the pitching heavy Giants and Padres may be interested.

According to various sources, the teams that seem most interested in Dunn are still American League contenders, likely a result of Dunn’s poor glove. Current American League teams in the hunt are the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays.

While the future of the slugger is in the air, one thing that is clear is that the Nationals seem set on keeping at least one of their sluggers, meaning that both Willingham and Dunn will not be traded.

Jason Stark Reports:

“We’re hearing the Nationals, in the end, could wind up trading Josh Willingham instead of Dunn. Among the many teams interested in Willingham: Atlanta, Boston and Tampa Bay. If the Nationals do deal a bat, they would either trade Dunn or Willingham, but not both.”

Analysis:

While Willingham is still under team control in 2011, he will likely receive a big raise in arbitration, making him another pricey piece for Washington. In the end, if the Nationals want to keep Dunn, they may not be able to do so with Willingham around, at least not comfortably. It may then make more sense to trade Willingham and replace him in the winter with a cheaper free-agent option.

Willingham will also likely be easier to trade. The asking price for the Hammer is lower and while the slugger is putting up great numbers this year (.273/.401/.479) the outfielder has one more year of control on him, meaning he will be more than a two-month rental. Conversely, if a team wants him as a two-month rental, they can refuse to offer him arbitration and set him free this winter.

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