Source: Nats land Dunn with 2-year, $20M deal
If Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson is healthy, he need not worry about getting displaced by Adam Dunn, who has reached preliminary agreement with the team on a two-year, $20 million contract.
Dunn, according to major-league sources, has agreed to play either first base or left field. The Nationals ideally want Johnson at first and Dunn in left, giving them two players with high on-base percentages at those positions.
Under that scenario, the Nats likely would trade one of their other outfielders, perhaps Josh Willingham. The Nats are still enamored with the potential of Lastings Milledge and Elijah Duke, and Austin Kearns is their right fielder.
Johnson, 30, however, appeared in only 38 games the past two seasons. He missed all of 2007 with a broken leg and was limited last season by a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. But he told MLB.com Wednesday that his wrist is close to 100 percent.
"I wanted to play for a contender, and opportunities weren't exactly what I wanted them to be," Dunn told MLB Network. "But I get a chance now to go and hopefully turn a program around."
The deal, first reported by the Washington Post, is pending a physical.
Dunn has hit 40 or more home runs each of the past five seasons. In his eight-year career, Dunn has amassed 278 home runs, while batting .247. He also boasts a .381 OBP.
"He's an obvious power hitter and someone who can hit in the middle of the order, drive guys in, hit home runs," Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said by telephone from Florida. "He's something that we haven't really had consistently. It's exciting, and it makes us better."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.