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Adam Dunn has made plain that he’d like to remain a Washington National after his contract expires this year. That said, the Nationals had appeared unwilling to pony up the necessary dollars and years to put a reasonable deal on the table, which led most to assume Dunn would be walking in free agency. Once a free agent, he would be heavily pursued by a number of teams, including the Chicago Cubs, who have an opening at first base.

But yesterday, Dunn expressed optimism that he’d be a National next year.

“I do [think I’ll be a National next year],” Dunn told the Washington Post. “More than I did a month ago. Talks have picked back up. We’ll see what happens. We’re obviously talking. We’re going to work something out, I think.”

Dunn, who is expected to be a Type A free agent (yielding the Nats a couple of picks if he does not re-sign), will continue negotiating with the Nationals exclusively until 15 days after the World Series ends. Though he said he expects to be a National next year, he doesn’t expect to sign an extension until after the season.

Noting that there would be “no advantage” to signing immediately, Dunn offered that “there’d be a disadvantage, really. I’m in no hurry now.” Indeed, Dunn said he thinks it is most likely that he’ll enter free agency before re-signing with the Nationals – and why wouldn’t he? That way he can get a true sense of his value on the open market, and make sure he’s not giving the Nats a sweetheart deal.

For the Cubs, this all just means that there will likely be another heavy bidder in the Dunn sweepstakes – namely, the Nationals.

Another random Dunn-related concern for the Cubs: given the Nats interest in retaining Dunn, they’re certain to offer arbitration. That means if the Cubs sign Dunn away, the Nats get compensation – a first rounder from the Cubs, unless the Cubs have one of the top 15 picks. So as nice as those wins are right now, they certainly aren’t helping the Cubs in this regard. Right now, the Cubs are hovering around the 9th, 10th pick range.

via Nationals’ Adam Dunn expects to stay in Washington.

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