First baseman Adam Dunn eager to wrap up contract talks with Washington Nationals

First baseman Adam Dunn wanted to have a contract extension wrapped up by opening day, but he hasn't posed a deadline.
First baseman Adam Dunn wanted to have a contract extension wrapped up by opening day, but he hasn't posed a deadline. (Toni L. Sandys/the Washington Post)
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Dunn still open to contract talks

First baseman Adam Dunn entered spring training hopeful that he and the Nationals could reach an agreement on a contract extension by opening day. With their first game Monday, that apparently will not be happening.

Although Dunn made clear his preference for wrapping up a deal by now, he remains open to negotiating during the early part of the season. With opening day here, Dunn reiterated his desire to stay in Washington and maintained his stance: He is comfortable with negotiations continuing, but he does not want them to linger.

"If it gets done in two weeks, if it gets done in a month, great," Dunn said. "If it doesn't, then like I said, we've got all offseason. This is the place I want to be at. I want to be here. This team is obviously going in the right direction. I'm all for it. That's why I don't want to deter anybody away. I like being here.

"I don't want to sit there every day I go 0 for 4 going, 'Well, talks are probably off today.' I don't want to do that. If things are moving forward, then I'm fine with it. I don't want it to just continue lingering and lingering. I'd like to have some serious talks here soon. If not, we've got a long offseason."

On Thursday, General Manager Mike Rizzo said of talks with Dunn's representatives: "We're in communication. There's dialogue. I'll probably leave it at that."

Dunn made no ultimatum and established no deadline for when he wants an extension completed.

"I don't really have a timeline," Dunn said." I don't want this going on until July."

Another shot for Lannan

John Lannan took the mound in Miami last April to open the 2009 season and did not last long. He pitched three innings, allowing six hits and six runs during a 12-6 loss to the Florida Marlins. Lannan said this week that opening day "gets the season going," and Lannan's start last year was the first in a seven-game losing streak to open the season.

On Monday, Lannan receives another shot on opening day. He's the Nationals' No. 1 starter and takes the mound at Nationals Park against the Philadelphia Phillies, the two-time defending National League champions who will start Roy Halladay, one of baseball's finest pitchers.

For Lannan, the difference between April 6, 2009 and April 5, 2010 is significant.

"It's a little different," Lannan said. "Last year, I just wanted to be there opening day. I didn't even think about starting opening day. Just wanted to be there, because the year before that I wasn't even there. This year is a little different having another year under my belt. . . . I'm going into the game a little more prepared this year."

-- Adam Kilgore and Zach Berman

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