Another big-named free agent has gone off the board, but this one won't have too many Nationals fans smiling.
According to reports, free-agent slugger Adam Dunn has agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago White Sox. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled for Friday morning.
It's a crushing blow to the Nationals, who were looking to keep Dunn in the lineup, where he has been one of the most feared power hitters in baseball. Last season, Dunn hit .260 with 38 home runs and 103 RBIs, and his 282 home runs since 2004 is second in the majors, trailing only Albert Pujols. In his two seasons in Washington, Dunn smacked 38 home runs both times and knocked in more than 100 runs.
Dunn reportedly had expressed interest in staying in the National League and continuing to play first base, but at 31, Dunn is no spring chicken, and the possibility of him landing in the DH role in his new American League home seems realistic.
For the Nationals, Dunn's departure leaves a gaping need for a power hitter in the lineup. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has shown he might be able to fill the void, hitting 25 home runs and 85 RBIs last year, but clearly Dunn's bat was the one to be feared in the lineup.