That would be the 5-day countdown until Adam Dunn becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Nats have a 5 day window to exclusively negotiate with Dunn before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. If they don’t sign him within this 5 day period, he is gone. There is no reason why they would wait and get into a competitive bidding war with another team for his services and decide later that they are willing to pay a premium for him. So in other words, he is gone. The team may as well have announced as much when they sent this e-mail to season ticket holders last week:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN NATS FANS! VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE NATIONALS PUMPKIN & ENTER TO WIN AN OFFICIAL GAME-WORN ADAM DUNN JERSEY
They are trying to unload all of his gear because it will be more or less worthless to the team 5 days from now. It’s really sad that the Lerners just look at our team as a business and not as a team to be built into winners. I hope they prove me wrong, but it looks like the only way things will improve is if Selig retires (for those who don’t know, he gift-wrapped this team to the Lerners instead of other competing bidders who were actually serious about baseball). Once Selig retires, hopefully his replacement will put pressure on chronically under-spending and underachieving clubs to do more to put competitive teams on the field. Having more cities around the country be enthusiastic about baseball would be good for MLB and they know this. It especially hits home during the playoffs when they want high TV ratings nationwide, not just in the competing cities. One start could be restructuring the luxury tax. I realize that it was intended to help the smaller market teams, but as we learned when the Pirates’ books were opened earlier this year, in some cases it can enable under-spending teams to put a terrible product on the field and still turn a profit. We need to find a way to fix that.