- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Washington Nationals have finally landed the power hitting free agent they’ve been coveting all winter.

Outfielder Adam Dunn has come to terms on a two-year, $20 million contract with the Nationals, a club source confirmed this afternoon. The team is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow at Nationals Park to introduce the 29-year-old slugger.

Just three days before pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training, Washington addressed its most pressing offseason need. A team that did not have a 15-homer player in 2008 now has one who has crushed at least 40 homers in each of the last five seasons.

In Washington, Dunn will be reunited with general manager Jim Bowden, who originally drafted the slugger while with the Cincinnati Reds, and fellow outfielder Austin Kearns, one of his closest friends in the game.

While he’s almost certain to bat cleanup for the Nationals, Dunn’s position in the field could be a question mark. He’s played 950 career games in left field, 127 at first base. Washington already has at least four outfielders competing for three starting spots (Kearns, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham) and veteran Nick Johnson attempting to return from two years’ worth of injuries at first base.

Dunn, who will make $10 million a year, matches Alfonso Soriano for the highest salary in Nationals history. Soriano also made $10 million in 2006.

In eight major league seasons, Dunn has hit 278 homers and knocked in 672 runs. He made his debut in 2001 with the Reds, hitting 19 homers in 66 games. And while his career batting average is .247, he has a career on-base percentage of .381.

Dunn went to the Diamonbacks last season in a deadline trade and hit .243 with a .417 on-base percentage in 44 games; he hit eight home runs to finish the season with 40 between the two teams.

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