Quite a few folks in Dodgertown went to sleep confused last night.

Why would the Los Angeles Dodgers claim Adam Dunn off waivers from the Washington Nationals?

Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to speculate the rumor; and Hank has been around the business long enough to be considered a very reliable source.

If it was indeed Los Angeles who made the claim, in a nutshell, the motive for the Dodgers was to prevent any other team in the NL West or the National League wild card race from having a chance at claiming Dunn and adding instant offense.

For those who are unfamiliar with the waiver wire, here’s how it works:

If a player is waived, any team may claim him. If more than one team claims the player from waivers, the team with the weakest record in the player’s league gets preference. If no team in the player’s league claims him, the claiming team with the weakest record in the other league gets preference.

So basically, unless there’s another club in the NL with a weaker record than Los Angeles that put a claim on Dunn, the Dodgers and the Nationals will at least sit down and talk.

While negotiating with Los Angeles, the Nationals have three options from which to take action.

First, Washington could arrange a trade with the Dodgers for Dunn. Although it’s a possibility, it’s highly unlikely, because the MLB rule states that the deal must be completed within two business days from when the claim was made. That would give both clubs until Tuesday morning at the latest to agree on a trade.

And although it’s highly improbable that the Dodgers are legitimate playoff contenders, the Dodgers still have faith in their mathematical chances, and they still aren’t selling. The chances of them giving up anyone except minor league prospects are slim.

Second, the Nationals could simply rescind the waiver and keep Dunn on their roster. This option is probably the likely result of the entire situation.

Last, the Nationals could do nothing at all. If this happens, the Dodgers would have to assume the balance of Dunn’s 2010 contract (approximately $4 million), pay the Nationals a waiver fee, then add Dunn to their 25-man active roster.

This final option is almost impossible, because the Nationals would want to get at least some type of asset in return for Dunn.

Anything could happen however; and yet perhaps it wasn’t even the Dodgers who made the claim.

Nevertheless, if it was an attempt of strategy or trickery by Los Angeles, they could be stuck with $4 million in added payroll that they may not have if the plan backfires.

Still, many Dodger fans are curious as to how Adam Dunn would fit in as a first baseman?

If, by some crazy turn of events, Los Angeles acquired Dunn, chances are he would be used as a left fielder. In 2009, Dunn played 84 games in the outfield for the Nationals; and the year before that he played a total of 141 games in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds combined.

Regardless, if Friday night was an audition for Dunn, he certainly impressed everyone in Los Angeles.

Dunn went two for three at the plate, with two homeruns and six RBI along with two walks, as the Nationals dimmed the Dodgers playoff hopes just a little bit more by putting them away, 6-3.

Dunn and the Nationals have two games remaining in the weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

Many media outlets are keeping these rumors under tight wraps as all of the above-mentioned is heresay and pure speculation; still, the stories should begin to surface as soon as Monday once the Nationals take a course of action.

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