Asked by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan in a 7/31/08 Nationals Journal article entitled, "The Fully-Contextualized Jim Bowden Q&A", why the Nationals' didn't make a deal to trade away any of the veterans on their roster, then-DC GM JIm Bowden explained that there had indeed been conversations, but in the end:
"We just came to the decision, We don't want to give anybody away. That didn't make sense. We need to get a piece back that was helpful, that had a chance to help us in the big leagues someday. Those kind of deals made sense to us. But to give somebody away to a contending team and not get talent back? That didn't make sense."
ESPN.com's Buster Olney, in an article today entitled, "The trade market goes bear", wrote that the Nationals are still, "...said to be asking high prices for the likes of Nick Johnson," and if I might interpret Mr. Olney's opinion from what he says next, the price that Washington's asking might be too high, as he warns, (Is that the right word? You judge his tone):
"If interested teams turn elsewhere, the Nationals might face a day this summer when they won't be able to move Johnson at all."
(ed. note - "That "day this summer" Mr. Olney writes about would be the best day of the season for me!")
Nick Johnson Trade Talk Continues After The Jump...
So The Nationals Played The Marlins Today, Do You Have To Ask? The DC Faithful Assembled To Await The Inevitable In Wednesday's GameThread...
Marlins win, 5-3 final. Marlins now 9-0 vs DC in '09.
Nationals now 22-54.
Mention Nick Johnson's name and it's inevitable that someone will bring up his injury history, (as opposed to, say, his trademark singles, NJ™), so it's understandable that other teams are reluctant to part with top prospects for a player they're worried might go on the DL at any moment, but the Nationals, who obviously have a better idea of Johnson's true worth in the batting order, on the field, (where, until recently, he'd been considered sure-handed) and in the locker room, would most likely argue that Johnson's injuries...a "deeply bruised" heel, a fractured right femur, or last year's torn right wrist tendon, are far too random a collection of injuries to form a consistent pattern or an injury "history". It's not like Johnson has chronic back or groin issues, or some recurring issues, so why shouldn't they expect legitimate talent in return?
"Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo told New York Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff, in a late May article entitled, "Nationals are building for future," that the Nationals were willing to make a deal:
"'Nick Johnson, or (Josh) Willingham, or (Austin) Kearns, anyone on our roster, if we can make a good baseball trade and improve ourselves, not only for our present but also for our future -- a player that can impact us -- we have to make those kinds of trades...'"
Both Josh Willingham and Nick Johnson are included on a list of the "Top position players available" NY Newsday's Ken Davidoff put together for an article yesterday entitled, "Trade deadline looms, excitement begins" where Mr. Davidoff tosses out a quick line to sum up each player's value, noting that Willingham, "always hits" while Nick Johnson is a, "a better player than (Aubrey) Huff," who is also rumored to be available, but, of course Johnson is, "far more injury prone." Mr. Davidoff then goes on to explain the Nationals' strategy going into late July, writing:
"Everything must go! Well, maybe not Adam Dunn, signed through next year."
Was yesterday's trade for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett just the beginning as Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell speculated in a Nationals Journal post yesterday entitled, "The Meaning of the Nats Trade"? Mr. Boswell mentions Nick Johnson, Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Willie Harris, Joe Beimel and Ron Villone as players the Nationals could potentially deal. MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes, in an article on yesterday's deal entitled, "Nats get Morgan, Burnett in deal with Bucs", the Cristian Guzman, "...is on the trading block", with the Nationals looking for "young starting pitching". Enjoy it while you can, this might be the last month of the Nationals as we know them...
(ed. note - "I think Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling had it right in one of the three options he offered in an article entitled, "The Nick Johnson Conundrum", which was published in late May..."Resign (Nick Johnson) to give the position some stability until Chris Marrero is ready.")
• - Dave at Nats News Network.com Thinks It's Time For Plan R: For Rizzo!!!!
• - Steven at FJB Has, "Eleven Reasons Why You Should Like Nyjer Morgan". (ed. note - "Steven has a collection of highlights that'll have you screaming, "TANM!!")
• - Kristen at We've Got Heart Thinks Nyjer Morgan's Just What The Nationals Needed
• - ADAM "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A BLOG IS" DUNN HAS A BLOG AT MASNSports.com NOW?????
• - estopple at 1500 South Capital Street Thinks It Was Dukes' Performance And Not His Attitude That Had Him Sent Down To Syracuse.
3-2 Nationals' lead heading into the bottom of the seventh after Josh Willingham's two-run single off Florida reliever Renyel Pinto. Brand new Nationals' lefty Sean Burnett gets the call from Washington Manager Manny Acta. Burnett throws 7 pitches to Marlins' CF Cody Ross and the seventh is a change up high that ends up going over the wall in left center to tie it back up at 3-3.
Sean Burnett's back out to face the switch-hitting Emilio Bonifacio, who grounds out to Cristian Guzman at short. Julian Tavarez replaces Burnett and gives up back-to-back singles before handing the ball to Mike MacDougal, who walks Dan Uggla to load the bases and then has a grounder back up the middle go off the mound, delaying the double play attempt just enough to let Wes Helms get down the line to first as the go-ahead run crosses the plate to make it 4-3 Florida after eight.
Adam Dunn K's. Josh Willingham grounds out. Alberto Gonalez strikes out. Marlins' reliever Leo Nunez gets the save, and Florida's now won 9 of the 9 games between DC and the Fish this season. Outside of Josh Willingham's seventh inning output, the only other run that scores for Washington is off starter Jordan Zimmermann's bat, as the 23-year-old right-hander throws 6.0 innings of 6-hit, 2-run ball against Florida, striking out 6 and walking only one while collecting a two-out RBI single off Fish pitcher Josh Johnson. Ryan Zimmerman goes 0 for 5 and throws one away for his 13th error of '09. Marlins 9-0 in 9 games against DC this season...9-0...
Next Up: Atlanta Braves At Washington Nationals. 3 Games In DC.
Saturday 7/4 - 1:05 pm EST: John Lannan - (5-5, 3.45 ERA) vs Tommy "Jump Street" Hanson (4-0, 2.48 ERA)
One More Link Since It's An Off Day...
Daily baseball statistical analysis and commentary: While no rookie starting pitcher has exploded onto the scene a-la-Dontrelle Willis in 2003, MLB fans have been treated to a steady stream of premium young arms getting their first extended looks in the majors...