Back on July 2, 2009, ESPN.com's ESPN.com's Buster Olney expressed concern, in a blog post entitled, "Trade market goes bear", about the fact that the Washington Nationals were still,"...said to be asking high prices for the likes of Nick Johnson," and Mr. Olney imagined a time when the Nationals would be left holding onto the 30-year-old free agent to be:
"If interested teams turn elsewhere, the Nationals might face a day this summer when they won't be able to move Johnson at all."
The teams that were interested, or at least rumored to be interested at one point or another, included the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants, but in the last few weeks, the Red Sox acquired first baseman Adam LaRoche and Giants acquired the Indians' Ryan Garko, and it appeared as if the Nationals had in fact held on too long, and would be forced to work out a deal with Johnson, who's more than halfway through his first full season since 2006, and putting up the kind of numbers that could price him out of the Nationals' plans when he hits the market following the '09 campaign. .295/.408/.402 after this afternoon's loss to the Brewers, Johnson was believed to be, according to an article on MLB.com's Bill Ladson's blog entitled, "Nick Johnson's contract status", seeking, "...a two year deal," worth, "...more than the three-year, $16.5 million dollar extension he signed during the spring of 2006."
Just this morning, ESPN.com's Buster Olney weighed in again on the Nationals' situation with Johnson, writing, in a blog post entitled, "The biggest holes for trades to fill", about how it seemed, as of this morning:
"The Nationals might be standing pat at the deadline. Fair or not, the perception within the industry is that the Nationals waited too long and missed their window to deal Nick Johnson and get some value in return."
But late this afternoon, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, who, you might remember, broke the story of Former Manager Manny Acta's impending departure weeks before it happened, is reporting, in an article entitled, "MLB trade deadline buzz: Thursday edition", that the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies have both expressed interest in the services of the Nationals' first baseman. According to Mr. Rosenthal's "major league source":
"The Marlins are making a strong push for Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson, but the teams have been unable to reach an agreement on the player the Nationals would receive in return, according to a major league source.
"The Marlins have offered the Nationals a minor league pitching prospect for Johnson. Among the names under discussion: Class AA left-hander Aaron Thompson Class AAA right-hander Ryan Tucker."
Earlier this afternoon, Mr. Rosenthal wrote that the Colorado Rockies were also considering as a possible, "...late inning left-handed hitter off the bench," but that probably says a lot about what they would be offering in return, so the Marlins' interest would seem to be more serious at this point...
(ed. note - "The DC Faithful have been discussing the news in Doghouse's post game report entitled, "Game 102: two-thirds of a good outing" for about an hour now while I was writing this up.")
More news when it's available...