Last week, in a post at the Nationals Journal by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan entitled, "Rizzo Has No Plans For A July Firesale", the "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo was quoted stating that in the weeks leading up to the '09 trade deadline, the Nationals will look to, "...make deals based on good baseball decisions," but the "firesale" that many were predicting is not likely, since, as Mr. Rizzo put it, "'Firesale' means you want to dump people. We don't want to dump people."
Back on May 27th, while the Nationals were in New York, NY Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff, in an article entitled, "Nationals are building for future", quoted Mr. Rizzo explaining that several players on the Nationals' roster were in fact available if the right deal came along, or in his own words, as quoted by Mr. Davidoff:
"'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...'"
Back to July 4th, again in Mr. Harlan's article, where Mr. Rizzo does the asking and answering:
"'Why would you want to drop Willingham? We control him for two years, he's  years old, and he's a good hitter,' Rizzo said. 'I still think it's a young team. Willingham and Zim, those are guys in their primes or entering their primes. Including Dunn.'"
But surely, Nick Johnson will be dealt right?...(cont. after the jump)...
As far back as November of last year, there was FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal's article entitled, "Sources: Furcal meets with A's officials in Oakland", where Mr. Rosenthal, after reporting on the Dodgers' pursuit of Rafael Furcal, wrote that, "...the A's have requested and received the medical records of Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson."
In early June, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote an entire article about, "How Nick Johnson could fit in Boston", in which he quoted a "talent evaluator" who was of the opinion that Nick Johnson would fit perfectly on the Red Sox' roster, and though both teams have since shot down talk of a Manny Delcarmen for Nick Johnson deal, the rumors of the Red Sox' interest surfaced again when Mike Lowell went on the DL recently...
Nick Johnson addressed all the trade himself, talking to Daily News Sports writer Peter Botte for an article entitled, "Nick Johnson wouldn't be against bringing first aid to Mets", where he spoke about the Mets' interest in his services and seemed to accept the possibility of a deal, stating, "If it happens, it does; if I'm here, (in NY) great," but, Mr. Johnson continued:
"'I can't worry about rumors or any of that stuff...I don't deal with anything until it happens.... But I enjoyed (New York). Fans are into it, they want to win. It's all about winning and that's what I want to play for, to get that ring on my finger. I definitely had a good time while I was here those three years.'"
...and just this week, no less an authority than the Former DC GM himself, JIm Bowden, told the followers of his Twitter Feed that San Francisco was interested in the Nationals' first baseman, writing tweeting:
"...Giants working on deals for Nick Johnson, Aubrey Huff or Adam LaRoche....with that rotation.....they have a great shot for the wildcard!"
Mr. Rizzo, back in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's article, is asked to directly address the rumors about Nick Johnson's availability, and the "Acting" DC GM responds, "Nick is probably the one with the most trade rumors, but we're not looking to move him. We'll only move him if we have the right opportunity." 22 days and counting 'til the non-waiver trade deadline...July 31st...ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote again just the other day that, "There is some surprise among Rizzo's peers that he hasn't traded Nick Johnson yet," and Mr. Olney quotes "one assistant GM" who says:
"'There was a window of opportunity to deal him for something worthwhile, and that might be closing, because he's stopped hitting at the same clip...'"
What about Adam Dunn? Any truth to the rumors he's available? Did you see him at first Wednesday against Colorado? Please don't trade Nick Johnson...
MLB.com's Bill Ladson quotes the "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo from a radio appearance on ESPN 980 where he ends any speculation of a Dunn deal by stating, "We are not trading Adam Dunn...That's as definitive as I can be." So the Nationals don't want to trade Josh Willingham, or Nick Johnson, Austin Kearns is virtually untradable, Dunn's a no...
So my ?'s For The DC Faithful...
• Will the "Acting" DC GM trade Elijah Dukes? Will anyone give Dukes the chance the Former DC GM gave him?
• TAWH? Will The Amazing Willie Harris get dealt? He's being shoehorned into the lineup, but Nyjer Morgan seems to have assumed his role...
• A couple weeks too late to move Villone, right? To another team at least...
• Do the Los Angeles Dodgers want Joe Beimel as much as he wants them?
• Do the Nationals dare deal from their system?
• Is Rizzo Taunting The Teams That Want Nick Johnson?
• Trade Cristian Guzman to someone desperate for a shortstop?