Nick Johnson continues to be subject of trade rumors
Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson continues to be the subject of trade rumors. There was talk of Johnson going to the Red Sox for reliever Manny Delcarmen, but the deal fell through, according to published reports.
There is also speculation that the Mets may have interest in Johnson after Carlos Delgado was lost for 10 weeks due to hip surgery. However, for now, the Mets plan to stick with Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis at first.
A baseball source said if Murphy and Tatis are not productive, the Mets plan to call the Nationals about Johnson.
The Nationals have been trying to trade Johnson since last winter. When the Nationals signed Adam Dunn to a two-year $20 million contract last February, the plan was to put him at first base and make Josh Willingham the everyday left fielder.
But Johnson is still with Nationals and off to the best start of his career. Entering Saturday’s action against the Orioles, Johnson is hitting .336 with four home runs and 25 RBIs. He is in the last year of a three-year, $16.5 million contract.
“He is an extremely valuable player. He is fourth or fifth in the league in hitting,” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We need him here and we like him here. If someone overwhelms us with a deal that we can’t refuse, of course, we are going to listen to a deal about Nick or anybody else. He is an extremely valuable player for us.”