Nationals had to trade Nick Johnson

Interim general manager Mike Rizzo didn’t have a choice but to trade Nick Johnson  because the latter did not want to negotiate an extension with the Nationals. Johnson, by the way, is looking for a two-year deal.  

If Johnson filed for free agency without being traded, there was a good possibility he could have been listed as a C-type player, which means the Nationals wouldn’t get a compensation pick if Johnson signed elsewhere.

As Rizzo found out before the Trade Deadline, there wasn’t much of a market for Johnson. Only the Giants, Marlins and Rangers had interest in Johnson.

The Rangers weren’t willing to give up anything significant for Johnson, so they were out of the picture immediately.

Johnson ranked third on the Giants’ wish list when it came to acquiring a first baseman. Ryan Garko was clearly San Francisco’s No. 1 choice.

The Marlins were the only team that showed any strong interest. The Nationals were not going to budge unless pitcher Aaron Thompson was in the deal. With 17 minutes left before the deadline, the two teams agreed to terms. The Nationals also gave the Marlins $1.5 million.                                 

20 Comments

This article is total B.S. The Nationals didn’t “have to” trade Johnson. They had his services for two more months during which they could’ve done something positive and then taken their chances in re-signing him, if it’s true they couldn’t re-sign him during the season. If it’s true there wasn’t any interest from other teams, then they would’ve had a good chance to re-sign him in the off-season. It was their decision to deny the Nats fans the pleasure of seeing Johnson play over the final two months and instead to trade him to division rival Florida so he can help them beat the Nationals often in order to “get something” for him, something of marginal benefit two or three years from now, maybe. The byline on this article should be “Nats management/Rizzo” not Ladson, whoever that really is.

I can tell you that Mike Rizzo did not write this blog item. I’ll be surprised if the Nationals re-sign Johnson after the season. I don’t see them signing him to a two-year deal, not with his history of getting hurt all the time.

Opinions are like axxholes…we all got one…and mine is: The NOTS SUITS LIED about spending money during the transition offseason from RFK to NOTStown………..They LIED about “O Dog’s” injury….They LIED about the Crow clusterxxxx……..they LIED about this……….and they will LIE about their reasons for failing to sign Strasburg……..

Hey, I know you. You rip me all the time. You are being too harsh. Give the Nationals a chance to build the team. It takes time.

The Nationals should have trade for Nunez or a RELIEVER who could come in now and stop a rally or keep the Nats lead in tact. Logan Kennsing is a joke he came in and gave up 4er in 2/3 of an inning and should be DFA’D IMMEDIATLEY. His so called “improvement” is a 10.45 ERA. Bring up Estrada or even Saul would be an improvement.

The Nationals should have trade for Nunez or a RELIEVER who could come in now and stop a rally or keep the Nats lead in tact. Logan Kennsing is a joke he came in and gave up 4er in 2/3 of an inning and should be DFA’D IMMEDIATLEY. His so called “improvement” is a 10.45 ERA. Bring up Estrada or even Saul would be an improvement.

The Nationals should have trade for Nunez or a RELIEVER who could come in now and stop a rally or keep the Nats lead in tact. Logan Kennsing is a joke he came in and gave up 4er in 2/3 of an inning and should be DFA’D IMMEDIATLEY. His so called “improvement” is a 10.45 ERA. Bring up Estrada or even Saul would be an improvement.

Marlins weren’t gonna give us a major league player for a 2 month rental and it wouldn’t have made sense to get a player to help win now. Whats the difference between losing 110 to 111 games? Absolutely nothing, invest in the future. Move on better to get something then nothing at all. That’s the risk the Nationals faced with Beimel and Johnson. Teams undervalued Johnson because of his history with injuries, in addition to his lack of power numbers @ 1st. The only plus was his OBP that’s what the Marlins got and a decent glove at 1st.

We all loved Nick Johnson but let’s remember he was never expected to be apart of the Nationals when they start contending. He will probably be retired by then. Btw Crow hasn’t signed yet with the Royals…. Sigh… the pains of losing 100 games 2 years in a row.

Come on Bill…You don’t work for the Nats. Tell the truth without having people band from this blog.

What Johnson has proven himself to have become this year is a good bench player and defensive replacement in the model of a Ronnie Belliard 2 or 3 years ago. Problem is he can only play 1 position. The Nats, nor anyone else, will not be interested in signing him as an everyday player. His offensive production at 10 hrs and 70 rbi over a full season this year are not everyday numbers for a 1st baseman.

Besides all that, he has said he wants to play on a winning team. I think this deal was OK. If nothing else, it gets Adam Dunn out of the outfield.

I hated to see Slick Nick Leave as much as anyone! BUT let’s not forget Thompson is a quality first round Pick. The Nats Continue to stock pile arms with the guiding principle that it is easier to trade Pitching for hitting than the other way around. I consider this a good strategy for 2 reasons:
1) Championships are won w/ Pitching and Defense………………………………… and
2) Stocking your team at the Winter meetings is a lot easier if you have what other GMs want and need.
As far as the Strassburg signing goes, these additions give Rizzo a better place to negotiate from. If Strassburg does not sign we will most likely have 2 top ten picks for the second year in a row. That being said we will sign Strassburg. The difference in upside from Crow to Strassburg is huge and Rizzo knows it. Negotiations like this don’t get serious until close to the deadline b/c of how many other things have to shake out 1st (pun intended). Next year will also be the time to sign our Core players to long term deals, especially Nyjer!

On the positive side, re Strassburg, wasn’t the Nationals 4th round drafting and July signing of A. J. Morris from Kansas State, a co-Golden Spikes finalist with Strassburg, a great move? Okay, Strassburg won the Golden Spikes, but Morris’ stats from Kansas State are almost as good as Strassburg’s. And isn’t Kansas State’s league is a bit tougher than San Diego State’s? In view of Morris and the other arms in the Nats system and the history of phenom flops, isn’t it ill-advised for the Nats to pay Strassburg a ton of money before he proves himself?

The first comment from rlfwdc says it well, this article is pure B S, it insults the intelligence of the reader, and insults the fans who have stuck with this team through a craptastic couple of years. He “had to trade” is inaccurate, it was a choice, and where are the specifics of Johnson’s “did not want to negotiate”? A prior article on nats journal indicated they tried to negotiate but could not reach an immediate deal, so what really happened? Nick said “no, I’m going free agent and want to play somewhere else?”; or “no, I want 2 years and $X and you are offering me less”; “I want to wait until the end of the year to negotiate”? Something else? The wording in this article is shrewdly biased toward Rizzo without the specifics to back it up, and is therefore poor journalism. Give us the specifics, please. As far as the *choice* to trade him, the organization would be better off keeping him for 2 months and letting Riggleman continue to develop a winning attitude with the 2 months that are left, even if he gets away at the end of the year. Instead, this weekend’s shellacking by the pittsburg minor league team is what we get, and can expect for the rest of the year. Torpedo what could have been done with the last 2 months, torpedo what learning and development could be done to build on for next year, torpedo Riggleman’s chances of being hired, and raising a big middle finger to the fans who’ve been stepped all over for the last several years. All for a mediocre pitcher who is in his 5th minor league year, still at AA, with a 4.11 era, and is yet another “finesse pitcher”. Thanks a lot Rizzo. Hope you are not retained.

Yes Nick and the Nats were far enough apart to not get it done by the trade deadline. The implied end to the Statement “had to trade” is “or get nothing in return” since there “was a good possibility he could have been listed as a C-type player, which means the Nationals wouldn’t get a compensation pick if Johnson signed elsewhere.” … Further when nick tests the Free agent Market his value will be greatly reduced because of the many game lost to injury (hence the type C label). Slick may very well find the team most willing to sign him is us b/c we have seen his upside. But Rizzo won’t sign him for 16 million. If we do not sign Nick I look for Rizzo to go out and get a better 1st baseman one who is a longer term answer than Nick could ever be with so much of his Career gone now. Age had something to do with this move too

I am sorry to see Nick go. I think there is a decent chance that his injuries are behind him now, and he is certainly better than any AA pitcher. I guess Rizzo must think that Chris Marrero is closer to being ready than has been revealed. But the guy who is REALLY going to miss Nick Johnson is Ryan Zimmerman. How many errors has Johnson’s glove saved him this year already? I think we should have kept Nick. And I think we WOULD have been compensated if he signed elsewhere. He was clearly an integral part of our team.

A J Morris was a great signing. People also forget ew did get a top ten (overall) pick signed and he is currently in the midst of a meteoric rise through the farm system. Drew Storen. the only question is will he be far enough along to come up on September. those of you (few ) who are still talking about the Nats not spending,.. They are- on the Draft picks and the Farm system. The stars we have are going to be our stars playing what will be come the Washington equivalent of the Oriole way of the 60s and 70s. Good Defense Good Pitching Good Hitting almost all Homegrown or Acquired via trade for homegrown talent… Kinda like the Expos of the early 90s ……………………………………….. D

They did not have to trade Johnson but its good that they did. With Johnson gone, they can see if Dunn is a viable option at first. Also, Dukes and Willingham can man the outfield at the same time and we can see what the team may look like next year. When did Johnson become a building block for the future? We are lucky we got something for him at all. He is an injury prone older player who doesnt flash a great deal of power. At this point we should be thinking more towards 2010 and beyond rather than the rest of this season. Next year with Kearns, Young and Belliard off the books we should be able to add a few decent players hopefully some good pitchers.

The natinals management doesn’t care how many games this team loses or wins. It is evident by the poor quality product they have put on the field this year. It is evident by the fact they trade within the division more times than other professional team. Facts are stubborn things. The fact is the management won’t sign Strasburg or any high price free agent. The fact is we are worse than Senators were at any time during any tenure in DC. Fact, management doesn’t care how they are perceived by the local or national media. Fact no intelligent fan would be expected to pay for this, especially after the Lerners’ promises and guarantees they made when they first bought this team. I find it extremely funny that no one NO ONE, especially Bill Ladson, in the media has the balls to question team president Stan Kasten or any of the Lerners’ about their broken promises that were and are continued to be made to the fans. Fact, if the current management continues on their current pattern and trend this team could wind up like other incarnations of Senators, gone to another city and ownership more willing to do what it takes to build a real team for the fans. Fact, the natinals ownership is laughing stock and embarrassment in all professional sports and so is the team and they don’t care one bit how they are perceived by the media. Like John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things”.

Rizzo says that the Nats are building, not rebuilding. And Ladson supports that notion. If you ask me, they are de-constructing. They have gotten worse every single year since they moved to DC. It’s hard to believe. Now they’ve lost a wonderful 1st baseman and a solid middle reliever, in exchange for nothing, making them worse yet. And I hear that they might be looking to move Willingham. What foolishness.

Mr. Ladson, please let the owners and GM know what we think.

The problem here is that if no-one was willing to give up much for Johnson, why trade him? Why would you subject your young sinkerballers to the horrors of Adam Dunn at 1B, after Mr Ladson’s critique of his defensive blunders in LF in previous mailboxes, note that now he definately won’t be traded, Mr Ladson now feels he’ll do a good job at 1B.

Just seems like the Nats were going to trade Johnson no matter what they got back, the Lerners sending $1.5m to Florida (Can’t pay Kearns off though) just underlines this – and also shows a lack of ambition in the free agency market, especially one as thin for hitting as the 2010 selection will be. I wonder if we’ll be Kotchman at 1B for DC or maybe Ishigawa? (typo)

If you want genuine prospects, trade Dunn as he’s very valuble, teams do actually want him and there’s no evidence that the team will sign any players drafted with the extra picks he would garner signing elsewhere as a free agent in 2011, those prospects must include some hitting, as the young pitchers in AA/AAA mustn’t get the idea that a two-run single dooms them to another defeat and a balanced farm system makes us more attractive to teams needing bats as well as arms. But instead the team will continue to persue ‘The Plan’ down a blind alley of tight, low scoring losses as the front office have no interest in persuing high $$$ players (Teixiera, yes but we were being could well have been played by Boras & the Yankees and he’d have been traded by now, probably for a bunch of pitchers!)

Also Mr Ladson mentions that the Nats front office need time to build a team, but they’ve had quite a bit of time now and there’s nothing really to see, other than the odd decent pitching prospect type. ‘The Plan’ didn’t work out because Chad Cordero couldn’t stay fit enough to be the Doyle Alexander trade chip, Bowden was never really sold on the theory, preferring instead to rebuild the Reds in DC and the owners don’t understand the draft system enough to overpay once in a while to get the sinkerballer who fits the Kasten mould so well, though there’s some argument over whether Aaron Crow would sign for any non-contender, like Pitt in 2009 say…

Finally, the Kearns comments about the team liking him because he’s a hard worker and doesn’t grumble look delusional. He’s still on the team because he’ll get a lot of $$$ should they DFA him and it seems disingenuous, as well as slightly insulting to the Nats fans to say otherwise. You could probably get the same kind of production of an Austin Kearns from a fit Justin Maxwell on 10% of Kearns salary and garland him with identical attributes.

How unfortunate it is that the Cleveland Indians beat writer feels able to say something like this regarding Jhonny Peralta in their mailbox whereas the more experienced and longer-serving Bill Ladson is unable, or unwilling, to state an opinion.

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