It was a rumor that apparently kept growing louder and louder. The possible deal was Nick Johnson for either Ryan Tucker or Aaron Thompson. Apparently, the Nationals settled on Thompson when the deadline dust settled.
It was reported earlier today that the possible deal was off as the Nationals announced their lineup for tonight’s game with Nick Johnson in it. Things changed quickly from there.
The Nationals are trying to rebuild their organization with pitching help, and considering the recent moves they are making they are well on their way. There were reports that the Nationals were actively shopping Johnson to clubs looking to get some help for their runs to the postseason – they contacted the Giants about a deal for Jonathan Sanchez, which was turned down.
This deal makes a lot of sense for the Marlins as they add some lefty power to their lineup and gain even more depth and flexibility. Jorge Cantu currently plays 1B, but with the addition of Johnson there may be a shift to 3B for Cantu in the works. Certainly this helps the Marlins offense as they can stash Johnson in the lineup right behind Hanley Ramirez and give him some insurance in the lineup. Plus, the Marlins will only be responsible for a fraction of the $5M owed to Johnson in this, his last season under contract. That figure estimates to be about $1.7M for the Fish as they get Johnson’s services for the rest of the season.
In 98 games, Johnson is batting .295 with 6 home runs, 44 RBIs and a .408 on base percentage. He is a dangerous and disciplined hitter which can help the Marlins work counts and drive in runs and also adds a lefty bat for the lineup. He also is a very good defender: gold glove caliber.