The Nationals' injury-prone first baseman, Nick Johnson, is off to a .333/.432/.468 start in 169 plate appearances. He hasn't played a full season since '06, so it might make sense for GM Mike Rizzo to trade him while he's healthy and hitting. Johnson has about $4.2MM left on his contract.
On Saturday, ESPN's Peter Gammons wrote:
The Nationals have let it be known that Nick Johnson is available, but Boston won't trade Clay Buchholz.
I think MLB.com's Bill Ladson was responding to that Gammons sentence when he wrote today:
Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson has been mentioned in trade rumors of late. The Red Sox are said to be scouting Johnson, but the truth is, according to a baseball source, Washington and Boston haven't talked since April.
Ladson goes on to say that the Nationals would want a pitching prospect in a Johnson trade, and the player had kind words for the Red Sox.
How about the Giants, who are 14th in the NL with 3.97 runs scored per game and have gotten a .228/.275/.272 line out of first basemen Travis Ishikawa and Rich Aurilia? Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News says "I heard Nick Johnson's name on the lips of more than one uniformed person Tuesday." Aurilia might be on the way out, but to make room for Jesus Guzman.
The Mets are another team often speculated as a suitor for Johnson. GM Omar Minaya will stay in-house for now for Carlos Delgado's replacement, but maybe he'll make a deal if Delgado has a setback.