Results of my trade poll aren't that surprising. Nick Johnson led the way with 14 votes. Josh Willingham got nine. Austin Kearns and Lastings Milledge got eight each.
Lord knows I'm not in the head of Mike Rizzo. I have no idea how he thinks, though I'm guessing he thinks highly of those he put in the Diamondbacks system. I do think Kearns and Milledge are off the table.
Kearns costs too much and just hasn't shown himself to be that good. I can't see the team getting much in return. Milledge? Who is going to give up something of value for a Triple A outfielder (beyond the Nats a couple of years ago)? And an injured one at that. He has to get better and prove himself somewhere. I get the idea Rizzo doesn't much like him but I also think he's still somehow part of the long-range plan.
Willingham is, I think, under club control for two years after one. I suspect he's the every day left fielder next year and I'm OK with that. I think with regular play, he'll be as productive as he was in Florida. Not a star but certainly functional. Decent outfielder. And I don't know that he brings a whole lot in return right now either.
That leaves ol' Nick, a guy I really like as a player. Who can dispute that, when healthy, he's a pretty good guy to have on the team? He's a professional hitter and strong fielder. We can question a lot about Manny but the move of Johnson into the No. 2 hole has worked pretty well.
But he's in the final year of his contract and there's always that health thing hanging over his head. Can he actually go a full year? He has the most value of the four discussed here. Is there another team willing to take a chance on that health and return something of value?
What is that value? I have no clue. I've admitted many times on here that I don't pay attention to other teams and I sure do know exactly nothing about farm systems of other teams. Is a real, live pitcher and decent prospect too much to expect in return? Jon Rauch, not the level of a healthy Johnson but still pretty good (then), brought back a prospect. Can Johnson bring more than that?
If the Nats don't trade Johnson, they'll almost certainly lose him at season's end. If he does have a healthy, productive season, his price will go up. Can you take that kind of risk given his history?
I hate to see him go. I don't see a better option.
Who's out there who could be had? What are the answers? Dunn's only signed through next year. Is Marrero going to be ready to play in the majors in 2011?