Johnson, Expos Gone

And there you have it, the expected trade was made, with about 180 seconds to go on my clock. The Nationals have finally made a trade deadline move, sending Nick Johnson to the Marlins in exchange for minor league pitcher Aaron Thompson. With his contract expiring, no chance at getting prospects for him when he goes to free agency, and a team going nowhere, trading Johnson was a necessity. It give this team time to test out some of their other players at first base, and hopefully bring Dukes up to play the OF (he’s hitting .288/.397/.545 in AAA, in case you were worried he’d pack it in once he was sent down). Before getting into what they got in exchange for Nick, a moment of silence please, for the Montreal Expos.

That’s right, with the departure of Nick, the last player on the Nats to have played on the 2004 Expos team is gone. The connection isn’t quite severed, as some players were drafted under that regime, but look at that roster. Everyone has left. Maybe the curse of Montreal is over, maybe this team will continue to suck. Maybe this is a symbolic gesture that indicates the team has turned the corner, maybe it means nothing at all. Either way, it’s the end of an era.

The New Guy

As for Thompson, what are the Nats getting? Well, first of all, this can be considered something of a victory. The Nats wanted him, and the Marlins cut off talks at that trade. They wanted to trade someone else. Anyway, Thompson is a 21 year old lefty starter, he has a 4.11 ERA in AA this year, and has 75 Ks and 43 BBs in 114 IP this year. He wasn’t in Baseball America’s top 10 Marlins prospects this year, but he is considered to have the best changeup in the organization by that site.

He was in their top 10 last year, and they give him a ceiling of a #3 or 4 starter. He’s got a low 90s fastball and has been effective against righties as well as the expected lefties. He also doesn’t allow many HRs, and holds runners on well.

My Only Question

As I’m writing this, it’s now 4:15 by my watch, 15 minutes after the trade deadline. Has Kearns been DFA’d yet?

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