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March 11, 2006

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Who owns Aflac? I think they had some weird say in this deal. And what are the odds that Broadway is called up by June to take over for Nick after he gets hurt?

I hope Li'l Nicky proves us wrong, but his track record shows he can't go a whole season without getting hurt. Typically his injuries are a result of him playing really hard, which I can deal with.

Can we talk about the picture of him with his huge "pipes" dangling over the bat?

I would make a big stink about signing him to a 3 year deal, but I realized he's only a month older than I am. However, I'm pretty sure he has more facial hair than on top of "old Smokey" right now.

Is this a sign of things to come under the Lerner group? This move is either one of two things: A) What appears to most experts to be a very peculiar move, or, B) Rewarding a guy who has played very hard for the franchise.

I'm hoping it's B, but I think if it is he's rewarding him a little too much.

$5.5M/year for Johnson is less than what a comparable guy (injuries and all) would hve received on the open market.

Is he a building block guy? Absolutely not. Johnson is a solid complementary piece for the Nationals.

Does this deal make sense? With the unpredictability of the free agent market, I don't necessarily see a problem with the deal. Johnson is entering what are typically his prime years over the life of this contract. When you take a look at what average to marginal CI are receiving on the open market (Casey $8.5M in 2006; Shea Hillenbrand $5.8M; Edgardo Alfonzo at $6.5M) offering $5.5M/year is within expectations.

What about Larry Broadway? Broadway is only 2 years younger than Johnson so it's not like they have a young prospect waiting in the wings. Broadway has a simialr injury bug to Johnson, so it's not like you are bringing in a historically healthy guy. In my estimation, Broadway was merely a stopgap option with no certainty to his return on investment. The Nats are paying for more of a known quantity in Johnson.

With Johnson and Brian Schneider signed long term along with Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals have 60% of their IF in place for the next 3 years.

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