Portrait of Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson 1B

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Career Summary
14 3316 .268 .399 .441 118 12.6
Birth Date9-19-1978
Height6' 3"
Weight235 lbs
Age41 years, 11 months, 30 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

2001 NYA 22 23 78 13 2 0 2 7 15 4 0 0 .194 .308 .313 80 -1.6 -0.6 0.4 -0.1
2002 NYA 23 129 441 92 15 0 15 48 98 12 1 3 .243 .347 .402 100 1.7 -0.2 1.9 0.8
2003 NYA 24 96 406 92 19 0 14 70 57 8 5 2 .284 .422 .472 136 19.6 -1.5 -0.8 2.1
2004 MON 25 73 295 63 16 0 7 40 58 3 6 3 .251 .359 .398 91 -2.7 1.8 2.0 0.4
2005 WAS 26 131 547 131 35 3 15 80 87 12 3 8 .289 .408 .479 127 18.5 -1.9 5.7 2.8
2006 WAS 27 147 628 145 46 0 23 110 99 13 10 3 .290 .428 .520 140 35.6 -1.7 4.6 4.4
2008 WAS 29 38 147 24 8 0 5 33 25 4 0 0 .220 .415 .431 118 3.7 0.4 0.7 0.6
2009 FLO 30 35 150 29 8 0 2 36 18 6 0 2 .279 .477 .413 116 3.4 -0.7 0.0 0.4
2009 WAS 30 98 424 104 16 2 6 63 66 6 2 2 .295 .408 .402 115 8.9 -5.0 1.0 0.9
2010 NYA 31 24 98 12 4 0 2 24 23 2 0 1 .167 .388 .306 97 -0.2 0.0 -0.1 0.1
2012 BAL 33 38 102 18 4 0 4 11 26 4 2 0 .207 .324 .391 91 -1.0 0.3 0.1 0.1

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
1997 GRB A SAL 0 527 .000 .000 .000 .321 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1998 TAM A+ FSL 0 390 .000 .000 .000 .376 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1999 NRW AA EAS 0 580 .000 .000 .000 .412 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 NYA MLB AL 23 78 .262 .333 .418 .220 97 -4 2.3 -1.4 80 16 0.4 -0.6 -1.6 -0.1
2001 COH AAA INT 110 459 .000 .000 .000 .314 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 NYA MLB AL 129 441 .266 .335 .430 .291 96 0 12.7 -8 100 9 1.9 -0.2 1.7 0.8
2002 COH AAA INT 3 12 .000 .000 .000 .143 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 NYA MLB AL 96 406 .258 .327 .408 .307 100 17.4 11.1 -7.6 136 9 -0.8 -1.5 19.6 2.1
2003 TRN AA EAS 4 18 .000 .000 .000 .417 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 COH AAA INT 3 12 .000 .000 .000 .571 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 MON MLB NL 73 295 .266 .334 .426 .299 93 3.8 8.8 -5.6 91 11 2.0 1.8 -2.7 0.4
2004 BRV A+ FSL 6 25 .000 .000 .000 .214 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 EDM AAA PCL 3 13 .000 .000 .000 .333 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 WAS MLB NL 131 547 .263 .325 .417 .329 91 33 15.7 -10 127 8 5.7 -1.9 18.5 2.8
2005 NWO AAA PCL 3 7 .287 .352 .456 .000 0.0 58 0 -0.2 0.0 -0.3 0.0
2006 WAS MLB NL 147 628 .267 .334 .431 .320 90 51.8 18.9 -12.1 140 8 4.6 -1.7 35.6 4.4
2008 WAS MLB NL 38 147 .255 .327 .408 .238 94 9.1 4.2 -2.7 118 14 0.7 0.4 3.7 0.6
2009 FLO MLB NL 35 150 .264 .330 .427 .310 96 10.2 4.3 -2.7 116 8 0.0 -0.7 3.4 0.4
2009 WAS MLB NL 98 424 .263 .332 .422 .346 96 13.3 12.2 -7.8 115 8 1.0 -5.0 8.9 0.9
2009 JUP A+ FSL 2 3 .261 .321 .402 1.000 89 0.3 0.1 -0.1 36 0 0.5 -0.6 -0.2 0.0
2010 NYA MLB AL 24 98 .259 .327 .410 .213 112 -1.1 2.7 -1.7 97 11 -0.1 0.0 -0.2 0.1
2011 AKR AA EAS 2 9 .254 .346 .383 .250 84 0.6 0.3 -0.2 118 0 -0.1 -0.3 0.2 0.0
2011 COH AAA INT 53 216 .262 .329 .402 .246 105 -9.6 6.7 -4.3 64 0 2.5 -1.7 -7.3 -0.4
2012 BAL MLB AL 38 102 .244 .314 .400 .246 106 -1 2.8 -1.6 91 15 0.1 0.3 -1.0 0.1

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
1997 GRB A SAL 527 433 77 118 23 1 16 191 75 76 99 16 3 .273 .402 .441 .169 0 0
1998 TAM A+ FSL 390 303 69 96 14 1 17 163 58 68 76 1 4 .317 .469 .538 .221 0 0
1999 NRW AA EAS 580 420 114 145 33 5 14 230 87 123 88 8 6 .345 .526 .548 .202 0 0
2001 NYA MLB AL 78 67 6 13 2 0 2 21 8 7 15 0 0 .194 .308 .313 .119 0 0
2001 COH AAA INT 459 359 68 92 20 0 18 166 49 81 105 9 2 .256 .412 .462 .206 0 0
2002 NYA MLB AL 441 378 56 92 15 0 15 152 58 48 98 1 3 .243 .347 .402 .159 0 3
2002 COH AAA INT 12 11 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 0 0 .091 .167 .091 .000 0 0
2003 COH AAA INT 12 10 1 5 2 0 1 10 3 2 2 0 0 .500 .583 1.000 .500 0 0
2003 NYA MLB AL 406 324 60 92 19 0 14 153 47 70 57 5 2 .284 .422 .472 .188 1 3
2003 TRN AA EAS 18 12 3 5 1 0 0 6 1 5 0 0 0 .417 .611 .500 .083 0 0
2004 BRV A+ FSL 25 21 3 4 0 0 1 7 5 4 6 0 0 .190 .320 .333 .143 0 0
2004 MON MLB NL 295 251 35 63 16 0 7 100 33 40 58 6 3 .251 .359 .398 .147 1 0
2004 EDM AAA PCL 13 9 2 2 1 0 0 3 0 4 3 0 0 .222 .462 .333 .111 0 0
2005 NWO AAA PCL 7 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .000 .143 .000 .000 0 0
2005 WAS MLB NL 547 453 66 131 35 3 15 217 74 80 87 3 8 .289 .408 .479 .190 2 0
2006 WAS MLB NL 628 500 100 145 46 0 23 260 77 110 99 10 3 .290 .428 .520 .230 3 2
2008 WAS MLB NL 147 109 15 24 8 0 5 47 20 33 25 0 0 .220 .415 .431 .211 1 0
2009 JUP A+ FSL 3 3 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 .333 .333 .667 .333 0 0
2009 WAS MLB NL 424 353 47 104 16 2 6 142 44 63 66 2 2 .295 .408 .402 .108 2 0
2009 FLO MLB NL 150 104 24 29 8 0 2 43 18 36 18 0 2 .279 .477 .413 .135 3 1
2010 NYA MLB AL 98 72 12 12 4 0 2 22 8 24 23 0 1 .167 .388 .306 .139 0 0
2011 COH AAA INT 216 184 20 37 6 0 6 61 13 26 52 0 1 .201 .316 .332 .130 0 1
2011 AKR AA EAS 9 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0 .200 .556 .200 .000 0 0
2012 BAL MLB AL 102 87 9 18 4 0 4 34 11 11 26 2 0 .207 .324 .391 .184 0 0

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA
2008 596 0.4681 0.3255 0.8247 0.5341 0.1420 0.8658 0.6889 0.1753 0.0035
2009 2470 0.5049 0.3421 0.8438 0.5076 0.1733 0.8863 0.7170 0.1562 -0.0063
2010 420 0.5024 0.2976 0.8800 0.4502 0.1435 0.9053 0.8000 0.1200 -0.0002
2012 427 0.4941 0.3583 0.7908 0.5213 0.1991 0.8091 0.7442 0.2092 0.0045

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2012-06-28 2012-10-13 60-DL 107 88 Right Wrist Inflammation - -
2011-06-28 2011-07-15 Minors 17 0 - Not Disclosed - -
2011-04-06 2011-06-03 Minors 58 55 Right Wrist Recovery From Surgery Removing Tendon -
2011-02-28 2011-02-28 Camp 0 0 Right Wrist Surgery Removing Tendon -
2010-08-27 2010-08-27 On-Alr 0 0 Right Wrist Surgery Debridement 2010-08-27
2010-05-08 2010-10-21 60-DL 166 134 Right Wrist Surgery Debridement Around Inflamed Tendon 2010-05-18
2010-04-24 2010-04-27 DTD 3 2 Low Back Soreness -
2010-04-03 2010-04-04 Camp 1 0 Right Knee Contusion -
2010-03-04 2010-03-08 Camp 4 0 Low Back Stiffness -
2009-09-26 2009-10-02 DTD 6 5 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2009-08-17 2009-09-03 15-DL 17 15 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2009-06-27 2009-06-28 DTD 1 1 Contusion HBP on Toe -
2009-06-25 2009-06-25 DTD 0 0 Left Lower Leg Contusion Shin -
2008-05-14 2008-09-28 60-DL 137 120 Right Wrist Surgery Ulnar Collateral Ligament and Torn Tendon Sheath 2008-06-24
2007-07-11 2007-07-11 On-Alr 0 0 Right Hip Inflammation Bursitis -
2007-03-28 2007-09-30 60-DL 186 161 Right Thigh Recovery From Surgery Femur - Multiple Surgeries 2007-08-27
2006-09-24 2006-10-01 DTD 7 7 Right Thigh Surgery Femur - Multiple Surgeries 2006-09-25
2006-08-27 2006-08-29 DTD 2 1 Neck Strain Player Collision -
2006-06-18 2006-06-24 DTD 6 5 Low Back Strain -
2005-09-04 2005-09-08 DTD 4 4 Right Foot Contusion Heel -
2005-06-27 2005-07-26 15-DL 29 24 Right Foot Contusion Heel -
2005-06-02 2005-06-02 DTD 0 0 General Medical Illness Acid Reflux -
2005-04-27 2005-04-29 DTD 2 1 Lower Leg Contusion Foul Ball Off Shin -
2004-08-21 2004-10-04 15-DL 44 0 Right Face Fracture Cheekbone -
2004-03-31 2004-05-28 15-DL 58 0 Low Back Strain -
2003-05-16 2003-07-25 60-DL 70 60 Right Hand Stress Fracture 3rd Metacarpal -
2003-03-21 2003-03-31 Camp 10 0 Left Thumb Sprain Thumb -
2003-02-21 2003-03-18 Camp 25 0 Right Wrist Soreness -
2002-08-08 2002-09-03 15-DL 26 24 Left Wrist Contusion -
2000-04-03 2000-10-27 60-DL 207 161 Right Hand Strain - -


Year Team Salary
2012 BAL $800,000
2010 NYA $5,500,000
2009 WAS $5,500,000
2008 WAS $5,500,000
2007 WAS $5,500,000
2006 WAS $3,200,000
2005 WAS $1,450,000
2004 MON $1,250,000
2003 NYA $364,100
2002 NYA $220,650
2000 NYA $200,000
12 yrPrevious$29,484,750
12 yrTotal$29,484,750


Service TimeAgentContract Status
11 y 41 dRex Gary1 year (2012)

  • 1 year (2012). Signed by Baltimore as a free agent 2/10/12 (minor-league contract). Salary of $0.8M in majors. Contract purchased by Baltimore 4/4/12. Retired 1/13.
  • 1 year (2011). Signed by Cleveland 3/7/11 (minor-league contract). 11:$0.75M in majors, 12:$2.75M club option. May opt out of contract if not on 25-man roster by 7/1/11. Option voided if Johnson is not placed on 25-man roster during 2011 season.
  • 1 year/$5.75M (2010), plus 2011 mutual option. Signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/18/09. 10:$5.5M, $5.5M mutual option ($0.25M buyout). Mutual option increases to $6M with 500 PAs, $6.5M with 550 PAs, $7M with 600 PAs. Buyout increases to $0.5M with 550 PAs. Performance bonuses based on PAs.
  • 3 years/$16.5M (2007-09). Signed extension with Washington 3/06. 07:$5.5M, 08:$5.5M, 09:$5.5M. Acquired by Florida in trade from Washington 7/31/09.
  • 1 year/$3.2M (2006). Re-signed by Washington 1/06 (avoided arbitration). Performance bonuses based on PAs.
  • 1 year/$1.45M (2005). Re-signed by Washington 1/05 (avoided arbitration).
  • 1 year/$1.25M (2004). Acquired by Montreal in trade from NY Yankees 12/03 (Javy Vazquez deal). Lost arbitration with Montreal 2/04 ($1.68M-$1.25M).
  • 1 year/$0.3641M (2003). Re-signed by NY Yankees 2/03.
  • 1 year/$220,650 (2002). Re-signed by NY Yankees 2/02.
  • 1 year/$0.2M (2001). Re-signed by NY Yankees 2/01.
  • Drafted by NY Yankees 1996 (3-89) (McClatchy HS, Sacramento).

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

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BP Articles

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BP Chats

2014-02-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Sam! Let's say a team's doctor actually develops a method to prevent pitcher injuries. Do you think he/she would feel any ethical obligation to share this medical breakthrough, or simply enjoy rolling in all of the money?
(John from Russia)
Hmmmmmm. That's a good question. We're just talking about things that prevent pitcher injuries, not something that might presumably help kids with cerebral palsy or wounded war veterans? I generally think of baseball injuries as being outside the realm of health. I know most people find what I'm going to say slightly monstrous, but I have absolutely no discomfort rooting for injuries to my least favorite team, assuming they're baseball injuries--hamstrings and elbows and blisters--and not head injuries or anything that is really serious. The injuries we generally talk about in baseball only matter within the universe of the game, and the universe of the game is totally make believe. None of it means anything. Now, there is a spectrum where it gets harder to be happy about an injury. I wouldn't generally want anybody to be injured who is under a certain age, who hasn't gotten relatively wealthy already. There is a point where it gets flat sad to see a guy like Brian Roberts or Nick Johnson get hurt. I was moved by Miguel Bautista last year. This answer is getting off track. Are you all still here?

Anyway, to answer your question sort of, if we're just talking about a big advance in player upkeep, something that keeps pitchers healthy but isn't really a great medical breakthrough that All Of Science could and should benefit from, then no, no obligation.

Also: Players go see other teams' orthopedists and surgeons. So I guess the sport generally feels medical expertise is non-proprietary. (Sam Miller)
2010-11-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who are the better values of the non- Konerko or Dunn corners of the FA 1B mkt?
(Matt from Chicago)
There's a fair amount of depth there, which is why I've been comfortable recommending second-tier options in both of my GM for a Day articles to date. A bounce-back season from Carlos Pena would be worth buying in for, and plenty of teams could do worse than Russell Branyan. Some lucky buyer might yet get a healthy, resurgent season from Nick Johnson, but at this point, I'd no longer want to bet on it being mine. (Ben Lindbergh)
2010-10-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)The Rangers exposed a lot of the Yankees' problems (shaky rotation, declining hitters showing their age)--with the sample size including their terrible September, how deep do you think the Yankees' problems are? What would you prioritize if you were Brian Cashman? Would love to hear your insights.
(Eli from Brooklyn)
Cliff Lee's the obvious good idea, and one that Cashman should go for, as well as retaining Kerry Wood. The Nick Johnson signing was a good idea gone wrong, so pursuing a top bat makes sense. The problem is sorting out what kind of bat, and here I think the Yankees could use that sort of hard-hit balls-in-play terror to provide a nice alternating note in a lineup that provides plenty of baserunners. So, not Adam Dunn, but maybe Jayson Werth, while rotating everyone through the DH slot--Swisher, Posada, Werth, Granderson, Gardner--instead of signing a DH-only type of guy. (Christina Kahrl)
2010-09-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)As much as it pains me to say this, Nick Johnson's career is pretty much effectively over now, right?
(jeffk from NYC)
No. If Chad Fox can keep showing up in camp, Johnson has years left.

Lightning round. (Joe Sheehan)
2010-09-15 14:00:00 (link to chat)On Vazguez... I've always said the that trade for Javy (the Nick Johnson+ deal) was a good idea that didn't work. I was therefore excited at Javy v2.0, based on the idea that surely this time things would even out. I didn't expect him to replicate 2009. I did, however, expect an ERA of roughly 4. It's enough to make a man start to believe in fairy tales ("he just can't pitch in NY").
(Rob in CT from
I'm right there with you, Rob. I don't know what is going on, but I do know that human beings are human beings. If Vazquez is led to believe he can't pitch in New York, and he can't figure out what is ailing him, maybe his psyche has been affected to the point that he believes it. Only time will tell. It is just very strange for a pitcher with such consistent peripherals and pitch data to look so flat out of nowhere. (Eric Seidman)
2010-06-23 19:00:00 (link to chat)Colin hoping for a little round of injury update. Whats the latest on Kyle Blanks & Nick Johnson? I keep hearing elbow stiffness for Blanks but for it to be going on this long it sounds like there's more to it than that.
(Jquinton82 from NY)
Honestly? I don't know. And I'm afraid that if I were to try and answer this question I'd do more harm than good. I mean, I know where the elbow IS, but that's about the extent of my medical expertise. (Colin Wyers)
2010-05-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you see the Nick Johnson signing by the Yankees as a mistake? Or do the other injuries and there timing just make it seem worse than it really is from a team production standpoint?
(Jquinton82 from NY)
I think the latter. It didn't stop them from making any moves and it wont stop them from making others. When they signed him, everyone knew what they were getting. At worst, he did nothing and the DH slot opened for either Posada to take some breaks or for Montero to push his way up. They had some chance of upside and still do, but Johnson's fragility has always overruled the talents he's had. (Will Carroll)
2010-05-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)With Nick Johnson maybe done for the season and Vazquez struggling, how about Berkman, Oswalt, and Jason Castro for Montero, Vazquez, and a couple of live AA arms?
(wilk75 from Houston)
I think the Astros would consider that if they didn't have to throw any money in the deal beyond taking on Vazquez's salary. (John Perrotto)
2010-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Nick Johnson this bad (.134/.363/.224) or is this SSS at work?
(mattymatty2000 from Portland, OR)
I think his ISO will be a little better, and he's definitely a better average hitter than that. SSS! (Marc Normandin)
2010-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Nick Johnson this good? 2 for 2, a homer and a double, 2 walks today. Or is this a case of extremely SSS?
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
Nope, he's definitely a 1.000/1.000/.WhateverTheSluggingWouldBe guy. (Marc Normandin)
2010-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)RE: Nick Johnson, I think it was a fair question. He's older and injury prone. He's the kind of guy who's production could just fall off a cliff one day.
(mattymatty2000 from Portland, OR)
Oh, I know. But I thought that was a funny follow up! (Marc Normandin)
2010-04-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)If Nick Johnson gets his batting average up to .250 or so, is he going to score a million runs this year? Or two million?
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
Well, I have a program I built in Excel called the Nick Johnson OBP Calculator. Basically, you input Johnson's batting average and then add 272 points to determine his on base percentage. So, if you're saying .250, that would be an OBP of .522, which translates to 632,212 runs. So less than a million but you're in the ballpark. (Eric Seidman)
2010-03-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)In handling Nick Johnson, should the Yankees (a) give him, say, 2 days off per week in an attempt to ward off future injury even if he's healthy enough to play full time that week, or (b) send him out every single day he's not injured, figuring there's no way to keep him healthy so you may as well use every opportunity to get him into the lineup?
(DrManhattan from NY, NY)
I'd probably lean towards the latter. With Gene Monahan out for a while, I'm very curious how they'll handle things. Get well soon, Gene! (Will Carroll)
2010-02-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Steven, thanks to you & staff for the great book, and thanks for the chat... Would you rather have 1)Nick Johnson & Desmond Jennings (or Ackley) OR 2)Chris Davis, Julio Borbon & Tim Alderson?
(APBA player from wondering land)
I like the first choice, definitely, especially if you're going long enough to give Jennings a chance to get into the lineup. I'm hopeful for Davis, a little worried that Borbon will not hit .300 again, and Alderson just skeptical of. (Steven Goldman)
2010-02-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Nick Johnson's power returns with the extra time to heal his hand and the park effects? If so, which is more influential?
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
Can we go with a third choice, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long? He's already been working with Nick the Stick to get some leverage back in his swing. If the lessons take, that, combined with the park effects, should help restore some pop to his bat. (Steven Goldman)
2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)How do you see the Marcus Thames/Randy Winn/Jamie Hoffman situation shaking out? Do Thames and Winn have anything left in the tank, given last season's fades? I would have though Thames would pinch hit and Winn would then take over to avoid exposing Thames' glove (or lack thereof). Does this mean Hoffman will be returned to the Dodgers shortly?
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
First, I think this probably means Hoffman is going back to the Dodgers' organization. I like the natural fit between Thames (a lefty-masher) and Winn (a switch hitter whose bat died vs. lefties last year) or Granderson (who's struggled vs. southpaws lately as well), but it's worth remembering you're talking about fourth and fifth outfielders here, since Brett Gardner is projected to start somewhere, too.

The other good thing about Thames is that he can spot for Nick Johnson at DH against tough lefties, though the Stick has had at least some success against southpaws as well. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-02-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Let's talk Posada for a moment. The depth charts don't think he's going to be playing that much this year (60%!). How's his shoulder?
(Maggie from DC)
Yeah ... I think with his age and history, that PECOTA is anticipating an injury. I'm a bit surprised that we don't see 60 catching, 20 at DH or 1B. Part of the rationale of not bringing back Matsui was to open up DH, but then Nick Johnson fell into their lap. Even so, let's assume that Posada who couldn't catch would be at least a half-time DH. (Will Carroll)
2010-01-19 15:30:00 (link to chat)I think Nick Johnson could turn out to be a very good grab for the Yanks. How much playing time do you see him getting and what stats do you expect?
(macman from va)
I'd like to think that keeping him off the field will help him stay healthy, but who knows -- he not only got hurt with the Marlins, he got sick as well. If the Yankees are smart, they might treat him a bit like they did Hideki Matsui last year, which is to give him the odd scheduled day off, skip him against the occasional left-hander, and if there's turf involved, let him watch the game from the best seat in the house. Short of wrapping him in Mylar and filing him between the team copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 and Showcase #4, I think that's probably the best formula. (Steven Goldman)
2010-01-12 18:30:00 (link to chat)Jesus Montero... September call up? Or does he get called up earlier, when Nick Johnson inevitably hits the DL? If it's the latter, does he keep the DH job?
(tommybones from Brooklyn)
I would imagine that, if anything, he's a September call-up but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see him at all in the show next year. (Eric Seidman)
2010-01-12 18:30:00 (link to chat)Regarding 'Nick Johnson inevitably hitting the DL', how more likely is he to actually stay healthy only DHing? What do studies suggest?
(Richie from Washington)
Well, this assumes that the reason for his injuries stems from playing first base. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Injuries are really tough to gauge because we don't always know when fatigue first shows itself. For instance, maybe a young pitcher suffers fatigue after throwing 230 innings, but does not show any signs of decline in his pitch data. Then he tears a muscle running to first. It seems unrelated, but maybe it was... maybe his calf was a bit more tender due to overall fatigue. It makes sense from an intuitive standpoint that less movement should lead to a lower probability of an injury occurring but Johnson could just as easily hurt himself running to first base or something along those lines. This is more in Will's wheelhouse. (Eric Seidman)
2009-12-29 15:00:00 (link to chat)so.... did everyone forget about Vlad? it seems silly to think Nick Johnson looks better in the middle of the Yankees lineup than Vlad does. am i crazy?
(workermonkey from hartford.ct)
Neither player does anything outside the batters' box, although Johnson can play some first base while Guerrero can't really play anywhere but DH. Johnson has a big OBP edge and bats from the left side. I'd value him much more highly; Vlad, largely due to physical limitations, simply isn't a valuable roster piece any longer. The standard for DHs is awfully high. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-12-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)How much do you think Mike Cameron, Jim Thome, and Nick Johnson will sign for?
(David from Sonoma State University, CA)
Cameron for two and $22, Johnson for two and $18, Thome...I think will retire. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-12-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)In looking at the market for readily available corner bats, who should the M's be targeting for left field? They seem to prefer spending their cash on Figgins (done), a #2 starter (Lackey or a trade for Lowe?) and perhaps bringing back Beltre. What's a good option? They need some affordable pop behind their stellar 1-2.
(Derrth from Chicago)
Well, their apparent interest in Bay is one indication. I do think the Mariners recognize how critical a superior outfield defense was to their 2010, and would like to see a healthy Endy Chavez, or a skills clone, out in left field, with them getting increased offense from the infield corners. Nick Johnson would be a nice fit.

There are not that many good players in free agency this year. Teams are going to have to trade or hope for non-tenders to fill many of their holes. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-12-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)Think Uggla will stick at 2B for his new team? Are you predicting he'll be a Giant?
(Jim Clancy from Exhibition Stadium)
It all depends on where he lands because a lot of teams would probably move him to third base. The Giants are a possibility but I still believe their big free-agent signing will be Nick Johnson. (John Perrotto)
2009-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)I know he is an on base machine but can Nick Johnson survive as a first baseman with a 405 slugging %? Do you see his absence of power last year as a one time blip as he came back from an injury or his expected level of performance going forward due to all of his injuries?
(brian from brooklyn)
He'll almost certainly hit for more power moving forward but my concern would be can he stay in the field? His range is dwindling and that does not help prevent injuries, so he might be best-suited for DH duty somewhere. Maybe a perfect fit for the Rangers as a DH to aid in their on base department. (Eric Seidman)
2009-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Assuming the Giants could even absorb the extra payroll, would Posey & Bumgarner be too much to give up for Cabrera?
(Rob from Oakland)
Yes, especially given the cost, the surrendering of a top-tier catching prospect, and Cabrera's track record of, well, staying out of shape. It would seem to be more in their wheelhouse to revisit those Cain-Fielder discussions and see what comes from that. Given Posey's potential, the question becomes, would you rather have Bengie Molina and Miguel Cabrera or Buster Posey and either Nick Johnson or Russell Branyan? I'd spring for the latter. (Eric Seidman)
2009-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Two part question: 1. Can you speculate on the size of Lincecum's arbitration deal, should he and the Giants go that route? 2. Given that Timmy is going to get a lot of money whether he hits arbitration or not, will the Giants be able to add any offense this off-season? If you're the Giants GM, do you go trade/FA, and who do you target?
(Gregjitsu from Southern Cal)
We had an internal discussion about this the other day and it's tough to speculate about Lincecum's arb deal because no pitcher won Cy Young Awards in his 2nd and 3rd seasons. His career has been unprecedented to date. Ryan Howard previously set the record for a player in a similar situation, after winning ROTY and MVP in his first two years. I could see Lincecum easily breaking that, so the Giants may want to work out an extension as opposed to going year to year. Regardless of their choice, they could still sign someone like Nick Johnson or get Josh Willingham. (Eric Seidman)
2009-12-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Would it make for the Yankees to let Hideki and Damon leave and try to pick up Cameron and Nick Johnson to replace them?
(adambulldog from Spring Green)
If I told you that I hated putting Mike Cameron on my list of top power free agents just because I knew a team like NY might think it's a good idea to sign him, would that answer your question? (Marc Normandin)
2009-12-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Marc, thanks for the chat and your great work. Arte Moreno has basically said the Angels have $12-13 million to spend this winter. I'm assuming Lackey and Figgins won't be coming back. I'm hoping that they sign a SP with upside like Harden or Duchscherer and a productive bat who won't break the bank like Thome or Nick Johnson. What would you do with the $12-13 million if you were Tony Reagins?
(Dennis from LA)
Thanks! I appreciate that. The rotation is definitely the area that needs work, so I'm with you on finding as many options as I can squeeze in to make it work. Another bat would help too--at least they re-signed Abreu already, though maybe he should move to DH and they should find an outfielder instead. (Marc Normandin)
2009-10-23 16:00:00 (link to chat)After watching Lackey get squeezed on the 3-2 pitch to Posada last night, it got me thinking, has there been any work done to prove or disprove the old canard that umpires enlarge their strike zone for elite pitchers and shrink the zone for elite hitters? If not, would you be interested? Just curious.
(spiveyt2 from DC)
I don't know about that as much. One interesting study I have in my queue is to look at umpires based on movement. That Lackey pitch appeared to be a two-seamer that moved like Maddux's patented pitch. I've seen that pitch fool umps countless times. I'm curious to see if that gets a greater percentage of "misses" than other pitches or if it's just the magnitude of situations in which those pitches are missed that makes it seem that way. Additionally, I plan on looking at some point at how umpires call hitters with patient reputations. Doesn't it seem like Nick Johnson, Abreu and Giambi get more calls? And could part of that be because they are very patient hitters and tend not to swing at bad pitches? All interesting stuff to evaluate. (Eric Seidman)
2009-10-13 14:00:00 (link to chat)Best chat session ever, thanks Christina! If you are the Giants what are you looking to do this off-season? Also, presuming Molina's gone, where do you slot in Buster Posey into the offense?
(Parker from San Fran)
Fiddle, there's nary a mention of Ataturk or the invention of the stirrup's role at the Battle of Hastings, let alone any talk about the redemptive value of heavy metal. Now that'd be something, but I'll settle for baseball. ;)

They really should be in the market for a bat, because Ryan Garko's just a placeholder at first base--assuming they tender him. Perhaps they get in on Adrian Beltre or Chone Figgins, and move Sandoval to first; Figgins might be game for a move back to second, though, which would beat placing faith in Eugenio Velez. Posey and no more screwing around with not just leaving Fred Lewis be gives them enough runs and an improved defense. Spending high on the first basemen on the market isn't very attractive (Adam LaRoche) or comes with risk (Nick Johnson), so I guess I'd rather find ways to get Sandoval off of third base. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-08-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Oh boy, Tommy John surgery. Now who will be the third best starter on the Nats in 2010?
(Charlie from Bethesda)
You're referring to Jordan Zimmermann, who's getting an 18-month timetable (no, I don't know why - seems ultraconservative unless there's another issue.) I guess we have to assume the Nats will have Strasburg ... then Lannan. Maybe Detwiler? McGeary won't be up quickly. Maybe the guy they got for Nick Johnson? (Will Carroll)
2009-07-24 16:30:00 (link to chat)Brett Wallace = Nick Johnson?
(glenihan from nyc)
I don't think it's as linear as an apples-apples comparison but, that's my gist, that Wallace may be that sort of first baseman if he becomes a 1B at the MLB level. Not a TON of power like a traditional first baseman, but good on base numbers, and decent enough slugging to hold down fort. But power develops last for youngsters so he may well be on his way. (Eric Seidman)
2009-07-30 14:00:00 (link to chat)I understand the logic in keeping Willingham despite his trade value being at it's zenith. But Nick Johnson is still on the Nats. Am I supposed to give up on Rizzo now?
(Charlie from Bethesda)
Rizzo is in a tough spot. He's isn't really the GM and has no assurances he will be around past this season, so I don't know if the Lerners and Stan Kasten are giving him the authority to make a bunch of deals. It's a bad dynamic in Washington and the Lerners are really screwing up what should be one of MLB's flagship franchises. (John Perrotto)
2009-07-31 14:00:00 (link to chat)How much did the Fish help themselves with the Nick Johnson deal?
(Prince Caspian from Narnia)
Tons. Bonifacio is hideous, and the upgrade to Johnson, with Cantu presumably to third base, is something like 25-30 runs over the next nine weeks. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)Did the Nationals get a decent return for Nick Johnson?
(Scott from NYC)
I'll get into it in more detail when I go back to TA after finishing this chat--speaking of which, let's do a few lightning-round questions to wrap up--but Thompson's a highly-regarded former first-rounder, but he's also something of a disappointment. I don't think he'll be the next Doug Davis, but for two months of Nick Johnson, as fragile as Johnson's been, I don't think you could expect a full horn of plenty. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-06-05 15:30:00 (link to chat)Do baseball people think Jonathan Sanchez is worth as much as Nick Johnson in a trade?
(Bonds Fan from Bay Area)
Apples and Oranges. Sanchez is a 26-yr old lefty with a proven ability to miss bats who would be on the verge of all-stardom if he could stop walking people. Nick Johnson is a 30-yr old on base machine who has played 140+ games once in his previous eight seasons, at a position primarily filled by guys who mash a bit more. (Eric Seidman)
2009-05-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)Any chance the BoSox and Mets get in a bidding war over Nick Johnson, and the Nats end up with an honest to goodness potential starting pitcher?
(David from DC)
Where would the Sox play Johnson?

Had this conversation at lunch the other day...folks, David Ortiz is playing. He's a hero, and he's getting paid a jillion dollars until the Rapture. The Sox aren't trading for a replacement. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-04-13 14:00:00 (link to chat)Am I crazy or are the Nationals pretty close to being a contender? Their lineup isn't bad, with a nice middle of Milledge/Zimmerman/Dukes/Dunn. With J. Zimmermann, Strasburg and maybe a FA starter signing, they'll have a good core of talent.
(Tex Premium Lager from Hoboken, NJ)
They've got the makings of a promising nucelus, but they've got to undo the damage wrought by Ol' Leatherpants. First and foremost, they need to turn that absurd stockpile of outfielders into some other usable parts around the diamond by trading two players from the Nick Johnson/Josh Willingham/Austin Kearns group. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-03-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Chances of Nick Johnson getting 400 AB's this year? 10 percent? Lower?
(BT from Chicago)
Higher. Injury risk isn't linear, but it's closer than many think. Given a reasonably healthy offseason and what we know about the wrist problem, things look good. I'm just not sure if he can go more than half a season without something breaking. It's got to be something genetic. (Will Carroll)
2008-12-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Why do the A's want to take on another big injury risk in Furcal? (Not to mention the talk about Nick Johnson.) You don't appear to think too highly of their medical staff and guys like Bradley and Kotsay didn't work out too well.
(mgibson from DC)
Because injury risk isn't properly valued in the market. I had a long conversation on this topic while on the treadmill of Bellagio's fitness center with two people I can't name here because out of courtesy, I said before stepping up between them that it would be off the record. What I can say is that injury risk is one of the possible arbitrage opportunities in the market now. (Will Carroll)
2008-09-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Nick Johnson to Toronto? I think he'd benefit from DH'ing and lord knows, Toronto could use a bat.
(Chadale from Toronto)
It makes sense in terms of Nick Johnson, but not so much for the Jays, because they've already got a somewhat crowded collection of options at the slugging slots of the outfield corners, first base, and DH. They've got Wells, Rios, and Lind in the outfield, Snider close to ready, and two more years to Lyle Overbay to live down. If they could get Johnson an make Overbay a Yankee or something, it would be great to take their chances on a (fragile) upgrade at first base, but that would make for the difficult dance of trying to get somebody to eat some of Overbay's contract (fools they), and then perhaps trying to get the Nats to absorb some of Johnson's. Basically, it isn't impossible, just difficult, and it would probably be best served by first finding a way to make Lyle Overbay somebody else's problem. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-09-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)The LaRoche brothers; which one will prove to be the better? And should the Bucs keep both, neither, or just the good one?
(Neal from Pitt, PA)
I think Andy, but I don't mean to slight Adam in saying so. I think it's fine to keep both, because it doesn't look like Steven Pearce is necessarily the (alternative) answer at first base. OTOH, once somebody loses on the Teixeira sweepstakes this winter, it will make good sense to shop LaRoche around, because anybody who might want Nick Johnson might instead prefer to have someone more likely to play 150 games. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-09-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)Christina, the Nats have 4 good young position players (Dukes, Milledge, Zimmerman and Flores) and some pitching prospects. What moves do they make next to get themselves closer to respectability?
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
Health is going to make a big difference, to be sure, and I'll look forward to seeing what Will's take is on how much of the problem is systemic (if at all), a matter of training staff getting swamped, and how much it's management's fault for committing to both Dmitri Young and Nick Johnson. In terms of moves, I think the sad fact of the matter is that they're just going to have to be patient. Can Austin Kearns recapture any of his value? Either of the first basemen? Sorting that out is going to tell them how much bargaining power they have, and they won't have that over the winter. OTOH, does Ronnie Belliard's inexpensive contract make him a commodity? There's a lot to sort out, so I wouldn't bet on any instant solutions. After the teardown by Omar and the Lorians, there was a lot of work to be done; consider it a cautionary tale of the fate that probably awaits the Astros. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-07-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)Are the Nats doing anything wrong from a training and conditioning standpoint? Treatment? It seems like nobody is safe from the DL.
(Tim from Reston, VA)
It's a combination of risky players -- Nick Johnson, Dmitri Young, Odalis Perez -- and young players, but they're consistently at the bottom. I cant say what they are or aren't doing, though in the past, their lack of facilities was a problem. That excuse is gone and has to be one of the area's the next Nats GM addresses. (Will Carroll)
2008-06-17 15:00:00 (link to chat)Enough chatter about those teams hogging the top 10. What about my beloved Nationals? Is this the worst hitting lineup in recent times? Also, on the Dave Duncan theme, I think Randy St. Clair is underappreciated for getting decent pitching out of a staff of 89 mph retreads and kids.
(macman from dc)
Whew, 2:30 into this I think I've blown past my pitch count and am into a Category V start. This question and one more....

Good point about St. Clair and the Nats, particularly their rotation. If Shawn Hill could remain healthy it would be even more impressive.

As bad as the lineup's hitting has been, it's fundamentally not as awful as, say, the Mariners'. Injuries have taken their toll, limiting Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman or knocking them out of action for extended periods. The important thing is that there's a lot more upside here than a place like Seattle. Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes and Wily Mo Pena may not live up to they hype, but I'd rather see what they can do than watching the death throes of Richie Sexson's career and the half-dozen battles to get OBPs over .300 in that lineup. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-04-25 15:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Jay, Why isn't anyone talking about Zimmerman's slow start? Is the hand injury sapping power? It sounds like he and Manny Atca are making excuses for his poor showing, but is there anything to worry about long term?
(murphy654321 from Waltham, MA)
Probably because nobody has been hitting for the Nats at all. Seriously, as I noted in this week's Hit List entry, only three Washington regulars have positive MLVrs, and one of them is Nick Johnson who's hitting .209/.365/.403. It's a slow start, and there are plenty of them to go around each year. I haven't heard anything about a hand injury, but if it is, well, that would make sense because those can really eat a guy's season.

The bottom line wouldn't throw myself off a bridge over it just yet, at least not until more info becomes available. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-05-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm thinking of trading Chris Duncan for Nick Johnson in an NL-only league. Thoughts on Johnson so far? Any hope he stays healthy in his walk year?
(mymrbig from NOLA)
They're all walk years for Nick Johnson. I'd make that deal...Duncan could see his PT chipped at in St. Louis. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-03-31 13:00:00 (link to chat)Nick Johnson just hit his second double of the year. What do you expect from him this year? Back to roughly '05/'06 or less?
(jlebeck66 from WI)
I'd like to think so, but we really won't know until we see him play for awhile. I know I cringed last night watching him run the bases and slide into second. He's basically the new millennium Ron Blomberg without the Hebrew National endorsement.

I meant to mention this before when the Joe Morgan reference came up. When Ray King came in the game last night, he was customarily wild, and Morgan, right after they flashed a graphic showing that last year King had walked 21 in 39.2 innings, said (I paraphrase), "That's weird. His value is in his aggressiveness, that he throws strikes and goes after the hitters."

I try not to yell at the TV, but I did then. (Steven Goldman)
2008-03-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is it worth taking a flier on Nick Johnson, or will he be sharing time with Young until Bowden (who's known to be picky) finds the perfect deal for one of them?
(Steve from DC)
That same question kept him off of my rankings this morning. From what I've heard, they are both playing for the job, but they will probably get some playing time split until one is dealt. Jim loves his trades.

It's worth grabbing him late if the rest of your league has the same indecision. (Marc Normandin)
2008-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)I find myself really pulling for Nick Johnson. Even moreso if it makes Dmitri Young an outfielder now and again. I love watching bad outfield defense, as long as it's not my team. I mean Todd Hundley in left, Canseco anywhere, Glenallen Hill. That's fun to watch.
(Mike from chicago)
Ah, butchers, they definitely help put meat in a boxscore. But how can we forget Fonzie Bichette? Or Kevin Reimer? Or Dutch Daulton's stint as an outfielder?

Nick the Stick's easy to root for, a player with a nice spread of offensive skills, and before the injury he'd done a good job of getting in better shape and delivering on the bases and in the field as well. If he's fully recovered, that won't help him play the outfield, though, and I have to think Comrade Dmitri's days playing any other of the four corners are long gone. It makes for an interesting problem, especially when there are teams that still don't have good first basemen out there. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)You should take the over on the Nationals. You have them at 72, one down from last year's 73. With the upgrades in the OF (Nook/Langerhans for Lastings, Church/Snelling for Wily Mo/Dukes), Nick Johnson coming back, and an improved rotation (giving the innings that went to Jerome Williams, Joel Hanrahan, and Mike Bascik to Odalis Perez, John Patterson, John Lannan, Tyler Clippard, etc.) this team will be better.
(sbiel2 from Washington, DC)
You could be right there. One thing that PECOTA doesn't know, can't know yet, is just how all those playing time decisions will be made. Right now we have a best guess. As we see how the team sorts itself out, that prediction will be open to revision. (Steven Goldman)
2008-01-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)As great as it was to have Dmitri Young last year, it really stunk not to have Nick Johnson. Nick is really snakebit, but can you tell me 1) if it makes sense that a player would miss an entire season for that kind of broken leg, 2)if he is likely to be the old Nick Johnson again if he plays come spring training, and 3) should he or Dmitri play first base for the Nats if Nick is healthy?
(Kevin from Fairfax VA)
1) Yes, this wasn't a run of the mill fracture. It was BAD, requiring plates. Johnson also had several complications requiring other procedures.

2) It's tough to come back from a full year out, but it's possible. If Johnson can stand, he can hit. "Old Nick?" He's got to show me that.

3) I think it's a tough situation and makes me wonder why they signed Young. I'd guess Young shifts to the OF only bc there's no way that Johnson could with the leg. Then again, you have four good OFs out there now, so adding in Young is tough, unless you're starting Milledge or Dukes at AAA. (Will Carroll)
2008-01-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)What does the Nats lineup look like at the end of the year? Are Dimitri Young, Nick Johnson, and Wily Mo Pena in it?
(James Cole from Boston)
Johnson and Pena, yes. Young, no (John Perrotto)
2008-02-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's Nick Johnson's status? Is he healthy enough to reclaim Washington's firstbase duties? Thanks.
(jlebeck66 from WI)
He's looked healthy early, but it's still very early. I think he'll be fine in the same way it took a couple years for Jermaine Dye to get back to his previous level. Can he take back 1B from Dmitri Young? You'd sure think so, but the 1B/COF mix is an ... interesting one there in Washington. I'm not sure how it will play out or how it affects Johnson. (Will Carroll)

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