"They kind of worried me a little bit," Johnson said. "I'm looking around and seeing all the brass from the front office. I said, 'Holy moly, maybe they're getting ready to trade me.'"
General manager Mike Rizzo was with the club, as was assistant GM Bryan Minniti and director of player development Doug Harris, among others. Johnson joked that he was "under the microscope," but reiterated that he doesn't see the Nationals making a big splash before the Deadline.
"I don't see us really going out there and doing a whole lot unless somebody really cherishes somebody we've got," Johnson said.
There has been some talk that Washington would go out and acquire another starting pitcher to slot into the rotation whenever Stephen Strasburg hits his innings limit, but that seems unlikely with John Lannan available and Chien-Ming Wang rehabbing from a right hip strain.
There has also been speculation that the Nationals might look to beef up their middle-infield depth with shortstop Ian Desmond on the disabled list.
But Johnson remains confident that Desmond won't be out too long and he believes in the players he has. He pointed out potential backup options in utility man Mark DeRosa, Triple-A Syracuse infielder Josh Johnson and switch-hitting Double-A Harrisburg infielder Zach Walters. He said he could even start Ryan Zimmerman at shortstop "if push comes to shove" and Washington sustains another injury.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's not a growing need right now," Johnson said. "I know Rizzo is big on insurance, probably more so than me, but I like the cast of characters I've got.
"First of all, I think I've had these guys for about 100 games. They pretty much know what I expect out of them, and they pretty much know what to expect out of me. We're winning ballgames. We're actually getting better as the guys start playing like I know they're capable of playing or better."