Johnson, Harris popular in trade market

Johnson, Harris popular in trade market

WASHINGTON -- With nine days to go before the Trade Deadline, first baseman Nick Johnson and outfielder/infielder Willie Harris realize that their days with the Nationals could be numbered.

Johnson's name has been mentioned in trade talks since early May, with such teams as the Giants reportedly showing an interest in him. Even if he isn't dealt, he will become a free agent after the season, but he is talking like a man who doesn't want to leave Washington.

"It's a good bunch of guys. If things happen, they happen," Johnson said. "We have good young pitchers. We have to keep pushing forward to that ultimate goal, and that's the [World Series] ring."

Harris has not only been a productive player off the bench, he has become a popular figure in the front office and with the fans. But there are contending teams that would like to have his services, because he can play every position except first base, catcher and pitcher.

Like Johnson, Harris does not want to leave Washington, but he understands that baseball is a business.

"It's good to know that somebody out there is looking at you or feels like you can help them," Harris said. "But you know, at the same time, we are here now, so we have to go out and try and help the Nats win.

"For me it's a little difficult with your name swirling out there, but at the same time, you have to ignore it. If it happens, it happens. If it does happen, [you] go wherever you are going and play well for those guys."

In other news, rumors are circulating that the Cardinals are interested in outfielder Adam Dunn, but a source said that the Nationals have not talked to St. Louis about him.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.