Nationals General Manager Dave Rizzo, currently attending the GM Meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., says the deal could be reached as soon as Thursday night.
"I'm thinking anytime now," Rizzo said. "Soon."
It is natural that the Nationals are bringing Johnson back, right after a National League East Division title and a 98-win season in 2012. Johnson is also a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year Award.
"(Johnson and I) have been talking strategies, players, stuff like that (this whole time)," Rizzo told Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. "But (getting the contract settled) will clear everything off the table except for what we're trying to work with."
And that means figuring out who will be the members of Johnson's coaching staff for 2013. Former third base coach Bo Porter is now the manager of the Houston Astros. The decision will rest on Johnson, Rizzo says, after the deal is finalized.