Source: Johnson Market is Heavy; Looking for $10M+

BlueJaysPlus has learned via a source that the market for Josh Johnson is saturated with the “vast majority of teams” right now at this early stage of free agency, and that the former ace pitcher wants a contract for 1 year with a base of $10+ million, with additional performance incentives added on.

It is unclear at this time which teams are in on Johnson, or which of the multiple teams interested have serious aspirations of signing him.

Johnson, 29, is coming off of his worst season as a professional according to basic metrics. When you delve deeper into his numbers, you see based on his 3.73 SIERA that he wasn’t as bad as ERA makes him out to be(6.20). He did have injury problems, pitching only 81.1 innings for the Jays this season. He was acquired from the Marlins last November in the blockbuster deal that also brought Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck to Toronto.

The Blue Jays had the opportunity to offer Johnson a 1 year deal worth $14.1 million on Monday, but decided not to do so. On Monday, BJP learned via a source (which was later confirmed by Gregor Chisholm), that the Jays were not discussing any deal with Johnson before the qualifying offer deadline. Johnson’s demands might be too high for the Jays, if the budget for this ball club ends up topping out at $140-$150 Million. That would leave between $15 and $25 million  to be spent this winter, and AA might not want to use half of that on one guy who comes as a huge risk. For a team that needs to fill 4 positions(2 starters, 1 catcher, 1 second basemen), it could be better to spread it all out. As well, there could be a health problem we are not aware of with Johnson that is scaring the Jays off.

***UPDATE***

We have just talked with our source again, and have learned some interesting and disappointing news regarding Johnson. It appears as though the Jays are ready to cut ties with him. Since telling the Johnson camp on Monday that they will not be offering a QO, the club has yet to contact Johnson again, the source told BJP.

I’m disappointed, and it’s going to suck watching Josh dominate for another team next year(although it’s only week 1, so things can change).

Picture courtesy of wyliepoon via Flickr.

 

 

About Gideon Turk

Gideon grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, and became a Jays fan at age 8. This fall he'll be starting his first year of Yeshiva University in Washington Heights, New York, where he'll be majoring in Biology.

  • JaysFan1996

    Fucken told you guys that a young pitcher coming off ONE bad year will be heavily demanded in the market. Should of gave him a QO
    Ni such thing as a bead one year deal

    • Chris Sherwin

      I don’t think you will find any BJ+ writers that disagree. I thought giving JJ the QO was a sure thing. I was very surprised by this news.

  • Terry

    I think the Jays are taking the conservative approach with JJ.With only so much extra to spend and holes to fill, do you really want to spend 14.1 on a injury prone high ceiling pitcher? I would love Johnson to remain a Jay this upcoming season but not at the expense of doing other things. AA may have multiple other plans that still may even mean re-signing JJ but doesn’t want to limit his possibilities at this time.

  • Eric Lord

    I don’t think you can blame the Blue Jays here. Josh Johnson was absolutely horrible for the Jays this year. I was excited when the Jays got him last offseason. He was a major disappointment. He can be a dominant pitcher, but hasn’t been for awhile. Last season, he had the habit of giving up big innings. $14.1 million is a lot of money for a guy you couldn’t count on last season

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