Done deal… The San Diego Padres have agreed on a one-year, $8 million deal with free agent starter Josh Johnson. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported the news:
The deal includes an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses if Johnson makes 26 starts, the source said. Johnson was in San Diego for a physical exam Tuesday and the contract is expected to be announced by the club Wednesday.
Johnson did not receive a qualifying offer from Toronto, so the Padres will not have to give up a draft pick in exchange for signing him.
The San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals are among the other big league teams that expressed interest in Johnson. The pitcher had targeted the Padres and Giants as his top two choices and turned down bigger one-year offers to sign with San Diego, said a source.
Last week, Sandy Alderson said he had 25 pitchers on his list of pitchers he’s targeting this offseason. While not mentioning any names, I would think that Tim Hudson and Johnson were probably on there.
Original Post 11/19
It looks like free agent right-hander Josh Johnson prefers to take his talents to the West Coast. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Johnson has let the Padres and Giants know that they are his top two choices and that a decision could come shortly.
Johnson, who lives in nearby Las Vegas, is coming off one of his worst seasons in which he posted a 6.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 81.1 innings pitched for the Blue Jays.
The former Marlin ace, missed nearly half of his season after serving two stints on the disabled list due to a forearm injury. The 29-year old is expected to make a full recovery after arthroscopic surgery and be ready for Spring Training.
One lone bright spot during his 2013 season was that Johnson lost none of his velocity, averaging 93 mph, and posting the highest strikeout rate (9.2) of his career.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, expects Johnson to sign a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $8 million and an additional $5 million in incentive bonuses as he looks to reestablish his value.
With Matt Harvey all but done until the 2015 season, and the Mets in the market for a veteran starter to bolster the rotation, I tabbed Johnson as potential target for Sandy Alderson.
Prior to his trip into the Twilight Zone, Johnson was one of the elite starting pitchers in the National League when he fronted the Marlins’ rotation. During his eight years with the Marlins, the big righthander posted a 56-37 (.602) record with a 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and an 8.2 strikeout rate.