Although the San Diego Padres’ main concern during the offseason wasn’t finding a starting pitcher, it didn’t prevent the Major League Baseball team from California from landing a deal with Josh Johnson late Tuesday.
According to many baseball sources, Josh Johnson, the 29 year old right-handed pitcher, has signed a one-year contract with Padres that guarantees him $8 million. The deal also includes performance bonuses of $1.25 million if JJ makes 26 starts in 2014.
The sources stated that JJ visited San Diego last Tuesday to face a physical exam and hope that details of the contract would be publicized on Wednesday.
However, the most important twist is that the Padres has decided to have a risk protection plan included as a part of the deal. For 2015, the club will hold an option of $4 million in case Johnson fails to make more than six starts. Nevertheless, this has been seen as a necessary precaution by many, as he has managed to eclipse 200 innings only on one occasion, back in 2009,when he got 209 innings. He has also made the disabled list 6 times.
Josh Johnson, who is going to turn 30 on the 31st of January 2014, was an All-Star back in year 2009 and 2010, when he was with the Miami Marlins. Then he had a 2-8 record and a disappointing 6.20 ERA over sixteen starts in 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, that season was cut short for him as he made the disabled list two times. The first injury was in June, when he had a right triceps inflammation. Then in August he got a strained right forearm, which ended the 2013 season for him.
In addition, during the last season Johnson’s right knee experienced tendinitis. The doctors also removed bone spurs from the elbow of his right hand last month. However, he is likely to be all set for the starting off of the Spring Training by next February.
As Johnson didn’t get a qualifying bid from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Padres would not be required to give up on a draft pick for deciding to sign him up.
While he was with Marlins, Johnson managed to reach double-digit victories 3 times. First one was in 2006 when he got 12 wins, while the second and third were in 2009 and 2010, respectively with 15 and 11 wins. He was also had an ERA of 2.30 and was leading the National League at that time. The career record of JJ, who has played nine seasons so far, stands at 58-45 accompanying a 3.40 ERA.
Johnson will be joined by Andrew Cashner, Eric Stults, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy in the projected rotation of San Diego for 2014, which will give the Padres a extremely solid starting 5 in the ever more competitive National League West. They also have a few other younger pitchers, including Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland, and Cory Luebke, in their line up as well.
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