In the past week or so, several different teams have expressed interest in Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson on the trade market. The Los Angeles Dodgers were the most recent team to emerge as a serious candidate in the last day or two, but FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is now reporting a new leader in the discussions for the Orioles.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2013
This is a bit of a bomb shell, even if it’s just a report of who is leading the negotiations. The Dodgers have approached the Yankees in willingness to open their checkbooks and raid the minor leagues, but Oakland’s reported interest seemingly comes from nowhere.
With that said, the A’s have a hole at the closer spot with Grant Balfour hitting free agency, and they have clear interest in the highly-productive Johnson. The 30-year-old right-hander has saved 50+ games in back-to-back seasons with Baltimore, and despite his semi-questionable peripherals, that type of output comes at a high price tag for any suitor.
Without specific details, it’s tough to pin down what type of package Oakland could put together to attempt to acquire Johnson, but if Rosenthal is right, they aren’t going away in the pursuit.