Apr 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jim Johnson (45) walks off the field after blowing the save during the ninth inning in game two of a double header against the Cleveland Indians at O.co Coliseum. The Cleveland Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Athletics to go with closer by committee

One of the more intriguing moves made during the off season was Billy Beane trading infielder Jemile Weeks to the Orioles in exchange for closer Jim Johnson. Former closer Grant Balfour had not yet signed with the Rays and was available via free agency.

So far, Johnson has been anything but effective. He has saved only one game, blown one save and suffered two losses. His ERA during that time? An astounding 18.90. Manager Bob Melvin has seen enough, for now.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the Athletics have removed Johnson from the closer role for the time being, with Melvin stating a need to “give Jim a break.” The team will now have a closer-by-committee with Sean Doolittle, Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Dan Otero all being viewed as options.

Johnson has led the American League in saves the last two seasons with the Orioles with 51 in 2012 and 50 in 2013, but he also blew nine saves last season. He is earning $10 million this season with Oakland. Balfour, with Tampa Bay, is making $4 million.

Tags: Oakland Athletics

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