The Oakland A’s decided they didn’t want to pay Grant Balfour the money he requested this past offseason, letting their former closer explore the free agent waters.
He found them to be rather murky but eventually ended up signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Oakland’s likely happy they passed on signing Balfour given his results this season, though his replacement, Jim Johnson, whom the A’s acquired from the Baltimore Orioles hasn’t been any better.
Yanked from the closer role, Johnson has been regulated to a middle inning reliever and was likely just moments away from being traded to the Miami Marlins last week, this according to Fox Sports.
The Athletics were willing to make the deal – Johnson and cash for the No. 39 pick and another player – but the Marlins instead used the pick to land Morris, sources said.
It’s understandable as to why the Athletics would want to make such a deal as Johnson has become an excessively expensive middle of the bullpen guy, but why the Marlins wanted to make such a move is a bit of a head scratcher. They don’t need a closer (unless they’re planning to move their current one come the July trade deadline) and Johnson hasn’t proven capable of holding such a role for some time now.
Whatever the case, it’s clear the A’s are more than willing to move Johnson come the right deal.