The Oakland A’s had all but agreed to trade former closer Jim Johnson to the Miami Marlins last week, though a last minute change of heart on the Marlins part killed such a deal.
That left Oakland hanging, but now they’re left with a player who’s fully aware he was nearly shipped off and it’s likely a marriage between the two isn’t going to have a happy ending.
Oakland acquired Johnson during the past offseason after losing closer Grant Balfour who eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. Johnson was immediately anointed closer in Oakland but struggled during his early appearances and was eventually yanked from the closer role which has since been taken over by Sean Doolittle.
With little use for Johnson now, it’s quite possible the Athletics will attempt to move him and Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe ponders if the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers or even Johnson’s former team, the Baltimore Orioles might have interest.
“The San Francisco Chronicle reported the A’s nearly traded Johnson to the Marlins last week. So, they’re willing to dump the former Orioles closer, who had 50-plus saves in back-to back seasons. Could the Orioles, Yankees, and Tigers be interested suitors, as well? All three are looking for bullpen help, but Johnson’s rough start and his salary would surely make it a major gamble.”
While Johnson brings with him a hefty price tag, he won’t command much talent in return so it’s possible an interested team could essentially just buy the reliever off Oakland by paying his salary.
Of course, if they actually want to do so – that’s a different story.