Closer Jim Johnson saved 50 games for the Baltimore Orioles last season. The team then dealt him to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Jemile Weeks. Now it might work out where Johnson and Weeks both end up on the Orioles.
Johnson’s tenure in Oakland was tenuous, to say the least, and he was eventually designated for assignment. Now released on the market to sign with any team he pleases, Johnson is set to have a workout with those same Orioles.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN:
Johnson, who lives in Sarasota, is free to sign with any team after the Athletics released him over the weekend…
…”We like Jimmy,” Showalter said. “He pitched real well for us here. He’s on his way to Sarasota. I know Scotty McGregor is real close to him. And if he becomes completely available, I’m sure a lot of people would have interest in him, including us.”
He’s completely available.
Kubatko also writes that Johnson has approximately “10 other teams” interested in his services. At that point his familiarity with the Orioles might pay off in their favor, if they decide to get him.
At this week’s deadline the Orioles added Andrew Miller to bolster their bullpen, which is their biggest area of need along with their starting rotation. Johnson would not close in Baltimore as he did the last couple seasons, but he could still help bridge things to the back of the bullpen.
The Orioles have settled in at the top of the American League East and can now look to make these types of supplemental moves. If Johnson shows them enough, they will add an old friend for the playoff stretch.