Excuse me, what??

There’s really not much more to this bit of news than what the title says, but for the benefit of those of you who may, for some reason, not be able to read the titles of these posts, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweets that sources tell him the Jays are “open to bringing back Kelly Johnson as the everyday second baseman.”

Cue Brad Fullmer Fan creaming his jeans. [Don't worry, he doesn't think much of financial flexibility, so I'm sure he'll just go an buy a new pair, consequences be damned.]

Oh, I joke. Sorta.

But in all seriousness, this is an interesting, unexpected, and only probably-awful, not wholly-awful suggestion. The Jays do need to do something at second base, and for some reason– perhaps the limitations of new CBA– we’ve started seeing hints that they may be more inclined to aggressively try to compete in 2012. So… maybe it makes sense?

In a vacuum it certainly would be nice to have Johnson back in the fold. I’m a fan. Even in a poor 2011 he was worth 2.2 fWAR, he’s got a career on-base of .343, he was solid defensively, and we know that the Jays have liked him for a long time. But to pay a premium of two draft picks, and to have to outbid other clubs for the right to sign the guy?

I just don’t see the Jays doing it– not at a time when extra draft picks just got much harder to come by. And I have a hard time believing the club couldn’t find comparable talent at a lower salary, shorter term and for less cost in prospect capital on the trade market.

Who? I don’t know. But there’s got to be something out there that doesn’t require such a premium.

“Open to” can mean a lot of things. I’ll believe that Anthopoulos has pulled an about-face in his view of draft picks when I see it.

Comments (44)

  1. You gotta assume the Jays’ll let the market dictate this one.  He’s still the best option available at 2B, and the Jays really don’t have a proper internal option, so it makes sense that they’ll want him, but only if someone else doesn’t want him more.  It’s basically win/win, since either bringing him back or letting him walk helps the team.

  2. i disagree. you gotta take as many picks as you can before the porthole closes. 

    johnson is a fine player, but come trade deadline, or next off season it could be a whole other story as to who is available. i think that patience is the key to success here.

  3. Bring back o-dog!!!!

  4. Take this for another of AA’s ‘sure it would be lovely if we could make it work’ non-quotes.  He might come back.  He might not.  At this point, I’m glad to say, I don’t put any stock in anything that comes out of the Jays front office.

  5. If you can, take the picks. Silly not to.

  6. Is he better or worse than what you could acquire by trading two high upside minor leaguers? I’m not sure.

    It also depends a lot on the contract he gets. If it is a one year rebuild value type deal, he seems very appealing. Especially as a bridge to Hech.

  7. I disagree completely.  If you’re just using him as a one year bridge (and not spending to truly compete this year) then it makes no sense at all to bring him back at the expense of two picks.

  8. http://bleacherreport.com/arti
    this is funnyjfaksdjfkdsjfksjdkfjsdkafjklsafjsalfd trolling

  9. McCown just said Morosi will be on the show this afternoon. Not sure when but we’ll see if Morosi can at least explain why Molina leaving was a lock.

  10. McCown is really obsessed with Molina leaving..

    Molina was a nice guy to have I guess, but seriously, who cares?

  11. Would it not make more sense to throw Lawrie at 2B, Bautista at 3B, and have the outfield being Thames, Rasmus, and Snider, allowing you to get a better gauge on what you actually have with those guys (they shouldn’t all be terrible)

    Doing that would allow you to save the 7-8 million that KJ or other would get and you could throw that at say Heath Bell or as a partial payment for Fielder.

  12. I seem to recall Ashby criticizing Molina for not making the effort to block enough balls.  Not like the guy was a defensive whiz.

  13. Why can’t it be a bridge and an upgrade with an eye to competing?

    But yeah i agree if they are not doing anything else to upgrade then they might as well get Cesar izturis or whoever and take the picks.

  14. http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/
    This is an interesting article about the possible relief options in the pen next year and some possible trade chips.

  15. Again, you’ve got to think of it as a trade:

    If these were 2010 draft picks, it would be like trading Deck McGuire and one of Sanchez/Wojciechowski/Syndergaard for Kelly Johnson and his three year, 21 million dollar contract? 


  16. Considering that he was acquire for the corpse of Aaron Hill and an aging sub-600 OPS guy.

  17. If Fielder really becomes an option, and Lind + can really get a Garza, then keeping Johnson looks like a great idea.  IF…

  18. the other thing to keep in mind is that anyone who can play ss, can most likely play 2nd. 

    jimmy rollins doesn’t look nearly as bad at 4/5 years at 2nd, than he would at ss. 

    jose reyes’ price becomes a lot more justified if adding him turns your 2nd baseman into yunel escobar with a .782 ops. i know some project him as a 3rd baseman due to his size, but i believe that he is athletic enough to do a fine job at 2nd for at least 3 years or so.

  19. The Jays have a stacked system and already have two first rounders and a lot of picks this year. If you can get Kelly Johnson on a decent 2-3 year deal, do it. Unless AA is planning to trade for a 2B then KJ is the best option. Christ, people need to tone to prospect porn and pick hoarding down a little bit.

  20. Aaron Cibia had to explain to the Bobcat yesterday why Molina left, it was embarrassing to listen to.

  21. You make a good point as AA has gone out of his was this week to say that’s he inclined to pick up players at the trade deadline with his prospects.

  22. Seems another team could sign Johnson & trade him to the Jays. Jays get the 2 picks and share some of that wealth.

  23. Yeah, but those guys have repeatedly said that they want to be shortstops for their new teams. In part because it allows them to ask for more money, but also because of pride and not wanting to switch positions. It’s not like a trade, where the guy will play anywhere you tell him to. These guys are choosing their team and can choose their position, accordingly.

  24. in the case of rollins, just pay him ss money. i’m certain if you do that, the pride will diminish.

    in the case of reyes, play him at ss and move yunel to 2nd. he is cuban after all. i’m sure that a utalitarian explination of the request would hit at the very core of his conditioned cuban psyche. also, escobar already got his 4 year deal, it’s not like he’s playing for a FA contract and feels he needs to be a ss to boost his value.

    i believe that in both situations the wrinkels could easily be ironed out.

  25. The two picks are worth more straight up than Kelly Johnson. The only thing worse than re-signing Kelly Johnson would be signing Heath Bell. If they’re making either of those moves, they’d better be making a serious play for both Fielder and Garza. 

  26. ’cause either you’re goin’ all in or you ain’t. 

  27. Not with the CBA. I think (at least with the previous one) that any free agent that you sign must play with your team for at least half a season before he can be traded. MLB is not like the NBA in this respect.

  28. No, two draft picks are not worth more than a very good 2B. Especially if the plan is to contend in 2012 and he’s by far the best option available to your team.

  29. Pitch framing value. The Jays lost a good player who got paid at a bargain price.

  30. Two draft picks have more value than they normally would because of the draft pick hoarding window closing due to this CBA. Now add in the salary it’s going to cost to get Johnson. I think Johnson is the best option available on the free agent market in a thin, and seemingly getting thinner by the second, free agent class. It all makes for a tough decision, but in my opinion I think you still take the long view here and take the picks, however I know you’ll disagree with me so feel free to bludgeon me with your keyboard.  ;)

  31. No, two draft picks are not worth more than a very good 2B. Especially if the plan is to contend in 2012 and he’s by far the best option available to your team

    …in the free agent market. But maybe Anthopoulos instead has a player(s) in mind he’d rather trade for? How bout that possibility.

  32. Without hesitation I would take the pick for Molina, pitch framing or no pitch framing.

  33. But they give up players for him. Players that used to be your beloved picks but are actually closer to or IN the big leagues.

    The Johnson situation isn’t that simple. You give up a pick for a different free agent anyway, so you don’t gain two picks by letting him go. Or you give up talent in a trade. Add the fact that there is literally nothing but dogshit available at the position right now and signing Johnson makes a good deal of sense.

    This is a good example why a given strategy doesn’t work in every situation.

  34. jays have a strong farm system. if they can’t find a quality replacement for johnson, they should bite the bullett. It’s not a 100 million contract & they were prepared to pay Hill based on 2008 contract 8 million per year or so. It’s an easy decision for the Jays.

  35. I would rather have kelly johnson than heath bell

  36. What did he say?

  37. Agreed. The two picks could be busts, and at best help the team in 2015 or 2016. Jays need a quality 2B & a shot at the playoffs for 2012. I want a pennant race .

  38. They’re probably going to be depleting that farm system with trades this offseason, so they’re going to need as many picks as possible. It’s not like this strategy is going to continue past this year so I say gather ye draft picks while ye may and sign free agents that don’t ding you draft picks. Load up the major league roster, load up the farm. Win now, win later.

  39. Perhaps, but couldn’t the jays try to be competitive in 2012? Let’s say Hill had KJ’s numbers in 2010 & 2011, would jays fans be against bringing Hill back?

    We have bigger problems than Kelly Johnson. 3 years 25 million is OK

  40. OK, but if the trades don’t materialize & Johnson walks, what’s the plan at 2B?

    I read something from Griffin about the Jays targetting Brandon Phillips in  a trade.

    Doesn’t it make more sense to get Kelly Johnson for 8 or 9 million per year rather than Phillips at 12 million ?

    If you have to give up more polished prospects that are in the jays system  , vs whatever you get in the draft in 2012,why go through the trouble.

    Are there any disgruntled colby rasmus type 2B, available for trades? 

  41. There you go thinking one dimensionally again. AA doesn’t think that way. I don’t know how many possibilities he has lined up for 2B, but I know it’s more than just Kelly Johnson, and I know that some of them could be considered “now” moves that don’t impact on the number of picks that he has this year. As I’ve said before I’m not going to pretend to know who’s on that whiteboard, but I do know from hearing AA talk that he would never back himself into a corner to a point where he only had one desirable choice because he feels that’s where you fuck up. If you want to know who’s on that whiteboard, just ask him. Good luck getting an answer.  ;)  I’ve learned not to try to guess what he’s going to do next…Way less stressful.  ;)

  42. It has been noted that the Padres have been actively trying to ship orlando hudson, he  really enjoyed his time in T.O. offer 1 decent pitching prospect and you have Orlando Hudson assuming you are willing to eat his 5 million and 8 million vesting option which for his defense is not bad. What the jays need at second is not offense they need defense. strong defense up the middle will allow some groundball pitchers to do well and help the starting pitchers go deeper in games. Fact the matter is lets look at the line up if the jays can trade for Hudson, who Padres want to get rid of and do not want to eat his salary if jays willing to eat salary like they did with Tehan padres probably interested in prospect for him.

    Escobar (SS)Rasmus (CF)Bautista (RF)Lind (1B)Lawrie (3B)Thames (LF) or Snider (LF)Arrencibia (C)Encarnacion (DH) 1st or LF If jays trade for Hudson is putting him in the 9 hole that bad? His OBP was 329 last season Johnson was 304, and 364 as a jay.Personally the jays do not need another strong deep threat hitter they need defense.

  43. Let this clown go Johnson is not that good Fullmer Fan can find another man crush . there is a reason Arizona let the guy go and resigned Hill when they could have signed Johnson back

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