Maybe I’m missing something here, but back on Friday’s edition of the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports, former Toronto Star man Dave Perkins, after ridiculously asserting that he’d get rid of Jose Bautista “in a heartbeat,” and before ridiculously asserting that “they won’t sell one ticket this off-season– who’s gonna fall for it this November and December like everybody did last year?”, laid on us some supposed inside information on the contract status of Josh Johnson (audio here– starts around the 25 minute mark):
The scenario I heard last week was, they have a wink and a handshake deal with Johnson whereby they extend him a qualifying offer, he turns it down, and then signs a two-year contract for less, that he’s got in his back pocket. They’ll give him less for two years, and they’ll take it for the security of having a two-year contract, and the chance to rebuild his reputation.
I… uh… well, we’ve heard about the possibility of the Jays working something out with Johnson, and have thought a lot about how he can’t possibly be as bad again as he was here in 2013 and might be worth taking a shot on retaining, but… uh… what would the point of extending him a qualifying offer and having a handshake agreement to have him decline?
Like, can’t they just sign him to whatever contract they’ve supposedly agreed on and then bypass the whole process?
I’m pretty sure they can, which kinda throws the whole piece of speculation into question, doesn’t it?
On Twitter, @SBurns73 suggests that maybe the idea is that Johnson, in this scenario, still has the opportunity to go out and sign elsewhere, ensuring the Jays get a draft pick if he does, while knowing they have a fallback plan if nothing materializes that’s to his liking.
Maybe? And sure, that works.
The idea of a cheap two-year deal for Johnson certainly isn’t terrible, as long as the club doesn’t feel beholden to keep running him out there if he sucks– which, I think the plight over Ricky Romero has shown us, there’s no reason to think they will. He could even be a steal, frankly.
But I’m not buying this one just yet. And I don’t think a lot of fans who watched and were so thoroughly disappointed by him this season will swallow it very easily, either. I mean, fuck ‘em, but still.
Crotch grab in the direction of @NorthYorkJays for the tip!