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!

Comments (80)

  1. Premise behind having a wink and handshake deal could be that it allows Johnson to see what’s out there. There are some stupid fucking teams out there who may give him more money than the BJ’s want to over 2 years. If that’s the case, the BJ’s still get a comp pick.

    Hard to believe a team would be that stupid but hey, Vernon Wells has been traded.. twice.

    • A comp pick attached to his name basically torpedoes any chance of signing elsewhere as a free agent. Somebody may offer him a better deal over 2 years if there was no pick attached, but I’m fairly certain the chance of someone offering him that deal and being willing to sacrifice a pick is virtually zero.

      • I like your point. All the Jays have to do is convince him to turn down the qualifying offer and then his price goes down big time with the comp pick attached to him.

        I don’t think it’s ridiculous to think he would want guaranteed years over dollars (as drew would say) as a safety net for himself. I mean if he gets hurt next year or doesn’t bounce back with an ERA under 4 he’s basically fucked.

        1 year is an anomaly. 2 years is a trend.

        • Maybe he looks at a deal with a bottom 10 team. Maybe the Twins. Born and raised in Minnesota, not a great hitters park and a weaker division. If the Twins end up with a top 10 team, they could take a chance on him rebounding and not have to worry about surrendering a pick.

          If Twins don’t have interest, he goes back to the “wink wink” deal from Toronto

  2. Make it cheap like a pack of stale twinkies and coagulated filling, and I’m in.

  3. Maybe Perkins doesn’t understand that another team has to actually sign JJ if he turns down a QO in order for the Jays to get that extra draft pick?

    Otherwise, yeah, what’s the point? Just give him, I don’t know, $14M over 2 years instead of one?

    Don’t nitpick about the number I pulled out of my ass, because either way, I don’t imagine this idea actually happening.

    My expectation is what I’ve heard elsewhere. JJ signs a team friendly one-year deal on a NL team.

  4. I heard that epi.,.Perkins was making ridiculous statements…sounded like he was drunk. Said they wont sell a single ticket b/t now & season end. Won’t sell any in the offseason, have to trade JB. . . It was really interesting how whacked he sounded

  5. The fuck? Patently ridiculous notion.

    Or, y’know, Josh could just accept the QO, make 14M, rebuild his value and leverage that into even MORE money from the Jays or someone else in a year’s time. Why the fuck would he agree to this unless he felt bad about completely shitting the bed for us, and is prepared to “take one for the team”? I mean, that’s as ridiculous as this whole wink and handshake agreement, isn’t it?

    • The idea would be that they’re offering more, or close to, what he’d expect to get on the open market, no?

      • Still doesn’t make sense to me. the only way this makes sense for johnson is if the total value of the 2 year deal has a $$ figure greater then his qualifying offer that would mean at least 8ish million per year… would you pay Josh Johnson 2 x 8,000,000.00? I sure wouldn’t.

      • Also probably because if he doesnt agree to it the jays wont be offering him -as the kids like to say – sweet fuck all.

  6. This better be true. I’d love to see JJ during an extended period of health and with a defence acclimated to the turf. His FIP and xFIP were good this year!

  7. & the fact that he doesn’t understand how QO & draft pick works kind of throws his apparent “inside information” into doubt & makes it obvious he’s just making shit up

    • It’s not at all obvious he’s just making shit up. People usually don’t do that– maybe he’s misunderstanding, maybe we are, maybe he didn’t quite hear the full story, but the idea that he just decided to say that based on nothing is pretty rich.

  8. I don’t get why JJ would want to do this. Wouldn’t he have a better chance of success taking a cheap deal and pitching in an giant NL park to recoup is value?

    • People see that stuff, though. Not like that’s really fooling too many people at this point.

    • A two year cheap deal gets him an extra year of guaranteed cash the he wouldn’t get pitching in the NL if he manages to shit the bed again this year. He knows if he pitches well in year 1 that AA will be forced to try and extend him, so the potential losses aren’t that great compared to the extra couple million he can make in year two if things continue going down hill.

  9. I’d cut him loose not even extend him QO. Rather sign Barry Zito then torture myself and watch JJ shit the bed in 2014.

  10. i’d do it… guaranteed either 1) draft compensation; or 2) Johnson-not-signing-a-cheap-one-year-deal-with-the-Rays’-and-pitching-lights-out…… and breathe…..

  11. Im surprised AA didnt go after Ian Kennedy when he was being dangled for next to NIL.
    Wouldve replaced JJ just fine.

  12. “who’s gonna fall for it?”

    Well I bought a bunch of tickets and the only ones that were duds was a game that they rescheduled. But they replaced those tickets for me.

    Otherwise, yeah I saw a game of baseball with each pair of tickets. What did I fall for exactly?

  13. I’m actually all for this if it’s a real thing. I simply can not believe that JJ is this bad, and he’s bound to have a bounce back year next year, and maybe remember he’s a good pitcher.

    But you know what they say, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, strike 3″

  14. I’d be fine with having him back.

    So long as we also replace Happ (sorry dude no offense) with a top of the rotation pitcher.

    • Or staff ace Rogers

      • You need to keep a couple Rogers/Happ/Redmond’s around. But yeah maybe one of them, plus a real pitching prospect, gets you another “last year of contract, QO” type guy (getting you back the prospect like we hoped Johnson would)..

      • Fuck, Esmil suprised me with his end of year comeback.

  15. They’d better be awfully comfortable with his medicals to offer any kind of two year deal. As much sense as that would make for the team, JJ’s combination of shitiness and frailty is kinda terrifying.

  16. What is “cheap” exactly?

    This makes no sense for JJ unless his total contract is over the $14 QO.

    And you gotta think AA is leveraging/threatening with the QO and planning to slap it on JJ anyway. He would certainly test the open market without it. What’s the downside? Pretty risky bluff if he accepts it and doesn’t go for a 2 year deal.

    Seems like an odd fit but I’m cool with it if it shakes out that way. 2/$18mill or something like that?

    • I guess from JJ’s point of view, the extra guaranteed year in a 2 yr deal may be the incentive for him. That way, if he repeats this year on a one yr deal, his value completely plummets. But I still don’t really get why JJ would agree to decline the QO-having draft pick comp hung around your neck can only decrease his value.

  17. This sounds suspiciously like what I was telling anyone at my office that would listen to me what the Jays should do. My idea was a <$10m offer for 1 year with either a vesting option based on innings pitched or team option closer to market value, say $15-20m for a second year. If he takes it, great. If not, hey, let someone else gamble on him.

    Any ideas on what Arroyo will get? He could be a nice, dependable mid-back of the rotation guy to fill a gap at 2 years $20m, no? With him, Dickey, and Buehrle, at least you have a pretty good idea of where 600 innings are going to go.

    Just wishcasting, because who the fuck really wants to think about 2013 any more?

  18. Maybe he meant 2 year contract for less per year, like 2 years @ $10MM.

  19. Here’s why, in my opinion, this makes a lot of sense and no sense at all.

    Why it makes sense:

    JJ declines the QO. Now he gets to test the FA market to see if someone wants to take a gamble on him.

    If they do, he gets paid and the Jays get the draft pick. Everybody wins.

    If they don’t, he has a two-year deal to fall back on at a price the Jays are happy with. Everybody wins.

    It’s really quite brilliant.

    Here’s why it doesn’t make sense:

    This has GOT to be breaking rules (if not laws). I’m the furthest thing from an expert, but I can’t imagine this would be considered fair play.

    If AA has proven anything, it’s that he’s good at keeping his cards close to his chest. So if he’s pulling this move, how the fuck does a Dave Perkins know about it?

    I know that might seem like a flimsy reason for shitting on this report, but it’s certainly reason enough to discount it.

    I hope it’s true. But I have a hard time believing such a ballsy move would already have a leak attached to it.

  20. Bronson Arroyo would be the coolest to have on staff. Total pro, with a cool wind-up. Lanky dude = looks like a pitcher to me.

    • holy fuck, are you strokin off to Arroyo or what? if a bird farts in a tornado does it really happen?

  21. This can’t possibly be against the rules.

    From what I understand they’re basically telling him “We are going to hang a QO draft pick on you and let you test the open market. This will be the 2 year offer we will make to you on the open market”.

    If Johnson wants to just accept the QO he can. If he finds a better deal he’s gone and Jays get a pick. Odds are no one will give up a draft pick for the privledge of paying JJ more than $16 million over 2 years. Or maybe JJ wants to get the hell out of TO and takes a much lower deal to make that happen…. And Jays get a pick.

    AA is using the QO as a weapon here. Someone would surely offer JJ a decent 2 year contract as a flyer if no draft picks were involved. Adding the QO really tanks his value.

    Jays have exclusive negotiating rights until after the world series so they can discuss whatever they want.

    • It would be against the rules (again, I don’t actually know if this is true) if they had already agreed to make him a QO with the agreement that he would decline it.

      • Plus… nothing stops him from accepting it.

        If, if if if if, there is anything to this, it is probably more like:

        “JJ we want to sign you for 2/20″

        “Hmmm… maybe but I want to test FA first.”

        “Ok, but we’ll have to make the QO then to protect ourselves”

        “Fair enough, we’ll talk in the fall”

  22. I dont hate the idea of giving JJ a cheap extension PROVIDING he passes a complete physical. Remember were talking about a guy that has been a bandaid for most of his career. His injury history while not matching up with say Dustin McGowan or Andrew Bailey or guys like that who seem to be a lock for the DL every year but he has spent a lot of time there. The question at the start of the season with him was “can he stay healthy” the answer this year is no. His stuff is not the question, not his skill, his mental approach or anything else, its all about his health and that can be a unnerving because that would be both Johnson and Morrow in the rotation for next season and we know Morrow is a lock for the DL again next season so having both of them in the rotation could be rolling the dice more than AA might be comfortable with. Unless however he decides that the inevitable Morrow to the pen day has finally come.

    • That all said, I would rather AA roll the dice and give JJ a cheap but incentive laden two year deal and have him possibly be unreal than to have another team do the same and have us all going “FUCK” next season.

    • Morrow has been relatively healthy for most of his career, with the obvious exception of the 2013 disaster and a couple months of 2012. So this, “inevitable Morrow to the pen” talk is pretty much ridiculous.

      And even if he really is injury prone, does he not provide significantly more value to the Jays pitching 120 innings before being hurt than he would pitching 50 healthy innings from the pen?

      Not to mention, where’s the guarantee that he stays healthy even as a reliever? By no means does fewer innings equate to better health. Just ask Sergio Santos.

      • Morrow was hurt last year, shut down early another year, injured another year etc etc. Sure your point is valid, he provides more use in 120 innings than 50 out of the pen. Or does he… ? The issue that the jays have had was having starters fall to injury and then having shit burgers to fill in for them. For example, the past two seasons. So,,, let’s make an unlikely but valid scenario of concern. Say the Jays have him in the rotation next season, say theyre in 1st place or even a real strong contender for the wildcard and then at like 100-120 innings the wheels fall off Morrow again,,, then what? You have an instant hole in the rotation, possibly after the trade deadline. Say its Johnson AND Morrow both down, suddenly were right back to Dickey, Buerhle, maybe Happ and who else? Some might bring Hutch or Drabek into that conversation but at this point neither of those guys means dick all to the big picture next season as there’s plenty of ifs and maybes and questions attached to both of them right now. AA has to make a splash pitching wise and sure there’s always chances of injuries but going into the season with two bandaids in the rotation makes me nervous that we could be right back here under .500 next season having the same conversation weve all had the past how many.

        • There’s really no etc. etc. to his injury history though. You listed both instances where he was hurt, as well as his year where he reached his innings limit (150 I believe?) after being stretched out from his time in relief with the Mariners. Not nearly as bad as you’ve tried to make it.

          Having said that, I do agree, it’s a dangerous proposition having possibly two starting pitchers coming off injury riddled seasons. But you lose me when you start talking depth. Yes there were a series of “shit burgers” filling in after this years injuries. So with starting depth being such a major issue, where is the logic in moving a capable starter to the pen?

          There aren’t many pitchers with Morrow’s stuff, and even fewer with a career long clean bill of health. It’s much more realistic to look for someone who serves as depth and can capably fill in for Morrow/Johnson if health becomes an issue again next season. Whether that’s an FA signing or a Drabek/Hutch 21 months post TJ surgery, I can’t answer.

  23. johnson at least has upside, arroyo only has downside

    • and to which………a bowl of potato salad walks into a bar, the bartender looks over and yells….get out of here, we dont serve food!!

  24. I believe in Johnson’s ability. I’m not sure I believe in his health.

    Even in this “disaster year”, his K and BB numbers are plenty decent. He’s been killed by an 18.5% HR/FB, and a .356 BABIP (.424 with men on base).

    I still think there’s a decent chance he’ll get that qualifying offer (and accept it).

  25. is perkins suggesting that JJ has a 2 year deal from someone else in his back pocket… one that he has informed the jays he would reject the QO in favor of? did perkins fuck up the delivery and make it kinda confusing with his use of ‘they’ll’? they’ll meaning the other team the first time… and JJ and agent the 2nd?

    it really doesn’t make sense that JJ has a 2 year offer from the jays that he likes ‘in his back pocket’… if so, wouldn’t he just sign it like yesterday… making the QO moot.

    • No, that’s the whole point of the “in his back pocket,” isn’t it? He turns down the QO, looks around the league to see what he can find, and if it’s not to his liking he can come back to the Jays on that two year deal.

      • just seems like fucked up thing for the jays to do… I mean if AA is planning his big league roster for 2014 there is an enormous difference between having a starting pitcher under contract and having a draft choice. it just doesn’t doesn’t strike me as an AA type of move to leave a major roster decision to the whims of JJ and 29 other clubs.

  26. 1. Define cheap?
    2. JJ is not going to be a Blue Jay next season unless he pays the team to play.
    3. AA goes the trade and FA route…I hope that route includes Japan this time.

    • Agree

    • Your #2 point is retarded. And I hate using the word retard. And the word hate.

      That’s how bad your comment is.

      • what the fuck is wrong with retarded?? i take it youve never watched archie bunker before. nothing wrong with hating either….i hate empty beer, hate it when i shit my shorts, hate it when the blue jays are out of contention then start winning! see, nothing wrong with that!

      • Guys/Gals, the use of retarded is like condoning drunk driving. Society has moved beyond that and although you say you hate to use it and hate to use hate, it’s best not to use it. The language police I’m not, just pointing something out that needs to be said and I know you understand. As for me not wanting JJ back, no, personally, I wouldn’t want him back. I would rather Rogers or Redmond or a combo of both because it’s no longer about upside with a three year window for winning, it’s about now. JJ has a history of injury and in my opinion, he’s living off potential at this point in his career. For JJ, he’s going to need to get healthy and is he? Well, we don’t know. Will he need a fucking psychologist in the dugout working through the mental side of the last inning while Dr. Andrew”s tests his pitching arm? Maybe. I’m tired of the reclamation projects to be quite honest and a lot of fans are too and that means I ain’t willing to spend millions on the “cheap” to deal with JJ’s “potential”…same as fucking Morrow, he’s NEVER going to pitch 200 innings in his fucking life…he’s Bullpen and fuck the “value” shit about starter versus a fucking BP arm…that’s ONLY relevant IF the guy can stay healthy for a month and Morrow can’t…hope he does, but I don’t want him fucking around to find out. Someone else can waste their fucking money…I’d take my fucking millions to Japan and upgrade my pitching there. Combined with trades and FAs in MLB, I’d round out my roster. Okay, I’ll admit that Rogers and Redmond are depth but can at least stay up for the year and give you something other than the proverbial “potential”. Rogers, spend some money in Japan like you should of done with Darvish…

    • Re: #2, you really wouldn’t want him back? I know this season has been beyond terrible, but thre is a lot of upside and talent there. If its cheap, I’d be fine with it. There is no way he can actually be THIS bad.

  27. Apparently it’s been determined it is possible to grow grass in Rogers Centre, and the Jays intend to put it in:

  28. When has local toronto media had any scoops relating to anything signifiacnt about the jays under AA?? Pretty much never so I would take this with a major grain of salt, but id be ok with retaining johnson for cheap. Still need to get another frontline starter though somehow.

  29. This rumour is bullshit and here’s why.

    Imagine you’re any of the other 29 GMs and JJ has just hit the open market. Assume that the Jays didn’t extend a qualifying offer, so there’s no draft pick attached and you can get him for nothing but money.

    What are you willing to pay for Josh Johnson’s services?

    Looking at what he just did in 2013, between the two stints on the DL (both for arm-related issues, not freak injuries either) and the shittiness when he actually did pitch — I can’t imagine anybody going past about 1 year/$3 million. Nobody wants a Romero situation on their hands, where the guy is so terrible that you can’t keep him in the rotation, but you can’t cut him loose because he makes too much money, so you have to either send him to the minors or keep him as the mop-up guy.

    At 1/$3, you give him 5-10 starts and if he’s terrible — i.e. the guaranteed-loss, 5 ER territory he inhabited for much of this year — you can release him and write it off as a gamble that didn’t pan out. At $3 million it probably didn’t stop you from signing anybody else of worth. More than that, and particularly if you guarantee an additional year, it becomes way too much of a gamble to be justified in my books.

    And that’s without the QO. With a first-rounder attached, any club that even has a conversation about signing the guy is nuts. I wouldn’t give up a first-rounder to sign JJ for free, let alone give one up and then have to give him a multi-year, >$14 million offer.

    Given all that, it’s pretty much impossible that the Jays could possibly extend the QO without JJ accepting, and it would be a massive overpay if they did, so I just think there’s no way. What they should do is offer something around 1/$3M like other clubs will, knowing that he’ll likely sign somewhere else for about the same money to get out of the AL East and not have to pitch in a launching pad park. We have enough #5s and we certainly have enough guys who can be counted on to spend serious time on the DL. At this point any of the various lottery tickets we do have (Hutch, Drabek, Rogers, Redmond, even Romero) has just as much chance of having an above-average year as JJ does, and none of them require any incremental spend.

  30. The scenario makes sense. The Blue Jays don’t have to negotiate after the fact. They know his health and know his stats weren’t as bad as the results (he had awful defence behind him and less scoring for him than any other pitcher, correct me if I’m wrong). They’re paying him now to get well and didn’t dump on him through the season. His last start was amazing, showing what he can do. So, risk a little to get a lot. Structure a 2-year deal to give JJ a big pay-off in second year if certain performance marks are hit (innings, era, so, bb, wins, some esoterics) in first year. Don’t include those incentives in QO which will as low as allowed. Then give him his chance to sign elsewhere with further option to match. If he goes, jays get picks. If he doesn’t they have a minor rehab project — he will have had lots of TLC and r’n'r time by Spring Training. AA wanted him for a long time. The Marlins deal started with him. Time to double down.

    The off-season proved tickets will be bought if a winner is sniffed. So keep JJ and get Masahiro Tanaka from Japan at whatever he costs. Sign Matt Garza, count on Esmil Rogers, and you’ve got more than a rotation (with Buehrle and Dickey pencilled in). If any of Morrow, Drabek, Hutchison, Redmond, Stroman or Happ rise to occasion you’ve got depth (for a change).

    Get a catcher if you can to replace Thole with a bat (and arm if possible). McCann may not be worth draft pick losses.

    Keep DeRosa for his skill and character. Re-sign Davis and Lind. Trade Izturis for anything. Count on Gose, Pillar and Goins. A better team.

    • Don’t forget Kawasaki. Even though he’d be considered another character guy, he’s also been pretty clutch this year.

    • Not without Morrow, not with Goins, Gose and Pillar expected to do anything.

      • Morrow is not necessary for the Blue Jays to win a WS. I think they realize that and will accept what they get but will beef up the rotation this offseason.

  31. Congratulations to the Vancouver Canadians for a third straight title, a Three-peat.

  32. Would 2/20 not work for both sides here? Assuming his health (arm) is ok…

  33. What’s funny is that if I was this bad at my day-job as JJ was at his this year, I’d be on EI. (I do not have a government job, sadly). Funny that he’ll get another contract that would make any of us set-for-life, when he really only had two good starts all year. These guys really do live by other standards, as happened with Yunel last year.

  34. If there is any truth to this at all, it’s a good deal for the Jays.

    Remember talk of the “biggest contract in MLB pitching history” and “darkhorse Cy Young winner” BS in April? JJ’s stock is so low right now, a 2 year contract is just what he needs.

    • it is not a ‘good deal’ to give someone an offer and allow him to shop it to the competition… it is a f’n idiotic deal… teams that fancy themselves contenders don’t make important roster decisions that way. you make a guy an offer if he accepts fine if he doesn’t you move on to the next plan… you don’t let an offer float around the industry and let a player or the competition decide whether or not you get a draft pick or a starting pitcher.

  35. In terms of the medicals, the Jays ( and I suppose the Marlins to a degree ) would have the best handle looking towards the future .

    As well, it is true that AA plays things close to the vest, but it is also true that Perkins has retired from the Star, basically he can float an insider rumor like this much easier without professional repercussions. This leads credence to the story.

  36. I would sign him in a second. This guy can dominate when healthy and I think he has been hurt all year.

  37. /facepalm

  38. if by a “cheap 2 year contract,” you mean 2 years $2 million, i do it

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