Yes, I still watch South Park, in case you don’t get the reference in the title.
And… yeah, I know, when you see it now there’s not as great a chance as there used to be that you’ll witness something spectacularly brilliant. But you never know! I mean, after a few years in the wilderness you still see enough signs of life to think that, one day, they might be able to put together a really, really strong season, reminiscent of the ones you remember from a few years back when nobody could touch them. Even just getting half of what they used to be would be damn great, and maybe their more favourable new environment– you know, how they only produce one ten-show run each year now, rather than two batches of seven– will lead to some great things. Shit, maybe it will lead them to one more long-term big money contract where they really get a chance to capitalize on what greatness they still might be able to achieve!
Can’t imagine why I’m thinking that as I’m reading word from last night that Josh Johnson has, indeed, signed with the Padres.
Probably just the catchy-as-hell song.
As for Johnson, his deal is a nice one for the Padres, who get him at $8-million for one year, with a $1.25-million bonus if he makes 26 starts, and a $4-million option for next season if he makes fewer than seven. I don’t think many would have complained if the Jays had landed him at that price, but I don’t think there’s much reason to believe that they could have– and it at least falls more than short enough of the $14-million qualifying offer for us to not feel like the Jays should have just paid him that anyway.
Tim Dierkes of MLBTR figures that the Padres “got a discount approaching 20%, just for being the Padres.” It makes sense. Sure, Matt Sosnick, Johnson’s agent, made nice with some comments about how much his client liked being in Toronto and he how he would have enjoyed staying here, but if the Jays weren’t going to tie a draft pick around Johnson’s neck and force the issue, it’s hard to see why he would have chosen to do so beyond some misplaced sense of loyalty.
I say “misplaced,” of course, because while trying to do right by the club who gave up so much to get him last year would have been awfully noble, that’s just not the way that relationships between players and their clubs work– it would certainly have been more loyalty than clubs show their players as a matter of due course. Guys are shoved out, pushed aside, leveraged, and basically treated as chattel whose utility to an organization is always at the risk of disappearing. Or… it’s maybe not quite that bad, but I certainly can’t blame Johnson for not feeling he owed any big league club anything here. He’s kinda earned that right by virtue alone of being eleven-and-a-half years removed from draft day 2002 when he was selected by the Marlins (three picks, it should be noted, before the Jays took Adam Peterson in the fourth round (ugh), and one round after the Jays took Dave Bush two picks ahead of Jon effing Lester (double ugh)).
I also can’t blame Johnson for choosing the Padres– near his home in Las Vegas, and his wife’s hometown of Anaheim– either. Especially since it’s going to be a much, much more favourable environment for him to pitch in, and to hopefully earn back some of the money he lost with a disastrous 2013. After all, it will only take one team not looking too skeptically at whatever numbers he puts up for him to really cash in.
There’s risk, though, too. If he’s awful in that park, well… then maybe he’s just awful.
I tend to think it will work out OK, though (because offuckingcourse it will), and can’t help but wish him well as I try not to dwell too much on what could have been– or, perhaps more accurately, what was supposed to have been.
Shit, and if things keep going south for him, it’s not like $8-million is a bad number to live on, and the weather’s nice. Not that he had much choice in the matter anyway. No! Not because the Giants, his other reported top choice, came to terms with Tim Hudson yesterday. Because how could anyone resist this powerful (if a touch overly 2012-ish) tourism message???