Archive for the ‘Josh Johnson’ Category

johnsonana

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.

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johnsondarkthrow

Today in completely unsurprising news, Josh Johnson, hoping for the kind of payday he was unable to score after his disastrous 2013, is looking to pitch in a sliiiiiiiightly more favourable environment than the Rogers Centre.

But don’t take my word for it, take it from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Again: makes total sense. And at this point, really, I think it’s only barely a Jays-related news story, but still, it will be interesting to see how much he ultimately signs for. Given that he seems to be limiting his market here– beyond, y’know, the market-limiting numbers and injuries we watched him suffer through this season– it’s probably not going to hit the upper reaches of the $10- to $15-million that Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, was suggesting his client would be in line for back in September.

I mean, 38-year-old Tim Hudson just signed a two-year, $23-million deal with the Giants, and even though he’s coming off an ankle injury– which limited his value– he’s certainly been a more reliable option than Johnson over the last four years. And now, of course, one of Johnson’s first two choices has that much less of a need for him– if they even want him in the first place.

As I’ve maintained all along, I can’t see why a team wouldn’t, assuming that the price is right.

Interestingly, Jason Collette took a deep look at Johnson’s divergent numbers when pitching from the windup and from the stretch in a piece today at FanGraphs.

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MLBTR: No Q.O. For J.J.

johnsonlooks

According to a report from MLB Trade Rumors, since confirmed by John Lott of the National Post, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, and Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com, the Jays will not extend a qualifying offer to free agent pitcher Josh Johnson. He’ll hit the open market and they’ll get nothing in return should he choose not to ultimately sign with them anyway.

So… that’s interesting. And not just because the scoop came from our old friend Tim Dierkes-Dierkes-Dierkes.

If you’ve been reading here regularly, you’ll know that– while occasionally wavering slightly– I’ve been pretty firmly on the side of thinking that the club almost had to make this offer, if push came to shove. Obviously you’d like to believe that he could have been had for less– and he still very well might, though the fact that at midnight tonight he’ll be able to negotiate with other clubs makes that far less of a likelihood– but the upside was just too high, the commitment, in terms of years, perfectly short, and the certainty of actually ensuring the club lands one of the more intriguing free agent arms in this year’s class too valuable to just let him walk away for nothing.

Welp. So much for that, eh?

So what does it mean?

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New York Yankees v. Toronto Blue Jays

This is a couple of days old, and isn’t really news, per se, but today marks the deadline– at 5 PM, specifically– for the Jays to make a qualifying offer of $14.1-million to pitcher Josh Johnson, and it’s probably worth noting that, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, it doesn’t appear as though they’ll be doing so.

“A final determination apparently hasn’t been made,” he adds, noting that “with no draft choice attached to him assuming no qualifying offer is made, he might be able to get close to the $14.1 million as a free agent.”

That last bit, of course, is the rub, and is also possibly the reason that we may be waiting until the last moment for word of the ultimate decision. That’s purely speculation on my part, but it’s not terribly difficult to envision the Jays and Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, still dancing around the fact that if the club is willing to get close to the qualifying offer, they may well be willing swallow hard and give up the full amount. The $14.1-million they’d need to give him is certainly at the upper end of what they could reasonably expect on the open market– Sosnick himself gave some insight into their strategy back in September, as he told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet that he believes “there will be between six and eight teams that will offer him between $10-15 million”– but the value of the certainty may be higher to the Jays than they’d want to let on until the very last.

Or so we’ve thought.

Like I say, this isn’t exactly new. I wrote rather confidently about Johnson’s upcoming return a couple weeks ago, in the wake of Tim Lincecum’s extension with the San Francisco Giants, which looked like it might, in one fell swoop, explode the market for pitching. But there are still things we don’t know about what the Jays’ thinking on this might be, and plenty of reasons why it’s possible that a qualifying offer wont be extended.

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johnsondomethrowing

As you’ve probably heard by now, last night pending free agent Tim Lincecum eschewed the market and re-upped with the San Francisco Giants. And why the hell wouldn’t he, with the contract they offered him?

Drew goes over the particulars at Getting Blanked, as he admittedly finds himself “searching desperately for silver linings to Tim Lincecum’s two-year, $35 million contract.” The big one for me, and as it pertains to the Blue Jays, is what he lists as “Reality #5 - Baseball salaries are not what they once were.”

He explains:

“Your idea and my idea of a bad contract is about to take a significant hit. The economic environment didn’t change overnight but the salaries we see now and will continue to see are going to blow your mind. If we, as a baseball consuming public, can’t get our heads around this, then every single contract will look like an overpay. Your $/WAR calculator needs an OS upgrade, bro. Welcome to the New Tomorrow.”

That’s the rub. And it’s very clearly worked into how Danny Knobler– the Knobler!– explained the Giants’ end of the deal, which I think happens to be a bang-on assessment:

Not only do they think the market for pitching is going to get crazy– and… uh… about that… uh… an ESPN New York report suggests the Yankees could be on the verge of a massive spending spree– but they valued the certainty, both in terms of cost and in terms of getting him to put his name on a contract.

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johnsonarm

I guess this counts as early October, but this is certainly not quite what I expected when, as Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote at Sportsnet early last month, Alex Anthopoulos told reporters that he expected “to make a decision on whether to extend Josh Johnson a qualifying offer by early to mid-October.”

No decision has been made yet by the club, but still. At the time, Anthopoulos explained that “Once he’s had his full rest and we get to talk to our doctors and our trainers and so on, just to get a sense of how they feel he’s progressing. That would be the final piece of information that we need.”

Well how’s this for information on how he’s progressing?: Johnson’s agent Matt Sosnick tells MLB Trade Rumors that his client went under the knife of Dr. James Andrews this week, getting bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow.

Ouch.

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johnsondejected

As you may have already heard us discuss on this week’s podcast, there’s a rather interesting piece this afternoon from Shi Davidi over at Sportsnet, as he spoke with Matt Sosnick, the agent for Josh Johnson, about the pitcher’s possible future in Toronto.

You might want to sit down for this, but his view is that his client is still in line for a pretty significant payday.

Sosnick, as I’ve said any time I’ve quoted him around here, is refreshingly forthright– and much of that comes through in Davidi’s piece. For example, Sosnick tells him that “he’s not interested in signing a multi-year contract,” which would seem to rule out whatever a little bird told Dave Perkins last week– which I wrote about on Monday.

Of course… uh… he’s still an agent:

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