The indispensable MLB Trade Rumors has updated its Elias Rankings to inform their nerdy Blue Jays fan following that newly acquired second baseman Kelly Johnson would require Type A compensation if the season were to end today and he refused the Blue Jays offer of arbitration.
Those are two rather large “ifs,” and in addition to that happening, another team would have to sign Johnson knowing that they’d be giving up a first or second round draft pick to acquire a player coming off a season in which he accumulated a sub .300 on base percentage.
In this way, Type A status likely hurts the Blue Jays chances of receiving a pick for Johnson if they decide to offer him arbitration at the end of the season. But maybe that doesn’t matter so much to General Manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Ken Rosenthal had an interesting piece up this morning identifying Toronto’s latest roster shuffling as nothing short of a tryout for 2012. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Johnson refuses a marginal raise on the $5.85 million he’s making this season and the Blue Jays are no doubt aware of this.
If he performs well over the final six weeks of the season, Toronto will offer him arbitration and he’ll get the opportunity to feel out the market for his services. In all likelihood, that market will be limited to zero interest, which in its own way is probably best for Johnson. Assuming the left handed hitting second baseman believes his true talent level to be higher than what his 2011 numbers are showing, he could do a lot worse than receiving a $6 million+ contract for one year to prove himself and possibly go after the multi-year deal he desires in 2013.
For the Diamondbacks, they were unlikely to have offered Johnson arbitration no matter how he finished the season. In Aaron Hill, they acquired a Type B free agent, who is showcasing his talents not only for Arizona, but also every team interested in a second baseman next season. The decision to offer him arbitration will also be decided over the next six weeks.