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Josh Johnson to Undergo Tommy John Surgery 

Smith Transactions

The Padres announced today that RHP Josh Johnson would undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow on his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow after experiencing tightness and discomfort in his arm for the past several weeks. The news broke Wednesday afternoon on Twitter as a collective groan spread across the Padres fan base.

Johnson, an off season high risk/high reward pickup, was offered a 1-year/$8 million contract with a clause that would lower or raise the amount he was set to earn depending on the number of games he started in the season. Johnson appeared in 4 spring training games with the Padres, sporting a 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA over 13.1 innings pitched, but did not appear in a single regular season game for the Padres.

Johnson’s contract guaranteed the pitcher $4 million if he started less than seven regular season games for the club, and it appears that the club declined to get insurance on Johnson in the event that he didn’t pitch at all.

Johnson, a 9-year veteran, pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, putting up a 2-8 record with a 6.20 ERA in 16 games before having surgery on his right elbow in August of 2012. Johnson’s first Tommy John Surgery came back in 2007 when he was with the Florida Marlins. The Toronto Blue Jays declined to make a “qualifying” offer to Johnson this past offseason predicated on his elbow injury, and the Padres picked him up shortly thereafter.

Johnson will be attended to by Dr. James Andrews for his surgery tomorrow – the same doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on Johnson back in 2012.

With the announcement of a second Tommy John surgery, Johnson’s future with the club is uncertain. The club now reserves a $4 million option to bring Johnson back with the team in 2015 (pursuant to the $4million/7 starts clause), but whether or not the team chooses to exercise that option is yet to be determined.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!