Padres Sign Righty Josh Johnson to 1 Year Deal
The front office pulled the trigger on their first acquisition this off-season as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported that Right-Handed Pitcher Josh Johnson agreed to a 1-year, $8 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Johnson was rumored to be favoring signing with either the Padres or the Giants this season, but the announcement tonight shows that Johnson is San Diego bound.
Johnson’s deal is reported to come with both a fallback plan and incentives for outstanding performance. If Johnson makes less than 7 starts next season, then he is guaranteed only $4 million on his contract. However, if Johnson can make over 26 starts then there is an incentive of possible bonus payment to the pitcher.
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 last season. The Toronto Blue Jays declined to make a “qualifying” offer to Johnson, predicated on his elbow injury.
Johnson’s agent, however, reports that he’s feeling 100% healthy and ready to come back anew next season. Johnson spent 8 season with the Marlins before being traded to Toronto, and has a lifetime 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA over his career.
News surrounding Johnson has been in full swing over the last week as teams continued to pull starting pitchers out of the free agent market. Johnson’s $8 million deal comes only a few hours after the San Francisco Giants signed free agent Tim Hudson to a 2-year/$23 million deal. Hudson is also coming of a season that ended in injury.
Johnson was selected as an all-star back in 2009 and 2010, and also lead the National League with the lowest ERA in 2010. 2010 was Johnson’s finest season, earning NL pitcher of the Month honors in April and June of that season. Hopefully, Johnson can return from his surgery (which involved removing bone chips from his right elbow) and regain his form in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
The Padres have not year made a formal announcement of the signing, but ESPN and Johnson’s agent have confirmed the reports. Johnson will be turning 30 this January, and the Canadian slinger should bring a lot of excitement and potential promise to the Padres 2014 season and starting rotation.