Jim Johnson’s name is being floated in trade talks, according to John Hickey of Ibabuzz.com. Funny, no teams are biting on a former closer that is struggling with consistency, command, boo birds and has a 6.25 ERA.
The fact that the Athletics are trying to get something in return for Jim Johnson, is admirable, but most likely an act of futility. Johnson alone will not be enough for any team to trade for, no matter who the A’s get in return. The trick for the A’s may be pairing Johnson with someone teams may actually want, say Drew Pomeranz or Tommy Milone, in order to receive anything of value.
Trading Jim Johnson would do 2 things. The first is a salary dump. The remains of his contract could be paid by another team, saving the Athletics a couple of million. The second accomplishment would be opening up a roster spot for a more deserving reliever, preferably someone that can eat up multiple innings, as Hickey pointed out.
The fact that the A’s are trying to trade Jim Johnson could mean that they just don’t want to pay him the rest of his contract, and would prefer someone else to foot the bill. The shopping of Johnson could also mean that if nobody bites, they are just going to cut him anyway, and eat the rest of the contract themselves.
In either scenario, it would appear that Jim Johnson’s days in the green and gold, donning the white cleats are on a countdown. By July 31st, the day that A’s fans have been clamoring for may finally come to fruition.