The Miami Herald reports that the A's and Marlins are in talks that could send Jim Johnson to the Marlins in return for a minor league prospect. Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson Dangled As Trade Bait To Fish

 

Of all the trade rumors circulating right now nothing has my ears perked up more than a German shepherd’s when he hears his master’s whistle than the latest from the Miami Herald about a possible deal between the Athletics and the Miami Marlins.

According to the Herald and their “Fish Bytes” blog, Carl Spencer reports that the Marlins continue to remain interested in A’s reliever Jim Johnson. Spencer’s sources relayed to him that one player the A’s have discussed with the Marlins as a possible trade return is New Orleans Zephyrs AAA minor league pitching prospect Adam Conley.

Earlier last month, on June 4, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported a potential trade fell through that was supposed to send the worsening and oft home-crowd booed Johnson to Miami in exchange for the Marlins’ No. 39 draft pick.

Getting $10 million from the A’s for this season, Johnson has basically been a money pit, struggling since Game 1 when he came in to a scoreless game and proceeded to give up a walk, a single and plunk a batter, all before getting an out. When the ninth was over he had given up two runs and the A’s eventually lost 2-0.

Johnson continued the downslide to where he lost his closer role just 11 days into the season with an 0-2 record and a blown save. Since that time things have continued to worsen. It seems Johnson is no longer trusted in close games, basically used as nothing more than a mop-up man. Johnson’s ERA now stands at 6.25 where he’s allowed 82 runners to reach base (56 hits, 23 walks, 3 HBP) in just 40.1 innings pitched.

One of the better college prospects from Washington State University, pitcher Adam Conley of Redmond, Wash. was snapped up by the Marlins in the 2011 draft and has since moved up the organizational ranks in their farm system.

A 6-3 lefty that can throw heat in the upper 90s and with a sinking 2-seamer, he has nice ground ball potential that could make Conley an effective reliever. Scouts have commented that as he gains confidence, his performance has improved over the last two years in the organization.

In 11 starts this year, Conley, 24, is 3-5 in 12 games but has a 6.00 ERA.

If any deal does go through and the Athletics are able to unload Johnson for anything more than a batboy who promises to refill Coke machines in the locker room, you can bet that the A’s will still be tied to a portion of his enormous salary.

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Tags: Adam Conley Jim Johnson

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