Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Jim Johnson Era is Over

It will come as no surprise to those who follow Oakland Athletics that struggling closer Jim Johnson has cleared waivers, attracted no trade interest and has, today, been released by the A’s.

An unconditional release, which Johnson received, means that Johnson is eligible to play on any team that wants them and that the interested team is not responsible for any reamining contract money owed the player.

At $10 million, Johnson was a costly gamble that did not ultimately pay off for Oakland. Much has been written about Johnson’s reception in Oakland after being booed by fans on opening night and several times throughout the season. Johnson came into this season with over 100 saves under his belt from the previous two seasons and was thought to be a superiour replacement to fan favorite, Balfour but his early struggles on the mound, particularly in the pitcher friendly O.Co, made him virtually unplayable in any situation.

The final blow came a week ago when Johnson was brought in the 8th inning to pitch with a 9-2 lead over the Astros. Without getting a single out, Johnson gave up four runs. While this gamble did cost the A’s a considerable amount of money, by their own standards, it didn’t cost them much in players having given up Jemile Weeks, who was unlikely to ever dress in the green and gold again, and minor league catcher David Freitas.

Sean Doolittle has dominated since taking over the closer role this year.

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