Oakland A’s Acquire Jim Johnson From Orioles For Jemile Weeks
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2013
The deal was announced minutes before the 9:00 p.m. PST, when teams had to either tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players or let them walk as free agents.
In Johnson, Oakland picks up a reliable and consistent front-line closer who recorded 50 or more saves in each of the past two seasons for the Orioles. In 2012, Johnson made his first All-Star team en route to a breakout 51-save season coupled with a 2.49 ERA. In 2013, he had some issues with blown saves, but finished the year with 50 saves and a 2.94 ERA (to go with a 1.28 WHIP).
It was well-documented that Oakland wasn’t interested in spending a lot of money to retain Grant Balfour, the team’s fiery closer that made his first All-Star team in 2013. Johnson’s acquisition confirms those assumptions.
Weeks seemed to have wore out his welcome in Oakland, kicking around in Triple-A Sacramento for much of the 2013 season after beginning his career as a can’t-miss prospect. He didn’t seem to really have much of a place in the team’s 2014 plans, and this trade pretty much asserts that the team felt that way. The 26-year old only appeared in eight games for the big-league club this past season but slashed .271/.376/.369 in 130 games for the Rivercats in AAA.
Rosenthal went on to indicate that Johnson’s projected salary in arbitration is more than $10 million, a figure the A’s will now be on the hook for paying.
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