FoxSports is confirming that Jason Johnson has indeed signed a one-year contract to pitch for the Indians. By acquiring Johnson and Paul Byrd, the Tribe now has a group of five starters that combined to pitch over 1000 innings in 2005. That depth makes the departure of Kevin Millwood a foregone conclusion. Getting a couple of decent starters for one and three years is a much smarter path than committing to five risky years of a pretty good starter in Millwood.
The Indians definitely don’t have a need for starting pitching anymore, so it seems that Coco Crisp will stay put for the time being. Cleveland is still weak at the corners, so Crisp would only depart in a deal for a powerful 1B or 3B. Troy Glaus would’ve been nice, but the trade market is looking bare at this point. Mike Sweeney, Shea Hillenbrand, and Hank Blalock could be had, but all represent only a small upgrade over Aaron Boone or Ben Broussard.
The Cardinals’ main trading chip in a possible Coco Crisp deal was Jason Marquis. Now, St. Louis will look elsewhere to bring in another outfielder. Some sources indicate that a Marquis for Kevin Mench swap could go through in spring training. The Cardinals would like to add a solid power bat to replace Larry Walker, and the acquisitions so far may have to suffice until midseason. The rumored Miguel Tejada for Mark Mulder and David Eckstein trade appears to be completely false.