Josh Johnson won't be a free agent until after the 2011 season, but his agent's already anticipating a big contract, according to Manny Navarro and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Matt Sosnick, who represents the Marlins righty, says his client deserves a hefty contract along the lines of A.J. Burnett's ($82.5MM) or C.C. Sabathia's ($161MM):
"The way that I think Josh needs to be valued is somewhere between Burnett's contract and Sabathia's contract, and probably closer to Sabathia's," Sosnick said. "Josh is that guy in two years."
If Johnson wants his deal to be closer to $161MM than $82.5MM, he's looking at a contract worth upwards of $122MM. In recent years, the Marlins have been willing to trade players other than Hanley Ramirez once they become expensive during their arbitration years or let them depart as free agents.
Johnson's agent can throw lofty numbers around, since Johnson's pitching so well this year. He's 7-1, and has allowed only 110 baserunners in 105 innings, striking out 88. Just yesterday, ESPN.com's Buster Olney called him the NL version of Roy Halladay. Johnson will be just 27 when he hits the open market, so expect a long list of bidders.