Olney On Scutaro, Barajas, Johnson

The Toronto Blue Jays will almost certainly offer arbitration to Marco Scutaro and Rod Barajas, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. In today's blog entry, Olney applauds the work being done by GM Alex Anthopolous, who will secure the team three compensation picks if Scutaro and Barajas sign elsewhere, as is expected.

Rather than re-signing Scutaro and Barajas, the Jays are attempting to replace their departing players with comparable options. Signing Alex Gonzalez and pursuing catchers like Yorvit Torrealba allows the team to avoid downgrading too significantly, while earning them compensation draft picks at the same time.

Within the same piece, Olney explains the reasoning behind the Marlins' reluctance to deal Josh Johnson this winter, comparing the situation to the Indians' handling of Cliff Lee. If Florida starts strong in 2010, Johnson will help them contend. If they fall out of the playoff race, however, they could potentially trade the right-hander before next year's deadline and still demand a significant return.

Olney also mentions that extension talks between Johnson and the Marlins hit a snag because the 25-year-old is looking for at least four guaranteed years, and the club didn't want to guarantee that fourth year.

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