Josh Johnson has yet to throw a pitch for the Blue Jays after being acquired in a 12-player blockbuster earlier this month, but the right-hander is open to remaining with the team beyond 2013. Agent Matt Sosnick told Brendan Kennedy of The Toronto Star they'd be receptive to a new deal to remain in Toronto.
"If there is anyone in the game I’d be receptive to talking to about it it’s (Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos)," said Sosnick. "It hasn’t come up in any of our conversations ... (Anthopoulos) hasn’t volunteered it and I haven’t asked him about it. It’s probably something that if he wants to talk about it we’ll talk about it down the road."
Johnson, 28, will earn $13.75MM next season, the final year on the four-year, $39MM contract he signed with the Marlins prior to 2010. He pitched to a 3.81 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 191 1/3 innings this season, though his fastball velocity dipped and both his strikeout and walk rates declined for a second straight year.
From 2009-2011, Johnson posted a 2.64 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 453 innings across 70 starts. A return to that level of performance with the Blue Jays this year would potentially put Johnson in line for a nine-figure contract as a free agent next offseason, when he will be arguably the best starter on the market.