Athletics Designate Jim Johnson For Assignment

12:04pm: The A’s announced that they have actually designated Johnson for assignment, not released him (though that could obviously be the ultimate outcome of the move). Evan Scribner has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill his roster spot.

11:55am: The A’s have released right-hander Jim Johnson, a source tells Jane Lee of MLB.com (Twitter link).

The 31-year-old Johnson was acquired by the A’s this offseason in a salary dump that sent Jemile Weeks and David Freitas to the Orioles. While many Baltimore fans were shaken by the deal after seeing Johnson lead the league in saves in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the move proved to be a wise decision by the O’s, as Johnson has struggled to a 6.92 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a 56.8 percent ground-ball rate in 40 1/3 innings this season with Oakland. He lost his ninth-inning role to Sean Doolittle early in the season.

Johnson is earning $10MM in 2014 after avoiding arbitration for the final time this past winter. The A’s will eat the remaining $3.66MM on his contract if he is ultimately released. It seems unlikely that any team would claim him on waivers or trade for him as a result of that salary, though a team could show some interest if Oakland pays a large portion of the deal.


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67 Comments on "Athletics Designate Jim Johnson For Assignment"


Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

Wont be long before someone takes a chance on him at league minimum.

Ivan
1 year 1 month ago

I hope the Marlins are that team. he was great in baltimore and the marlins were reportadingly wanting to trade for him so now they can get him without losing a prospect

Casual_Economy
1 year 1 month ago

I don’t think they were going to lose anything to get him. His value is very low.

deadgeorge
1 year 1 month ago

Don’t think there was a prospect involved or else he would have been traded.

Ivan
1 year 1 month ago

I remember seeing that there was a trade proposed of Adam Conley for Johnson but the Marlins were very hesitant to pull the trigger

1 year 1 month ago

He won’t be traded for anything anymore.

basemonkey
1 year 1 month ago

Agreed.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

The Marlins were never going to trade a prospect for Johnson. They were going to trade their comp pick for him but chose instead to trade the pick to the Cubs and use the money on Gregg.

Derek
1 year 1 month ago

I’d love to see the Birds pick him back up. Hopefully, the poor guy just needs a change of scenery and the dominant stuff is still in there somewhere.

Mike
1 year 1 month ago

I agree. I’m a big fan of JJ… just not as our closer.

sourbob
1 year 1 month ago

Relievers sometimes have awful seasons with little warning. But barring injury, a big chunk of the ones who were good before end up good again. Johnson will be back.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 1 month ago

Back to Baltimore… can’t be much worse than what we have in the pen now

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 1 month ago

No, enough is enough!
Let him try his luck somewhere else.

Derek
1 year 1 month ago

Last night notwithstanding, what’s wrong with our pen? Our back of the bullpen has been stellar, and Mac, Brach, and Webb have held down the middle pretty well.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 1 month ago

Just feels like every time Matusz and Hunter get into the game they blow the lead. Maybe I’m just jaded lol

snowbladerp14
1 year 1 month ago

hunter was hurt in the beginning of the season. he just had 10 straight games or so without giving up a run

Derek
1 year 1 month ago

Maybe a little, haha. I agree Matusz isn’t the same player as the last couple of years but Hunter has been sick since he lost the closer job.

basemonkey
1 year 1 month ago

If we’re a playoff team, then every warm body occupying a roster spot needs to contribute. I think Showalter realizes that, so he’s trying to get certain guys in a groove and productive. Matusz is one of them. Last night was a playoff atmosphere, and he needs that type of experience, of performing in a high adrenaline anxious moment. He failed, but who knows? Maybe down the road, in another moment, last night helped him be familiar with that level of intensity and perform better?

basemonkey
1 year 1 month ago

Regarding Hunter, he just hasn’t been able to get much of anything going this year. Just remember the setup man role he had going last year, before he started closing. He was coming in at the 8th inning and just throwing 98 mph gas. He was great. He hasn’t gotten back to that yet, but it’s in there somewhere.

basemonkey
1 year 1 month ago

Our pen has been pretty good. The overall numbers say they’re league average, but over the last month+ they’ve been outstanding against strong teams.

Hopper15
1 year 1 month ago

about time!

Danny Colston
1 year 1 month ago

I can see the Braves jumping on something like this.

norcalbb
1 year 1 month ago

no more 0IP 4ER games!!!

disadvantage
1 year 1 month ago

Hey now! It was 3ER, 4R on 0 IP. I believe Jim Johnson would like you to know that.

BigEd
1 year 1 month ago

He struggled every game he pitched in. Amazing for a guy who lead the league in saves the last 2 years with Baltimore. The A’s highest paid player at $10 mill and it’s worst player. They sure miss Grant Balfour who’s hating it in TB.

norcalbb
1 year 1 month ago

the A’s are much better off without Johnson and Balfour

Snoochies8
1 year 1 month ago

Don’t miss Balfour at all

Iconoclast17
1 year 1 month ago

Balfour was very good in Oakland. They don’t miss him because Doolittle (for the most part) has assumed the closer’s role and they are very deep in the pen. Remember, Balfour set the franchise record for most consecutive saves. Meanwhile, Johnson set the record for most consecutive poor performances—a complete waste of $10 million. Weeks was no loss (like Barton and Taylor) but man he was awful. And, Beane stubbornly stuck with Johnson waaayyyy too long.

Hoosierdaddy92
1 year 1 month ago

Hope the Tigers snag him up and he winds up being one of the relievers that helps them beat the A’s again this year haha

liberalconservative
1 year 1 month ago

Hope he is your closer in the playoffs. I would be calling my bookie and bet all green.

Hoosierdaddy92
1 year 1 month ago

He’d probably be 4th on the depth chart for them at closer. If he were the closer, I’d probably short my Tigers too.

liberalconservative
1 year 1 month ago

He was sixth on the A’s and still pitched poorly.

norcalbb
1 year 1 month ago

I hope the Tigers get all of the washed up closers too! Would make for a short postseason for Detroit

1 year 1 month ago

Billy Beane might be a wizard, but moves like this show that sometimes he’s just the Wizard of Oz behind the booth.

Brendan Purcell
1 year 1 month ago

40 IP and only 2 losses…i’m not sure this move takes away from his wizard status at all…

norcalbb
1 year 1 month ago

because the only stat that matters for a reliever, is his losses…

Brendan Purcell
1 year 1 month ago

That was not my point at all. Considering that you guys are faulting Beane for this one failed experiment, it’s pretty impressive that that failure really didn’t hurt the A’s that much at all. He was a non-factor in the bullpen.

norcalbb
1 year 1 month ago

I’m not faulting Beane at all, I’m faulting Johnson for be terrible

1 year 1 month ago

Are 40 poor innings worth 10 million? And if so, why isn’t he still on the team?

liberalconservative
1 year 1 month ago

Its better to have a GM that makes mistakes than one that is afraid to make a mistake. hint hint phillies

1 year 1 month ago

I agree. I’m merely pointing out that Beane is not infallible. This looked like an odd move when he made it.

liberalconservative
1 year 1 month ago

Bad scouting reports. JJ was still pitching well when picked up for about nothing. Beane has made many mistakes but as long as your good trade out weigh your bad trades all is good. Glad to see his trade offer for Headly from a few years ago didn’t go through.

bg7kd
1 year 1 month ago

Yes Jim Johnson played poorly but lets think of it in this sense
1) The A’s had leverage when signing Doolittle or Cook to extensions If we did not get Johnson then Doolittle and Cook would have been worth much more to sign since they get higher save totals and saves = money. Therefore we reduced the cost of Doolittle.

2) Grant Balfour wanted a two year deal. If Billy Beane gave him the two year deal we would lose a young reliever to free agency where they could make money. Is Grant Balfour worth more than Sean Doolittle? In Billy’s eyes and most A’s fans eyes the answer should be no.

Now I hope this is how Billy was thinking. This is how I would perceive the situation. I think in the end Jim played poorly because most A’s fans(myself included at times) did not want him here. He was not Grant Balfour who most A’s fans had started to love and adore(I was never high on Balfour, but that’s my opinion on him).

I want to wish Jim the best of luck..

1 year 1 month ago

This looks like the Chewbacca defense.

Let’s look at this way. It wasn’t a good trade.

bg7kd
1 year 1 month ago

I guess that’s a difference of opinions. The A’s potentially would save more then the 10 million they lost.

1 year 1 month ago

Jim Johnson was a good not great closer making too much money as a result of the arbitration system, which has no idea what to do with closers. He didn’t even need to be an option and he shouldn’t have been.

Iconoclast17
1 year 1 month ago

The trade was OK because Weeks is not a good player. The money is paid by the owners because Oakland is a welfare recipient in their structure, crying poverty and collecting the hand-out every year. Still, Johnson was an epic fail, as you assert. And, last night’s game is exhibit A in how NOT to use a bullpen. Trying to please Beane, Melvin kept forcing Johnson into games—even in easy situations with big leads. No way Doolittle and Gregerson should have pitched last night save for Bean’s intransigence on getting rid of Johnson.

Snoochies8
1 year 1 month ago

Man, it’s really too bad he didn’t work out. He just had no command/control whatsoever. He’ll turn it around though, even through all of his struggles he still had some of the best stuff in the bullpen. Once he goes back to figuring out where his pitches are going he’ll be fine

josebatista89
1 year 1 month ago

I hope the Mets pounce on him.

Jeff McMillan
1 year 1 month ago

This guy has great stuff. Closing got to him. But with 5 pitches stretching him back out to be a starter might be what he needs.

Seamaholic
1 year 1 month ago

How’s a DFA for a highly paid veteran work? Assuming he declines the designation, he then becomes a complete FA? Is he subject to waiver claims?

deadgeorge
1 year 1 month ago

He can be claimed, but the claiming team would have to pick up his remaining salary. He does not have trade protection or ten and five rights or anything. If he passes through waivers, it is then highly unlikely that he will accept a minor league assignment, and at that point he will be released and become a free agent.

1 year 1 month ago

I believe with more than 5 years of service time he can reject a minor league assignment.

For players with less than 5 years of service time, if they have been DFA’d more than once within a certain period of time they can also elect free agency (could be slightly off here though).

deadgeorge
1 year 1 month ago

I dont know if the author cares, but Johnson actually lost the closer job to Luke Gregerson, who then lost the job to Sean Doolittle, who then struggled, which led to a closer by committee, from which Doolittle eventually emerged with the job.

Iconoclast17
1 year 1 month ago

So, essentially the writer is correct—Doolittle is the closer.

selw0nk
1 year 1 month ago

Finally! :)

Jack Cox
1 year 1 month ago

My guess is someone takes a chance on him and asks him to fix his stuff. I bet you if the Rays get a hold of him he turns out to be something amazing.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 1 month ago

Sometimes is it just mental. Genius pitching coach could just make something up to “fix him”. As long as he believes, that is all that matters.

“Just move 2 inches to the left on the rubber and release a 1/4 inch lower.” Does not really matter if there really is anything there. Just make him think that all he needs to regain his confidence.

“Placebo effect” not possible in Oakland anymore. He need a change of scenery. Perhaps he goes back to Baltimore.

Gumby65
1 year 1 month ago

Yet somehow, Chris Perez still has a job.

MB923
1 year 1 month ago

As does Joe Nathan…..as a closer still too.

disadvantage
1 year 1 month ago

Where is the commenter with the username Jim Johnson when you need him?