Nov. 27: Johnson went unclaimed on waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced. He doesn’t have the requisite service time to reject that assignment in favor of free agency, so he’ll remain with the Red Sox organization and hope for another chance at the MLB level in 2020.
Nov. 25: The Red Sox have placed southpaw Brian Johnson on outright waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). That starts a two-day window within which Johnson can be claimed.
Johnson, who’ll soon turn 29, struggled to a 6.02 ERA in 40 1/3 innings in Boston last year. Elbow troubles limited his availability and perhaps contributed to his ineffectiveness.
A first-round pick in 2012, Johnson turned in excellent results and overcame some challenges on his way up the farm ladder. He wasn’t much of a strikeout hurler but was obviously tough to square up, as opposing hitters produced meager batting averages on balls in play and didn’t muster many home runs.
That has generally been the case in the majors as well, as Johnson averages less than 90 mph with his fastball and doesn’t get many swings and misses. But he was able to limit the hard contact and post a 4.34 ERA in the 130 2/3 MLB innings he threw before the ’19 campaign.