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Johnson Part of the Core

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I'm not thrilled about the salary he's going to command in arbitration, but he's still far and away the best choice for closer we have.

Johnson gave up 3 more runs this year than year. That's right...3 runs! The difference between last year and this year is that he gave up his runs conveniently last year. That's just the way it breaks sometimes, and I'm certainly glad to have him closing games for us. I just don't like the price tag.

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Then who would you pitch in the 6th, 7th, and 8th? TJ and Stinson?

The question to me is whether it is this year or last year that is the anomaly for JJ. He had a couple years when he was lights out as our top setup guy, and 2012 as one of the top closers in the league (despite unconventional stuff). I happen to think 2013 was an off year, due to a combination of overuse and bad luck, and his true value is probably somewhere in between.

One thing I really didn't like about JJ this year was his fielding. At 9 million a year, if that's what it turns out to be, I want someone who can field the position. He let a bunch of lead runners get on due to fielding mistakes in pressure situations and to me that indicates mental weakness.

The only anomoly is when he allowed his runs. He could have the same ERA and WHIP next year and have a save rate of 90% if the runs come at different times. I have a lot of confidence in JJ's mental toughness. Sometimes, things just happen at the wrong times. Make no mistake, JJ is highly likely to be a better alternative (money aside) than anyone else in the organization or anyone we could acquire as a free agent. It's all about the money, and whether you'd pick up more wins spending it elsewhere than you'd lose from downgrading the back of your bullpen.

PS - I see crissfan72 made the same points as I was typing this.

Edited by Frobby
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Who here would sign a starting pitcher coming off a 228 IP, 2.68 ERA season to a 1 yr/$9M contract?

Because those are Jim Johnson's aggregate numbers over the past 3 years.

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The only anomoly is when he allowed his runs. He could have the same ERA and WHIP next year and have a save rate of 90% if the runs come at different times. I have a lot of confidence in JJ's mental toughness. Sometimes, things just happen at the wrong times. Make no mistake, JJ is highly likely to be a better alternative (money aside) than anyone else in the organization or anyone we could acquire as a free agent. It's all about the money, and whether you'd pick up more wins spending it elsewhere than you'd lose from downgrading the back of your bullpen.

PS - I see crissfan72 made the same points as I was typing this.

Is the money now an aside? Because, again, if it is sign me up for Johnson. As far as I know we have the same owner.

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Is the money now an aside? Because, again, if it is sign me up for Johnson. As far as I know we have the same owner.

Money is not an aside. I'm just trying to separate the argument that we have a better (or cheaper, but nearly equally good) alternative at closer than JJ (we don't) from the argument that the money we'll spend on JJ is better spent elsewhere (which may be correct).

Edited by Frobby

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Who here would sign a starting pitcher coming off a 228 IP, 2.68 ERA season to a 1 yr/$9M contract?

Because those are Jim Johnson's aggregate numbers over the past 3 years.

Bad argument, because relievers have lower ERA's than starters. But add a run to that ERA and it's not a bad comparison.

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That is you, me and a few other posters Trea. We also have guys blaming JJ for blowing the O's WS chances last year and playoff hopes this season.

I'm in on this too. 8MM for a closer is an inefficient use of money. Although, I think Johnson would probably get 8MM/yr on the open market, so a draft pick would be the ideal scenario. Could this not be what DD is thinking?

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Who here would sign a starting pitcher coming off a 228 IP, 2.68 ERA season to a 1 yr/$9M contract?

Because those are Jim Johnson's aggregate numbers over the past 3 years.

That us a bad argument because a starter with those numbers would command more money than $9M. And as you said, are over 3 years. Not 1.

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Bad argument, because relievers have lower ERA's than starters. But add a run to that ERA and it's not a bad comparison.

True. Johnson's WHIP is 1.127 over the same period, and those are not affected by the same ERA effect. Here's a complete list of starters with a 1.10-1.15 WHIP in one season over the past 3 years.

David Price 2013

Homer Bailey 2013

Travis Wood 2013

AJ Griffin 2013

Zack Greinke 2013

Felix Hernandez 2013

Andrew Cashner 2013

Bronson Arroyo 2013

Ervin Santana 2013

Scott Feldman 2013

Madison Bumgarner 2012

Cliff Lee 2012

Cole Hamels 2012

Gio Gonzalez 2012

Chris Sale 2012

CC Sabathia 2012

Felix Hernandez 2012

Mike Minor 2012

Brandon McCarthy 2011

Alexi Ogando 2011

David Price 2011

Ricky Romero 2011

Tim Hudson 2011

Jordan Zimmermann 2011

Jeremy Hellickson 2011

Only 34 other (qualified) pitcher-seasons had a WHIP <1.10 in the past 3 years.

I think the point stands. Johnson is a reliever, and provides far less value because he pitches fewer innings. But his performance is up there with the very best in the game when you look at a reasonable sample size. And his slight decline this season doesn't change very much.

Another way to look at it: where would Johnson rank among potential free agent relievers? Here's a leaderboard for RHRPs. Would you rather have LaTroy Hawkins? Matt Lindstrom? Matt Belisle? Jesse Crain?

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I would rather roll the dice with Wright for 500K and use the 8.5 million saving elsewhere.
If they're going to raise payroll, then I guess I'm fine with Jim Johnson, but it really doesn't seem like good baseball economics to pay him even 7-8 mil imo.
It's all about the money, and whether you'd pick up more wins spending it elsewhere than you'd lose from downgrading the back of your bullpen.
Would you rather have LaTroy Hawkins? Matt Lindstrom? Matt Belisle? Jesse Crain?

I don't think it's worth spending the money on any of these guys if we aren't going to pay Johnson. There isn't that much of a savings. I'm in the camp that says we find a solution in house and spend the money elsewhere. Preferably in the rotation. Of course that comes with the caveat that payroll isn't significantly increased.

And I'll believe that when I see it.

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Arrieta's problem was that he overthought things, and having 4 pitches to try to throw for strikes didn't help. Take away two of his pitches - the curve and change, have him just focus on his fastball and slider, and he could dominate IMO.

Funny, I always thought his curve was better than his slider.

I sort of agree with you, but I don't think Baltimore was the place for it to happen. And he seemed to get inside his own head too frequently, especially toward the end of his stint. I remember quite well how dominant he could be; I was at one of his starts where he matched a no-hitter with Jered Weaver for like 4 innings, looking pretty much unstoppable, and then crumbled like a cookie in the 5th. I just don't think he has the mental capacity to do it consistently, as a starter or a reliever. And lets not forget that he is absolutely awful at repeating his release point. He spikes way too many balls at random times.

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Funny, I always thought his curve was better than his slider.

I sort of agree with you, but I don't think Baltimore was the place for it to happen. And he seemed to get inside his own head too frequently, especially toward the end of his stint. I remember quite well how dominant he could be; I was at one of his starts where he matched a no-hitter with Jered Weaver for like 4 innings, looking pretty much unstoppable, and then crumbled like a cookie in the 5th. I just don't think he has the mental capacity to do it consistently, as a starter or a reliever. And lets not forget that he is absolutely awful at repeating his release point. He spikes way too many balls at random times.

Thread derailer! ;) Check out the Arrieta thread. I posted an article there regarding his outlook for next season.

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Say want you want about JJ but 100 saves in two seasons is not to be sneezed at. :clap3::2yay-thumb::boogie::vader:

I have been upset at times this year with him but I wanted him back. He is our best option by far and I don't his money is costing us elsewhere. We aren't going after a top FA anyway. I guess if you argue it costs us Feldman, a new LF and or a DH then you could make your case but I don't think it does.

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