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Jim Johnson Today, 2013


OFFNY

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But the reasoning is very different. Those who wanted to trade Jim Johnson last winter didn't think he'd be bad this year, they merely thought he'd likely take a step back and wanted to "sell high." The people who want to "get rid of him" now actually think he hurts the team more than helps it.

I'm personally of the view that while JJ has undoubtedly had a bad year by his standards and has cost the team some wins, he's probably a good bet to be an average to above average closer in 2014. Whether he will be worth the money is a separate question.

Relief pitching is like defense, in that you need several years to get the data to stabilize. Everyone wants to push actions based on year-long samples, and there would be tons of pushback if you tried to ingrain this, but in my book Johnson is a guy with a multi-year rolling average of over 1.5 rWAR/year. So he might be worth the going rate of $5M per win.

Whether there are other solutions as likely to perform in his range of outcomes in 60 or 70 innings for less than $5M is another question. I'd guess the answer is probably yes, DD could find cheaper equivalents.

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Jim Johnson is a good reliver. But so are O'Day and Hunter, and Patton and Matusz are probably a step below. The thing is you don't want to start spending 6M+ for good relievers. It wouldn't be then end of the world, but trading Johnson, and going with guys like Stinson and/or Gausman to replace him. Give the closer job to Hunter and let him inflate his value for one or two years.

You just have to be careful to really line up a solution, and not cause a cascade effect. If you non-tender Johnson you've eliminated roughly 70 innings of a 3.00 ERA from the pen. I don't think Stinson is going to give you anything like that. Gausman might, but he's also on the short list of candidates to start.

I guess all I'm saying is DD needs a positive plan ahead with identified solutions that could/should make the team better, not just frustration with Johnson's year and potential salary, and then inventing a solution on the fly. And I really have no reason to doubt him, just saying it aloud for the benefit of the folks (not you) whose main goal is to be rid of Johnson yesterday.

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Jim Johnson is a good reliver. But so are O'Day and Hunter, and Patton and Matusz are probably a step below. The thing is you don't want to start spending 6M+ for good relievers. It wouldn't be then end of the world, but trading Johnson, and going with guys like Stinson and/or Gausman to replace him. Give the closer job to Hunter and let him inflate his value for one or two years.

I think Hunter is too vulnerable to lefties to be an everyday closer. Depending on the matchups and available pinch hitters on a particular day, Hunter could be an excellent closer in some situations--he's death on righties--but usually matchup guys are best used in earlier innings.

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Johnson's rWAR/162 games over the last six years (since he became a regular on the team) is 2.5. Here are some comparisons to other veteran relievers (off the top ten list in 2013 saves, both leagues):

Mariano Rivera - 3.8 (boy am I glad he'll be off the board soon)

Joe Nathan - 2.9

Jim Johnson - 2.5

Jonathan Papelbon - 2.3

Grant Balfour - 2.2

Rafael Soriano - 2.2

Casey Janssen - 2.0

Sergio Romo - 2.0

Glen Perkins - 1.9 (part starter)

Huston Street - 1.7

Ernesto Frieri - 1.6

Fernando Rodney - 1.4

Kevin Gregg - 1.0

So... yeah. Assuming the young stars (Kimbrel, Holland) are off the board, who would project better then JJ in 2014?

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Johnson's rWAR/162 games over the last six years (since he became a regular on the team) is 2.5. Here are some comparisons to other veteran relievers (off the top ten list in 2013 saves, both leagues):

Mariano Rivera - 3.8 (boy am I glad he'll be off the board soon)

Joe Nathan - 2.9

Jim Johnson - 2.5

Jonathan Papelbon - 2.3

Grant Balfour - 2.2

Rafael Soriano - 2.2

Casey Janssen - 2.0

Sergio Romo - 2.0

Glen Perkins - 1.9 (part starter)

Huston Street - 1.7

Ernesto Frieri - 1.6

Fernando Rodney - 1.4

Kevin Gregg - 1.0

So... yeah. Assuming the young stars (Kimbrel, Holland) are off the board, who would project better then JJ in 2014?

Their best bet is to acquire one or more pitchers who are currently mediocre starters but profile better as relievers. Or someone like a Johnson who might be had at a discount because of an off year. Teams with limited budgets can't really afford to pay free agent market rates for relievers whose value (or at least perceived value) fluctuates so much year-to-year.

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Jim Johnson is a good reliver. But so are O'Day and Hunter, and Patton and Matusz are probably a step below. The thing is you don't want to start spending 6M+ for good relievers. It wouldn't be then end of the world, but trading Johnson, and going with guys like Stinson and/or Gausman to replace him. Give the closer job to Hunter and let him inflate his value for one or two years.

Hunter will never be a closer. He struggles to get lefties out and that would get exploited in the last inning.

The guy on the roster who I see with closer potential is T.J, when he is locating he looks nasty. A lot of work to do however.

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.

The "hit" that Jimmy gave up tonight was questionable.

Plus, there was a blown double play (again by Roberts) on the following play.

Fortunately, Johnson just kept getting ground ball after ground ball until there were 3 outs, and the Orioles had won the game.

JIMMY JOHNSON O (vs. RED SOX, 9/18)

IP:. 1 O(SAVE)

H:o 1

R:O 0

BB: 0

SO: 1

Pitches: 8 (6 Strikes, 2 Balls)

2013 ERA: 2.98

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