Josh Johnson underwent surgery Tuesday morning to remove bone spurs from his elbow, but the right-hander is expected to be ready to pitch in time for Spring Training. Dr. James Andrews reportedly performed the procedure, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Andrews concluded that the spurs caused the discomfort that plagued Johnson through the 2013 season, but there was no serious damage to be concerned with. Johnson’s expected to be throwing again in five weeks.
Johnson is heading to free agency for the first time in his career, but it doesn’t sound as though this procedure will necessarily affect him too severely.
16 starts and 81.1 IP is all the Toronto Blue Jays were able to get from Johnson in 2013, thanks to the discomfort which kept him on the shelf for much of the season, and he was largely ineffective during that stretch. Johnson finished the year 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA, 1.660 WHIP, and a concerning 1.7 HR/9. It was arguably one of the worst seasons of his professional career and likely his lone year in Toronto. The team could extend a qualifying offer, with the hopes of recouping a draft pick when Johnson signed elsewhere but the risk of paying him just north of $14.1 Million on a one year deal might outweigh that potential gain – especially considering Toronto already has two two picks in next June’s draft after they failed to sign their #10 overall selection this past June. Johnson reportedly enjoyed playing in Toronto and could consider re-signing with the team even if they let him reach the open market.