According to FOXSport’s Ken Rosenthal it is the Detroit Tigers, not the Baltimore Orioles who have just signed former Oakland A’s closer/relief pitcher Jim Johnson to a minor league contract.
Source: #Tigers sign Jim Johnson to minor-league deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 5, 2014
Johnson began the year as the closer for the Athletics but after a string of bad outings was demoted from the role which was later filled by Sean Doolittle. Unfortunately for Johnson things continued to go downhill from there.
A former All-Star with the Baltimore Orioles Johnson ended up being released by the Athletics last week after posting a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances for Oakland. He had a 2.06 WHIP and 28 strikeouts against 23 walks in 40 1/3 innings and the A’s were forced to release him.
There was just no reason to keep him on their roster because there was no where he seemed to be able to pitch safely in a game, including low pressure situations. In his final appearance for Oakland, who will be paying him the remainder of his $10 million salary, he entered the game with an 9-2 lead and walked off the field with the A’s still ahead but only by a score of 9-7.
This typed of performance was not a rare occurrence for the reliever, at least in Oakland. In Baltimore he had back to back 50 save seasons in 2012 and 2013. Although he was less effective last season for the Orioles blowing nine saves.
Still Johnson has a solid background prior to his 2014 exploits and it couldn’t hurt for the Tigers to pick him up for a cheap price to bolster their bullpen. Rumors of a reunion with Baltimore had been swirling as Johnson had worked out for the Orioles last week but the Tigers jumped on the 31-year old right-hander first.
He joins recently acquired Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain in the Tigers bullpen and with the power of the Tigers starting rotation who knows, he might end up facing off against the Athletics in the postseason.