Josh Johnson Signs With the Padres

According to Jerry Crasnick, Josh Johnson has signed a one year, $8 M deal with the San Diego Padres.

Earlier today we heard that Johnson had the Pirates as one of 3-4 finalists, but that he preferred San Diego or San Francisco due to the proximity to his home in Las Vegas. The $8 M deal is a bit less than what I expected him to get, although it’s possible he could have offered a “hometown” discount to play in San Diego. It’s a good move for the Padres, as they get the best bounce back candidate on the market at a good price.

As for the Pirates, their current rotation would include Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Wandy Rodriguez, and Jeff Locke. If A.J. Burnett returns, that would bump Locke to Triple-A. If Burnett doesn’t return, I could still see them signing one of the other bounce back candidates. I had a list of some of the better options last week.

UPDATE 11:34 PM: Tim Dierkes says Johnson can earn up to $1.25 M with 26 starts. Still a good deal for San Diego.

UPDATE 11:42 PM: Dierkes says that the Pirates were runners up for Johnson.

You might say that this doesn’t matter, since they didn’t get him. I’m more interested in what this says about A.J. Burnett. If the Pirates were that close to signing Johnson, then it could be a sign that they’re moving on from Burnett. I mentioned the rotation above. I can’t see them signing Burnett, then signing a bounce back pitcher. The first three guys from the list above are guarantees for the rotation. People have been skeptical about Wandy Rodriguez, but Jeff Locke provides insurance if he can’t play. I don’t think you plan for him to be injured next year, because you’re stuck with six starters who all need to be in the majors if he’s healthy. The Pirates only have space for one starting pitcher, and it’s interesting that they’re not just going after Burnett for that one spot.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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