Josh Johnson is an obvious bounce back candidate, but that could also make him costly for a bounce back pitcher.

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.

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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, 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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  • Chris Hale

    I really wanted this one done. The Pirates need a bounce back candidate like AJ and Liriano in 12 and 13 were to step in as a top 3 guy. Burnett is not that guy. Wandy is not that guy. Pirates have to eat Wandy’s contract. That injury will hamper him again. Morton looked great at the end of last year. He’s a solid back end guy even with his inconsistencies his future has shown. even better if he progresses like he should now that he’s made the proper adjustment and has a clean bill of health. Locke is just depth. Also you never know what Liriano you will get. He could show up next season and be mediocre. The time for winning is the next 3 years probably beyond too but right now we have a 36 Hr 100 RBI 3Bmen. I think The Pirates can content but never win the division with the young talent laden staff the Cardinals have. The Pirates need 1 strong starter and a mid season addition like Cole was last year in Taillon to win a division from STL with 5 top 2 starters Wainwright,Wacha,Kelly,Miller,and Martinez and that bullpen that is just soaked with power arms left and right handed.
    I would have felt real good in a pennant race in September with Cole,Liriano,Johnson,Taillon and Morton

    • Nick A. Capernicus

      The pirates need a bounce back candidate… that’s the only way for success. What if the bounce back doesn’t work we don’t need that. Also why is wandy not considered a bounce back. He has had less health problems then JJ actually.

    • Nick A. Capernicus

      I mean I wanted JJ as well I’m just saying there are plenty of options. He’s one guy let’s see how he does this year

  • Mr. Goodkat

    Good signing for both the Padres and JJ.

    Let’s not get our undies in a bunch over a guy who (likely) didn’t chase that extra $1M…what are we, Yankees fans??

  • stickyweb

    No surprise after hearing he wanted the West Coast due to where he lives. It would have been nice to add him, but there are other guys that will come cheaper and have the chance to contribute as much as JJ would.

    • Mr. Goodkat

      Seems like that was the difference. I don’t buy into the ballpark theory much…

      If location and dollars were equal, I have a hard time thinking he’d pick the Padres over the Bucs

  • skliesen

    Now hopefully this will quiet all the ludicrous talk about trading high on Liriano! And the Pirates are going to convince AJ to come back and make one more run for a ring!

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