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 ear...
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.