Mets Not Players For Josh Johnson

When you’re the New York Mets and have to think outside the box, it’s stuff like what happened today that drives you crazy.

Josh Johnson wanted to play close to his Las Vegas home and signed today with San Diego for an easily digestible one-year, $8-million contract. Even so, you have to wonder whether the Mets even kicked the tires on this one. Even if they had, don’t you wonder if free agents – even those who are questions – seriously take the Mets.

JOHNSON: Would have been worth the risk.

JOHNSON: Would have been worth the risk.

Once, one of the rising young stud pitchers in the National League with Miami, Johnson made the All-Star team in 2009 and 2010. However, he was taken down with triceps and forearm injuries last year with Toronto that culminated in elbow surgery to remove bone spurs in October.

Johnson was 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA in 16 games last year, but that’s not who Padres general manager Josh Byrnes was thinking about.

“Here’s a guy who led the league in ERA who has been a dominant pitcher,’’ Byrnes told San Diego reporters. “We know there’s risk in any signing but we’re very excited about the upside, what he can bring and now what our rotation can do to deliver us toward our goal.

“We want to be an October team. We really feel like the evolution of our starting pitching and bringing in Josh, we’ve taken a big step in that direction over the last 12 months.’’

At 29, Johnson is young enough to turn it around and regain the form that has earned him a career 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA.

“I was pretty close last year, just not healthy,’’ Johnson said. “It was tough trying to throw through it and all of a sudden I’m getting these weird pains all the way up my triceps and my forearm’s getting tight because of everything going on with my elbow. Hopefully that took care of everything.’’

If it does, the Padres would have hit the jackpot, something the Mets, who have two rotation spots to fill, must do.

Because of Johnson’s location preference, the Mets weren’t players, but represents the out-of-box thinking they must utilize in the absence of making a substantial trade or major free agent signing.

7 thoughts on “Mets Not Players For Josh Johnson

  1. He was really good.
    It’s a lot of money for an injured player.

    You have to be right. The yanks of old would do it quick. We have no stomach for that kind of thing

  2. Skies the limit with Johnson. Heck, he could be the NY Cy Young Award winner this year. But, he was never on my mock-GM-radar. My thinking is, injuries, injuries, and more injuries. But, considering the bone chips were removed, a procedure that often adds giddy-up to one’s get-go, as well as, allowing one to pitch without pain, S.D. may get big bang for their buck. Time will tell. As I wrote this comment, I started to lean towards desiring Johnson.

    I still want to head into 2014 with our youth at the back end. Montero and Mejia. The guys on the market that appeared practical when the offseason kicked off, to my liking, was first, TIm Hudson, who’s off the board. Now, I would have been happy if we got TIm for 2 and 23. Actually I would have been THRILLED. Next up in similar price range, Bronson Arroyo, a real finess pitcher. Bronson knows the craft inside and out, consistently has a win PCT above .500, and always goes 200 innings. He’s usually pitched for a winner with a good offense/defense, so you could argue that his win PCT falls pitching for the Mets, primarily due to the weaker surrounding cast, but, the guy has always pitched in bandboxes, so you’d expect ERA and HR’s allowed to drop, potentially enough to combat a perceived drop in win PCT. Getting up there in age, the likelihood of Bronson continuing to rack up 200 IP each year falls, and the risk of his previous workload could lead to fatigue and injury. Without checking the stats I believe Bronson has went 200 IP in each of the last 8 years, with one exception where Bronson went 199 innings, lol, The projection is 2 yr, 25 million. He’s worth the money, IMO, due to the durablity he’s shown, IP, and win totals. DON’T WANT HIM THOUGH. I want to head into 2014 with our youth. A cheaper, less accomplished, pitcher that’s been on my mock-GM-radar, is Paul Maholm, but his asking prices are about 3x what I’d be willing to give. SO NO WAY, NO HOW, NO WAY. I think he’s looking for 8 million, which to me is insane, I would only be happy paying Paul 2.5, and TOPPS. So, another off my board. As far as reclamation projects go, and potential stopgaps, I’m thinking John Lannon. You could argue John’s win PCT is low due to the quality of the teams he’s pitched behind, and I believe the projected salary is around the 2 million number. For the millionth time I want nothing to do with any of these FA SP, but if we got Lannon, to fill a void, till Noah is ready, hopefully in mid-June, I’d be fine with that. My plan would allow Montero, who’s well beyond ready, to be our #4. Lannon could prove useful in either long relief/ regular relief, or could be used as a matchup wizzard when the next NYM kid pulls the 5 spot from under John’s feet. I’m inclined to give Alfredo Aceves a look, a cheap option, and I’ve always believed Aceves possesses above average stuff. Big bugaboo here, Aceves has been primarily a relief pitcher, starting approximately 15 games in his career. But with Tores and Mejia with yet to be defined roles, you could do a lot worse than Alfredo. Getting him out of the AL East may exponetially improve his numbers. For cheap, I want this guy, for numberous roles and reasons.

    Other thoughts, Doc Halladay, who’s not expected to command that much, would be nice if he were cheap, and Jason Hammel, who may fair quite nicely away from the bandboxes in the AL EAST, maybe be worth the 8 per yr number. Chris Capuono, maybe cheap(4M), as well as Roy Oswalt(no guess, maybe 2M). There’s no way on god’s green earth Mets shop on the top shelf for FA staring pitchers, and there’s not a whole lot up there anyways.

    We are clearly priced out of the Nolasco/Garza market, so we’re left with the rest, and IMO there is not that much difference between a guy who commands 3 million and a guy who commands 8, in terms of overall numbers/production/value. So, I hate the 8 million dollar guys, and am inclined to go for a Lannon type, as a stopgap, then use Lannons services in the pen, or as a trade chip till Noah gets here. I’ve always kinda liked Alfredo Aceves stuff, and believe he could be a good cheap stopgap guy, till mid-June, then throw him in the pen, or deal, when Noah is ready

    Lastly, on being priced out of the Nolasco/Garza market. My gut tells me that 2 of the 3 Mejia/Montero/Noah could provide that type value, just not the same workload. That’s where Tores and, say, Lannon could provide good value and decent bang for Mets buck.

    Probably a little convoluted, sorry. I agree with Dave, you keep hammering away, giving us something to talk about. GREAT JOB. It is important to keep things fresh, IMO. So, like Dave also said. Keep up the good work.

    • megamets: I would have loved getting Johnson. Hudson would have been interesting for two years. Harvey and Wheeler could have learned from either. I know they want to bring up Montero later in the season and they might not know if Mejia will be ready for spring. Actually, I wouldn’t have a problem using him at the start of the season and letting him take his lumps.-JD

      • Wow, you got 3 more articles. I got a busy night ahead of me. Long hard one for me today, now I can relax.

        JD, Raffy will not be taking any lumps, he will be serving up goose eggs. Now, I want to say something Joe Namath once said, but it’s slipped my mind, so off to the next article.