Saturday, February 16, 2013

Will Josh Johnson become Toronto's new “King”?

 I would like to start by saying Hello to everyone. My name is Jordan Hostick and this is my first article that I'm posting for Blue Jays Plus. You can Follow me on twitter @Jordanhostick16 and I hope that everyone enjoys my articles.

      So as most of you know during the off-season this year the Blue Jays made some major shakeups to their roster including acquiring Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and finally Josh Johnson in a trade with the Miami Marlins. The reason why I mention Josh Johnson's name last is because he's my main focus for this piece as he could become a Free-Agent at the end of this season. Last week, Felix Hernandez signed a massive 7 year, 175 Million dollar extension with the Seattle Mariners. Which brings me to my question - With this new mega-deal between Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, what does it mean for contract talks with Johnson during or after this season?

      Over the past couple of years Alex Anthopolous has been the kind of General Manager to, if he wants to retain someone for the future, he signs them during the season rather than after. Just look at what he did with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Ricky Romero during the past 2 years. The 5 year, $65 Million contract to Bautista still being the biggest contract that Anthopolous has handed out. While Anthopolous has re-signed them during the season(Bautista was right before spring training) rather than waiting around until after the season where they could just get up and say that they are going to test free agency, it is still unknown whether or not a contract will be in the works for Johnson. While I can see Anthopolous working out a new contract with Johnson, I don't believe that he is worth the kind of money that Felix is going to be making. Not to take a shot at him because I have not seen him pitch yet in a Blue Jays uniform, but other than last year he has had somewhat of a career riddled with injuries. His Fastball Velocity has also dropped from 94.9 MPH in 2010 to 92.8 MPH last year as reported by

      While there were these issues and they came with him when the Blue Jays acquired Johnson back in November, he is still poised to do pretty well for himself in his next contract whether it be in a contract extension with the Blue Jays or whether he does decide to test free agency next fall. If he were to test free agency he could potentially have quite a bit of competition on the market with the likes of Tim Lincecum, Matt Garza, Gavin Floyd,and former Blue Jay Roy Halladay possibly becoming free agents following the upcoming season.

      All in all I believe that we will be seeing Johnson in a Blue Jays uniform for quite a few years to come but the only concern is the money, I believe that he will end up getting a Ricky Romero type of contract where he makes around $30 - $40 million over the next five years. The question is, if he does end up having an amazing year for the Jays next season do you take a gamble and give him a Cliff Lee type contract where he makes $120 – $130 million over 5-7 years? With that I want to know what your opinion on what kind of contract Johnson deserves. Whether he will sign during the season for a Ricky Romero type contract or if he waits until the off-season, would the Jays would give him a Cliff Lee type contract if he does well?

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