Could Johnson return to Baltimore?

SEATTLE—Could Jim Johnson make a return to Baltimore?

“That’s completely in Oakland’s hands now,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Johnson, who was designated for assignment by the A’s on Thursday afternoon. “They have nine or 10 days to trade him and I’m sure there will be some people that have interest in Jimmy. See what it takes. I’m sure that will play out most of the time unless Billy [Beane] gets a deal he likes.”

If they don’t find a suitable deal, Oakland could also place the struggling Johnson on waivers or release him during that 10-day timeframe. Relieved of his ninth-inning duties just two weeks into the season, Johnson has a Major League-worst 6.92 ERA —along with a $10 million salary— and should be able to easily clear waivers, which would likely result in his release. He has enough service time to decline a Minor League assignment, which could make him a free agent. And the O’s were heavily rumored recently to have interest in a Johnson reunion, engaging in talks with the A’s while the right-hander was still on their roster.

Showalter, who has kept in contact with Johnson this season said he considers him a friend and it was tough to witness Johnson’s struggles from afar.

“It was painful to watch because we all think so much of Jimmy as a person,” Showalter said of Johnson, who saved 101 games for Baltimore in the previous two seasons. “He did some good things for us.”

Johnson was an All-Star for the O’s in 2012 and a huge part of the organization making the playoffs that year. Showalter believes he can still turn things around despite the disappointing start to 2014.

“It’s such a snowball, at this level, at any sports. Things snowball,” he said. “You are never quite as good as periods are and you are never as bad as periods are. He will end up in a good place and it will work out. He’s got too much ability.”

5 Comments

Bring Jim Johnson HOME … This guy belongs in an Orioles Uniform !!
Never should have let him slip away in the First Place !!!
But we all Know One Thing … ” THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME !! ”
I think that if ” JJ ” comes back to Camden Yards he will get back into the Swing
of things and besides … We Need all the BP Help we can get !!!

Rich, you’re drinking some tainted Orange Kool-Aid. Johnson’s a heck of a guy, but he cost us the 2013 playoffs. I don’t think the fanbase is ready to see him pitch again in the O’s uniform without some time in the minors working on “stuff” or whatever there is left of it.

I don’t know How you can put all the Blame on Johnson for the 2013 Playoffs ??
The SP’s just weren’t up to the Task when it came Playoff Time …
Besides I never said that he Didn’t possibly need some Time working on his
STUFF !! Lots of Players have Changed Teams and Ended Up NOT Producing like
they did with the Team that they just Left ! Never should have let him GO in the
First Place; After Saving 100 games for the Orioles over 2 years !! That is enough
to make any Guy Feel like he wasn’t Valued ! The Orioles Never even put up a
Fight to Keep him … I Know … Baseball is BIG BUSINESS nowadays but I come
from a Place Where Loyalty means the World to a Man !!

JJ was a great contributor here but we’ve got to move on. Britton is the closer and JJ can pitch BP for some other club. Thanks. Brian

Buck may be too loyal in this case… it would be nice if he would sign a minor league deal with an opt out and prove himself.

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