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Orioles will tender contract to closer Jim Johnson

Sep 28, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

Jim Johnson Getty Getty Images

Orioles closer Jim Johnson is on track to receive another hefty raise in arbitration this winter, but he’s not going anywhere. Orioles executive vice president Jim Duquette told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com yesterday that the team fully intends to tender him a contract for 2014.

“Jim Johnson is one of our core players,” said Duquette, who has emphasized keeping that core intact for the organization to sustain success. “Jimmy has done something historic in terms of the numbers of games he’s saved over the last couple years, so he’s established significant value. He came into the job last year, I think he had nine saves in his career, and over the last two years, he has over 100, 99.”

Johnson has struggled at various points this season, resulting in a major-league leading nine blown saves, but he has a 2.90 ERA over 72 appearances and leads the American League with 48 saves. The 30-year-old has 99 saves over the past two seasons, which is more than anyone.

Johnson earned $6.5 million this season and his salary could jump to the $9 million range via the arbitration process this winter. He will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

  1. joeflaccosunibrow - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    1 million per blown save the prior year? God bless America

  2. randomdigits - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Doesn’t make a lot of sense for a team to spend 8-10% of it’s payroll on a relief pitcher.

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Great player, great guy, and I believe he wants to stay in town because he genuinely seems to love it here, but 9 mil for a closer is just too much. I really hope they keep him around, but I hope it’s closer to 7-7.5 than 9. The team has a lot of young talent we need to keep together, and I really hope that this contract doesn’t hinder them in that regard.

  4. spyder9669 - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Hows about paying some good starters so he doesn’t find himself having to appear in half their games with a slim lead he can easily blow

  5. coloradostupid - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Ahem…….. Dan Duquette maybe? Or maybe nepotism in the O’s organization? Jim? Did I miss something? D.J.?

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