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Josh Johnson drawing serious interest from Royals

Nov 13, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

josh johnson blue jays getty Getty Images

The Royals had a cool 3.45 team ERA in 2013 that ranked sixth in the majors, but they still missed the playoffs and Ervin Santana is expected to leave as a free agent this offseason. So, yet again, Kansas City’s front office is on a search for starting pitching.

ESPN’s Buster Olney hears that the Royals “want to work something out” with free agent right-hander Josh Johnson, who had a miserable 6.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 16 starts with the Blue Jays this past summer and underwent elbow surgery in October.

The appeal is that Johnson was among the best starters in MLB between 2009-2012 and can probably be had on a low-risk one-year deal. Johnson, who isn’t yet 30 years old, registered a superb 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 in eight seasons with the Marlins before getting shipped north as part of a 12-player November 2012 trade. He owns a 3.40 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 998 total big league frames.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Good luck. He was a complete disaster last season. Offer him an incentive laden package.

  2. graymalkin26 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    They can have him, poor excuse for a starting pitcher, did the Jays ever get suckered with this wash out.

    • baseballisboring - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:46 AM

      You seem to be just a bit emotional about this, sir…a 3.40 career ERA does not make you a poor excuse for a starting pitcher, and one bad season doesn’t necessarily make you a washout…he’s not 30 yet…

  3. graymalkin26 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Good like with this tomato can, did the Jays ever get suckered with this wash out.

    • nbjays - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:22 AM

      Dirtyharry? Is that you?

  4. missthemexpos - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    The Royals must only have tape of Johnson from his Marlin playing days!

  5. knowlegeforyou - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Yeah, “his marlins days” was 1 year ago today. Oh how quickly people forget. like 1 year ago when Ervin Santana was one of the worst in all of baseball or when Nolasco was the 4th best starter on the 4th place marlins staff

  6. buffalo65 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I am a jays fan and I’d take a stab at him. Good move by the royals if they get him. Only one bad season. One very bad season mind you.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      The Jays did not make a qualifying offer of $!4.1 million, because he is not worth anything close to that. On the other hand, he has had some very good seasons in the NL and is worth a gamble by the Royals.

  7. kcrobert10 - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    One bad season multiple good ones. I’d say worth the risk to see if he can come out of it. Maybe the surgery fixed what went wrong also eiland seems to do great things with rebuilding pitchers.

  8. kcroyal - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    If Dayton Moore wants to somehow justify trading Myers with possibly another somewhat half way relevant, 86ish, 3rd placeish, in a small way feeling like you won the World Seriesish kind of way, kind of season, we’re going to need another reclamation project to work out to replace Santana. On a one year deal to build Johnson’s value I would be slightly less pessimistic.

  9. weaselpuppy - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    This is exactly the kind of guy KC has to be looking at to roll the dice…his injury last year though was just one in a long line.

    He’s been up for a cup of coffee in 05 and for good in 06, exactly like Verlander. Verlander starts made? 266 Johnson? 160. ERA 3.41 JV 3.40 JJ (not league adjusted though) K/9 IP 8.5 JV 8.3 JJ. JV gives up fewer runners and HR…

    He’s not the stud JV is, but he’s a great throw of the dice, especially if the contract length is palatable to both sides, like a 3+1option for around $45MM. KC needs to get that done, unless they think Ubaldo has his issues solved for good…

    • jwbiii - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:45 AM

      Of course he’s not Verlander. He’s also not going to cost 7/$180m.

  10. knowlegeforyou - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Wish the braves would get in on Johnson. he owned the NL East

  11. sportsdrenched - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Eh, No sense in getting excited until a contract is signed. If it’s a flyer contract or maybe slightly more, OK. If it’s more than that. Then I’ll get upset.

  12. Zach Chong - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Reblogged this on The Sports Sources Collector.

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