The Atlanta Braves are nearing a deal that would involve veteran right- hander in Jim Johnson, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Two teams who have shown interest in the relief pitcher include the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets, teams looking to add strength to their bullpens. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman has noted on Twitter; the Braves are currently carrying ten bullpen arms tonight, which could be due in part to the possibility of a trade going down.
If this happens, Jim Johnson, 33, could join infielder Kelly Johnson in signing with the Braves in consecutive years, only to be traded during each summer. Last season, he was traded to the Los Angles Dodgers as part of the monster, three- team swap that was done at the deadline, only to re-sign with the Braves on a one-year, $2.5 MM deal.
During the 2016 season, Jim Johnson has a 4.21 ERA with 7.9 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. However, his average fastball velocity has dropped as it is not even hitting 93 mph on the radar gun for the first time in his career. This, however, has not stopped the sinker- ball from having a heavy ground ball rate, that currently stands at 56.4%. However, he has been prone to the long ball when batters have made contact, with a 16.7 % HR/FB rate. He is allowing less than one home run per nine ( 0.74 HR/9).
It is clear that Johnson’s value has diminished since he was the closer of the Baltimore Orioles. But teams like the Blue Jays and the Mets, who are looking to add depth to their pen will take a look. One benefit to adding someone like a Jim Johnson is you are adding an arm that is capable of getting lots of grounders and won’t add much to your payroll, or you won’t need to give up much in prospects.