In case you’ve decided to completely mail it in this season by taking an early vacation to Cabo, which wouldn’t be very timely considering that MLB players everywhere are being run through revocable waivers with the furiousness of Colby Rasmus on the base paths, you’ve most likely caught wind by now that the Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Johnson has cleared waivers.
I know, I know, it’s not really that exciting. All this means is you can try to work out a trade with the Blue Jays for Johnson from now until the end of the season. Or by August 31, if you come from a city where October baseball is more than a pipe-dream in 2013 and for some reason feel that your rotation needs a starter with a 6.20 ERA to help get them over the hump.
Okay, so trading for an uncontrollable asset with less than two months left in the season isn’t exactly ideal. And yeah, you won’t even get a compensation pick if Johnson is traded to your team and doesn’t end up resigning. That’s probably why none of you even bothered making a waiver claim in the first place.
But come on Major League Baseball, this is Josh Johnson we are talking about! The same guy who was arguably baseball’s best pitcher in 2010. That wasn’t that long ago, right?
He just shut out the not terrible Seattle Mariners. Don’t mind the fact that John Gibbons had to
cuddle coddle him after only 85 pitches. He’s going to be awesome next year – just ask Travis Bateman! The peripherals are all there. He just needs to get that dang 18.5% HR/FB rate below jet-cruise altitude and he’ll be all set. And how about that .356 BABIP? Unsustainable.
Now is your chance to add this prized asset to your organization. You are probably thinking “I’m not sure about this guy, he’s a free agent so why not just see how this season plays out and maybe we take a chance on him in the offseason?”
Yeah, that’s a great idea if you are the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers. But for you small markets teams out there, the time is now for you to go for Josh. This new reality was unfathomable five months ago but Johnson’s disaster of all disaster contract years is your blessing in disguise!
If you can swing a trade for Johnson you will take any leverage of a qualifying offer off the table. That’s enough to scare anyone into an under-market extension. Consider this your low-hanging fruit – one of the best pure talents in the game could be all yours to negotiate with the next seven weeks! And if you eat his entire $4 million remaining salary you will look like a hero to your loyal fan base. It’s marketing genius!
What would the asking price be? I’m sure you have the Ninja‘s number. Give him a ring. His phone is basically glued to his face so if he doesn’t pick up don’t worry, leave a message and he will return your call. He’s just probably on the other line working out the details of a Johnson trade with your division rival.
Michael “just call me Wray” Wray
This is a purely fictional post. I am not aware of any actual interest in Josh Johnson and the only reason I originally wrote this letter to the Minnesota Twins as a response to the article on Puckett’s Pond about Johnson being a potential offseason target for the Twins.