Report: Oakland Athletics Avoid Arbitration With New Closer Jim Johnson

Sep 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Jim Johnson (43) pitches during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report, the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a one-year contract with new closer Jim Johnson, avoiding arbitration.

CSNBayArea.com, citing The New York Post, reported the deal would be worth $10 million for the 2014 season.

Johnson, who came over from the Baltimore Orioles in early December in a trade for Jemile Weeks and David Freitas, led the American League with 50 saves in 2013, but also led the major leagues with nine blown saves.

He was 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.280 WHIP for the Orioles in 74 appearances (a career high), covering 70.1 innings. He struck out 56. He’s known more for a hard sinker that induces ground balls than for a heavy dose of strikeouts.

Johnson saved a major-league high 51 games in 2012 as Baltimore reached the postseason for the first time in 15 years.

He was a fifth-round pick of the Orioles out of Union-Endicott High School in Endicott, N.Y., in 2001, and reached the majors for the first time in July 2006. He became a fixture in the O’s bullpen in 2008 and assumed the closer role full-time late in the 2011 season.

Over the last three seasons, Johnson has posted 110 saves and a 2.70 ERA with a 1.135 WHIP in 214 appearances and 230 innings, with 155 strikeouts. He was an All-Star in 2012 and is expected to replace Grant Balfour in the ninth-inning role for Oakland in 2014.

Topics: Jim Johnson, Oakland Athletics

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