Shut down following his September 4 start because of shoulder and elbow injuries, Josh Johnson arrived at the Marlins’ spring training complex three weeks ahead of schedule to throw some early bullpen sessions and told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that he feels “great.”
Johnson, who won the ERA title with a 2.30 mark in 184 innings spread over 28 starts, spent the offseason seeing a chiropractor and working out with former “World’s Strongest Man” competitor Mark Philippi in Las Vegas.
“I went to this guy so I could stay healthy the whole year. That’s the goal,” Johnson told Capozzi.
Johnson’s excellent rookie season in 2006 was also cut short by arm problems and then he missed most of 2007 and 2008 following Tommy John elbow surgery, but the 27-year-old right-hander has remarkably gone 33-12 with a 2.94 ERA in 75 starts since returning in mid-2008. He’s somewhat quietly emerged as one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball, but has started more than 30 games or thrown more than 185 innings just once.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.