A’s remove $10 million pickup Jim Johnson from closer role

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Oakland general manager Billy Beane raised a lot of eyebrows this offseason when he acquired Jim Johnson from the Orioles and paid him $10 million to serve as the A’s closer. And now, less than two weeks into the season, Johnson has already pitched himself out of the closer role.

Johnson has been a mess, coughing up seven runs while recording 10 total outs and allowing opponents to hit .529 with a 1.145 OPS. And in addition to the 18.90 ERA he’s taken two of the A’s three losses this season.

For now manager Bob Melvin says he plans to go with a closer-by-committee approach and one nice thing about Beane spending so much money and resources building the bullpen is that there are plenty of capable ninth-inning options on the roster, including Sean Doolittle, Luke Gregerson, and Ryan Cook.

Johnson’s league-leading 50 saves last season masked a whole bunch of struggles for the Orioles and Beane paying $10 million for a so-called “proven closer” seemed very odd, but certainly no one could have expected Johnson to completely fall apart like this. I bet he gets another crack at the job eventually.

Athletics acquire Wilmer Font from Dodgers

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The Dodgers announced on Wednesday that the club traded pitcher Wilmer Font to the Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Logan Salow.

Font, 27, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Monday. The right-hander struggled in six relief appearances, giving up 13 runs on 18 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

Salow, 23, opened the season with Single-A Beloit. The lefty has yielded two runs (one earned) on one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.