Another sad chapter in Josh Johnson’s injury wrecked career, as the right-hander will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery without ever throwing a regular season pitch for the Padres.
Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with San Diego in the hopes of staying healthy and building up his value in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly environment, but now he’s headed for a second Tommy John surgery after going under the knife the first time in 2007.
When healthy Johnson has always been one of the best starters in baseball, posting a 3.15 ERA in 917 innings for the Marlins from 2005-2012, but he’s topped 100 innings just three times in nine full seasons and was limited to 81 poor innings for the Blue Jays last year.
Thanks to language in the contract specifically designed to kick in if he got hurt San Diego holds a $4 million team option on Johnson for 2015, which could present an interesting decision depending on how well his rehab has progressed by the end of the season. At age 30 there’s still plenty of time for Johnson to resurrect his career, but it’s a damn shame.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.