Jim Johnson and the Oriole might be headed for a reunion.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Johnson is scheduled to work out for the Orioles and minor league pitching rehab coordinator Scott McGregor today at their spring training complex in Florida.
Johnson saved 51 games in 2012 and 50 games in 2013 as the Orioles’ closer, leading the league both seasons, but Baltimore dumped him (and his $10 million salary) on Oakland during the offseason. He posted a 7.14 ERA for the A’s, losing the closer job almost immediately, and was released last week.
If the Orioles like what they see presumably they’d sign Johnson to a minor-league deal and potentially call him up for a middle relief gig down the stretch. Oakland is on the hook for his entire salary.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that a team — identity unknown — has offered $92 million to closer Aroldis Chapman.
We’re definitely in Crazy Town when it comes to relievers. Earlier this week the Giants made Mark Melancon the highest-paid reliever in history with a “mere” $62 million deal. Yesterday the Cubs traded for Wade Davis. Kenley Jansen is out on the market looking to get a deal larger than that. Chapman — who posted 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings while helping the Cubs win the World Series — will,in all likelihood, top them all.
Teams reportedly in pursuit of Chapman: the Yankees, for whom he played last season before being traded to Chicago, the Nationals, Marlins and Dodgers.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.