Following up on last night’s Josh Johnson news, Marlins beat writer Joe Firsario reports that the deal contains a $500,000 bonus for a Cy Young award and a $50,000 bump in the extremely likely event that he makes the All-Star game. I mean, yeah, Hanley Ramirez will be your designated Marlins representative in the All-Star Game for the foreseeable future, but they choose like 112 pitchers anymore, so Johnson can probably spend that 50K now if he wants to. There’s a $1 million bonus for him being the World Series MVP too. I would mock that, but I wasn’t expecting 1997 or 2003, so I’m out of the hate-on-the-Marlins-chances business.
Maybe more significantly, Johnson himself confirmed in a radio interview last night that the deal does not contain a no-trade clause. Given the young man’s skills and promise, and given that this is still a pretty manageable contract for an ace, you can’t rule out the Marlins shopping him at some point, gun-to-their-head or not.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.