Last offseason Nick Johnson signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Yankees, but after yet another injury wrecked season the 32-year-old disabled list regular has had to settle for a minor-league deal with the Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
If healthy Johnson brings excellent on-base skills to the lineup, but that’s sort of like saying “if in shape Aaron Gleeman wears a size-32* jean.” No one has seen either in such a long time that it’s impossible to tell if they still exist.
Johnson is one of just 10 active players with a .400 on-base percentage in at least 3,000 career plate appearances, although “active” might be stretching things a bit. He’s played more than 100 games just four times in eight full seasons, including missing 138 games last season and 124 games in 2008 with wrist injuries and sitting out all of 2007 with a broken leg.
* OK, maybe a size-34. Whatever.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.