Davey Johnson remains unsigned, leading to speculation that contract negotiations with the Nationals have hit some sort of snag, but yesterday the manager downplayed those concerns.
“There isn’t really any rush for me,” Johnson told Bill Ladson of MLB.com. “I’m not worried about it. I assume everything is going to worked out. I don’t feel like it’s an emergency. I feel like I’m still the manager.”
General manager Mike Rizzo expressed a similar sentiment, telling Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that “I expect him to be the manager of the team” and “we’re talking and we’re doing great together.”
So then what’s the holdup, exactly? Kilgore reports that the two sides “could not finalize an agreement” during talks earlier this week and Rizzo noted that Johnson was busy before that participating in a fishing tournament. “And he won the damn tournament.”
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.