Jim Johnson worked out for the Orioles after being released by the A’s and most people assumed he was ready for a reunion in Baltimore, but not so fast says Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Johnson has signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers, where he joins Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, and Joba Chamberlain in a bullpen that’s been overhauled since last year.
Johnson was a mess in Oakland, posting a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances, but he saved 101 games as the Orioles’ closer in 2012-2013 and came into this season with a lifetime 3.11 ERA in 360 games.
As a $10 million closer he was a disaster for the A’s. As a minimum-salaried middle reliever he might prove useful for the Tigers. And maybe he’ll get a chance to face the A’s in the playoffs.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.