Right-hander Jim Johnson has signed a two-year extension with the Braves, per a report by MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Johnson was picked up by Atlanta in 2015 as a stop-gap while closer Jason Grilli was on the mend from a torn Achilles tendon, and went to the Dodgers in three-way deal that saw him log just 18 2/3 innings in Los Angeles. The Braves re-signed the reliever in the 2015 offseason to a one-year, $2.5M deal through 2016.
The 33-year-old has been the Braves’ most valuable contributor out of the bullpen this season, posting 1.3 fWAR and a 3.11 ERA over 66 2/3 innings pitched. According to Bowman, much of Johnson’s success hinges on his relationship with Braves’ pitching coach Roger McDowell, who has developed a reputation for turning out serviceable bullpen arms. Since his return to Atlanta, Johnson has seen marked improvements across the board, bringing his FIP down from 3.73 in 2015 to 2.77 in 2016 and seeing his 9.33 K/9 rate hit an all-time high.
No details have been released yet regarding the figures for Johnson’s extension.
The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.
Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.
The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.
Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: