MLB Trade Rumors: Why the Texas Rangers Must Acquire Josh Johnson

Chris HummerAnalyst IJuly 25, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JULY 13:  Josh Johnson #55 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on July 13, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Josh Johnson is the missing piece to the Texas Rangers third straight World Series run.

It has been well documented that the Rangers have been shopping around for a top-of-the-rotation guy to bolster the rotation come postseason time. But now, with the news that Colby Lewis is out for the season, the Rangers former luxury has become a need.

Lewis has been Texas' most consistent playoff pitcher over the last two years, and his upcoming season-ending surgery is a huge blow to the Rangers' playoff hopes.

However, there is still time to alleviate the issue by adding an ace at the deadline, which is where Johnson comes in.

According to a tweet by Josh Sherman of the New York Post, the Marlins are shopping their 28-year-old righty, and the Rangers are the favorites to land him.


No matter who ask today all use terms like "would be shocked" if #Marlins do not trade Josh Johnson. #Rangers viewed as favorites.

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2012


This would be great news for Rangers’ fans, as Johnson is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball, and is capable of blowing hitters away.

He has an explosive fastball, and some nasty off-speed pitches that seem to break more than any pitch should be allowed to do.

However, he's not without his issues.

Johnson is one of the most injury-prone fireballers in baseball, and that's held him back a bit throughout his career. He has also had a slightly disappointing 2012 campaign, posting a lackluster 4.14 ERA to this point.

Still, Cole Hamels is now off the market after he reached an extension with the Philadelphia Phillies today, making Johnson the best available option left to replace Lewis.

Sure, there is the Milwaukee Brewers' Zack Greinke, but he's a free agent after this season, while Johnson would be under the Rangers control through 2013.

This is a huge deal for Texas, because the extra year would help compensate for the prospects the Rangers would be forced to give up in any deal.

All indications are that any trade for Johnson from the Rangers, would have to involve stud third-base prospect Mike Olt.

Olt, who is one of the top positional prospects in baseball, had previously been considered almost untouchable for the Rangers.

However, it seems that the need at pitcher outweighs the reluctance to trade him, and rightfully so.

This team is built to win now, and adding Johnson to the mix would give the Ranges an opportunity to excel in the postseason, and maybe even win a ring.

Johnson is a rare commodity.

He is capable of doing something spectacular each and every time he steps on the rubber, and that's exactly the kind of guy the Rangers need on the mound to begin a series.

Johnson may be a bit of a risk, and a costly one at that, but it would be worth it when he carries the Rangers to the promise land.