Why the Toronto Blue Jays Should Pass on Josh Jonson
Josh Johnson is a name that has been strongly linked to the Blue Jays this past week or so, and rumor mill indications are that the team is still in on the 28-year-old righty.
Johnson makes logical sense for a Toronto team that is still very much in the hunt for an American League playoff spot, especially since the team's rotation has been decimated by injuries.
Acquiring Johnson would be a good move for the Jays because he would increase the squad's chances of successfully mounting a playoff run.
But all things considered, it may not be the right move in terms of the bigger picture.
That's because according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the asking price for Johnson is overwhelming.
Crasnick Tweeted the following the morning of July 27:
Sources say the #Marlins are asking for each team's top 2 or 3 prospects in every trade scenario involving Josh Johnson.
Crasnick then added continuation Tweet:
We're talking Jurickson Profar-Travis D'Arnaud types just to get talks moving, then a lot more beyond that. #marlins
Now, Johnson is controllable through next summer, which means his services could be put towards two playoff runs, not just one. But, is that worth Travis d'Arnaud, plus potentially two more top prospects?
Is Josh Johnson worth the Jays' top three prospects?
Johnson is a superb pitcher, but has had little success staying on the field during his career. In fact, over his eight years in the Majors, Johnson has made over 30 appearances in a season just one time, and over 20 just four times. He has pitched over 200 innings just once in his career.
Johnson has stayed healthy in 2012, but that only serves to suggest he is due for a trip to the disabled list.
Even if you want to be optimistic and ignore his injury history, Johnson is not worth the price. Identifying the top prospects in any organization is subjective, but right now the Jays' trio looks something like d'Arnaud, Noah Snydergaard and Aaron Sanchez.
That's a catcher with an All-Star ceiling, who is more or less Major League-ready, and two starters who project to land at the top of a big league rotation, both of whom will debut around the time Johnson's contract expires.
If Johnson was guaranteed to lead the team to the postseason then the deal might arguably be worth that price. But given the dog fighting that characterizes the current AL wild-card race, there are certainly no guarantees.
Furthermore, one year of control is pretty pricey for three potential franchise cornerstones. Add an extension, and the deal looks more reasonable, if still extremely steep.
When it comes down to it, a team may very well offer up their best three up-and-comers to pry Johnson away from the Miami Marlins, but with injury potential, free agency looming and stiff wild-card competition, there is a strong possibility that whoever does will regret it by 2014.
Ultimately, for a team in the Jays position, this is the kind of deal that increases playoff chances in 2012 at the price of decreasing World Series chances for the following 10 years.
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