Florida Marlins Sign Josh Johnson to 4-Year Deal

Tyler BlouinContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MAY 14: Starting pitcher Josh Johnson #55 of the Florida Marlins delivers the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 14, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Marlins 5-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Florida Marlins open a new ballpark in 2012, they'll have their ace. Josh Johnson has signed a four-year deal worth $39 million on Thursday, confirmed by Johnson's agent, Matt Sosnick, to MLB.com. The deal culminates a tumultuous few months for the Marlins after extension talks hit a snag regarding the number of years guaranteed.

Johnson was spectacular for the Fish last season, posting a 15-5 record, 3.23 ERA over 33 starts. He struck out 191 batters in the process over 209 innings. J.J. was also selected to his first All-Star game, though he didn't throw a pitch.

The signing for the Marlins indicates they are serious about reversing their reputation as a team afraid to invest in young stars. Management always placed a strong emphasis on great pitching prospects and they have found a star in the Oklahoma native.

An article featured on Unplucked Sports yesterday indicated the Marlins were under pressure from the player's union to commit a higher chuck of their revenue to salaries.

Fish fan's surly will breath a sign of relief knowing the cornerstone of the rotation will be around for a bit. Florida finished the 2009 season at 87-76, and as any close observer will admit, this team will likely challenge for a playoff spot deep into next season. The team also has All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez signed through 2014.

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