The Oakland Athletics acquired RP Jim Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles Monday, Dec. 2, for 2B Jemile Weeks, according to a source.
Though expecting Johnson to close would be the most logical guess if you were drafting today, it's not a lock that Johnson will close in Oakland. He possesses non-traditional peripherals for a stopper and they bit him back last season. He often hung too much around the plate, losing his job for a spell before generally rebounding post-break. It seems as if he can't increase his dominance without losing some overall effectiveness.
His new ballpark could save him a few taters, but this salvation might even come in setup duty. The Athletics also have Ryan Cook and even southpaw Sean Doolittle, who carry the fastball and strikeout tendencies more commonly bestowed upon saves candidates. Drafting Johnson as you would a top-10 fireman leaves too much to chance until the Athletics finalize their intentions.
Weeks' new scenery offers plenty of upside. Rickie's younger brother reminded us that he's alive with a serviceable age-26 season at Triple-A Sacramento this past year, and B-more should give him a legit shot to win a keystone battle.
It's a smart speculation for the O's in their search for a long-term Brian Roberts replacement. Weeks' tempered ceiling could yield 20-ish steals and a .280 BA, similar to our desired baseline all these years from a healthy Roberts. Mark Weeks as a last-round throw-in for deep drafters that could pay off significantly.
We'll have more on the O's soon, it seems, as it looks like they're going to try acquiring a stopper instead of relying on their bevy of setup men.
The Nats find another arm....
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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