A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Josh Johnson is Probably a Padre

Last night I was hanging out on the couch with my wife and we were having a conversation about something.  I think it had to do with our trip home this Christmas, or maybe something about what we are planning on doing the rest of the week (seems like we've actually got some stuff on our previously non-existent social calendar), but I remember the tone was "semi-serious-type stuff, but still casual enough that I could still be browsing on my iPhone and she could still be using the laptop while we talked."

She seemed a little taken aback when I checked twitter and, seeing that my timeline had exploded with talk of Josh Johnson signing with the Padres, let out an audible "Woah!"

She seemed immediately intrigued by asking me what I had just read, and then immediately disinterested when I started to explain who JJ was and why the Padres had signed him, etc.

The reason that the title of this post says "Probably a Padre" is because, as most baseball fans know, Johnson is pretty injury-prone, and it sounds like he still needs to pass a physical for the deal to be "final", but by all accounts, it seems like, health-willing, he'll be going to Spring Training in Peoria as a Friar.

This is my only Josh Johnson card.  After reading the news, I checked out the Recent Sets section of one of my non-Padres binders and found that he was absent from the handful of pages of recent ('11 to present) sets that I'd kept for myself.  I found this one in my trade box.  It's a short print from this year's Allen & Ginter set that nobody had asked to trade for, so I saved it from the box and will be giving it a home with a small handful of other 2013 A&G cards that I'm keeping.

While the last thing the Padres need is another player who is injury prone (see Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin, Cory Luebke, Casey Kelly, plus guys who had significant time on the DL last year like Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso), but I really like the move as a fan.  It's a one-year deal, basically in hopes that Johnson will bounce back and prove that last year was a fluke and get a fat contract elsewhere.  I won't be buying any Josh Johnson merchandise since it's pretty much a rental, but I'm glad that the front office was willing to roll the dice, since signing a player like Johnson is a good "win now" move.  

Even if they don't "win now" (which many project that they won't), if he rebounds, then he might make a good bargaining chip at the trade deadline, and if at the end of the season he's still on the team and they make a qualifying offer that he rejects, they'll score a draft pick out of it.  It's also got some incentives in the contract (nothing too heavy, from what I can tell), that should protect the Pads somewhat if the injury bug bites early.

I've actually be pretty surprised with the difficulty the Padres have had in landing a decent free agent pitcher, since Petco Park is always being heralded with the term "Pitcher's Paradise".  What pitcher wouldn't want to play half of his games in Petco (not to mention spend plenty of time in San Diego).

Anyways, if you had told me that the Padres would be signing Johnson at the beginning of the offseason, I would've been very doubtful.  Now we just need to find the "Pitcher Time Machine" for JJ and Ian Kennedy so they can think that it's 2010 and 2011 (respectively), when both were in the top five for the Cy Young voting.

Can't beat a little Hot Stove action in mid-November!  Go Padres!

Edit: Josh Johnson is now, officially, a Padre.


  1. He probably won't make the Padres the favorite, but he could be another nice arm against the Dodgers and Giants. He will be if he returns to his Marlins form, but if you get the guy from last year you probably have Edinson Volquez 2.0.

    I'm not a Padres fan obviously, but I do hope they are strong enough to take quite a few games from LA and SF, but not strong enough to damage the Rox too bad. That's not asking for too much is it?

  2. Glad to see the Padres taking some risks and chasing down some players. Hopefully Johnson still has a few more All-Star seasons in him. Go Friars!