The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced a deal that includes a pitcher named Johnson. Kris Johnson.
Johnson will be sent to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a favorite of mine, Duke Welker.
Needless to say I’m pretty pumped about this, admittedly, minor deal.
I like Johnson too, but he’s a bit old, and the Pirates really have no room for a guy like him on the roster. He’s a soft tosser, and a back of the rotation type with some upside.
Welker has legitimate closer stuff. He has high upside as a reliever and is two years younger than Johnson.
Neil Huntington has always had pretty strong bullpens and he should be extremely familiar with Welker by now so it’s impossible to really argue with his judgement here.
Welker was involved in the trade that brought disappointment Justin Morneau to the Pirates after the deadline last season but he didn’t appear in any games for the Twins organization. It’s almost as if he didn’t ever get traded.
One has to wonder if this was a bit of backroom chicanery by the Bucs and Twins?
The other Johnson I tried to troll you into thinking I was talking about is Josh Johnson. He is a high end, oft-injured, starting pitcher. Someone who appears to be right up Huntington’s alley. Johnson is looking to rebuild value and would likely take a one year deal.
Wanna guess which team is reportedly on his short list? Your Pittsburgh Pirates.
If the Pirates sign Johnson that’s a huge reason why they made the decision to not extend a Qualifying Offer to A.J. Burnett. And more proof that Neil Huntington might have some clue as to what he’s doing.
Last, but not least, the Pirates released their Spring Training schedule for 2014. If you’re going to Spring Training you’re a spoiled, rich, brat. But here’s the schedule you lucky dog.