33-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Josh Johnson in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Josh Johnson Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Giants in November of 2016.
Johnson plans to retire from baseball rather than pursue a minor league opportunity with the Giants, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports.
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Josh Johnson Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Josh Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Josh Johnson.
Johnson underwent his second career Tommy John surgery before the 2014 season and subsequently re-signed with the Padres on a one-year contract for 2015 as he attempted to work his way back onto the mound. His rehab process throughout the 2015 campaign was a story of one step forward with two steps back as he showed signs of improvement only to have lingering issues with his problematic elbow. Those issues came to a head in September when Johnson saw his first live action since 2013 in a rehab appearance at High-A Lake Elsinore in which he faced one batter before leaving the game with elbow soreness. That elbow soreness led to the unfortunate news that Johnson would require a third Tommy John procedure. Obviously, he will miss the 2016 campaign, but his prospects at a 2017 return are murky at best as he will be a 33-year-old at the start of that season with a thrice operated on elbow.
Johnson was pitching well during spring training before a flexor strain his right arm delayed the start of his season. The delay turned into a cancellation, as Johnson had a visit with Dr. James Andrews in April that resulted in his second career Tommy John surgery. The ailment was the latest setback in a career marred by injuries. Johnson flashed Cy Young award potential earlier in his career, and while those days may be over, it's not out of the question to think that he could make it back at contribute at a level similar to his 2012 numbers with the Marlins again. The Padres declined their team option on him in November before re-signing him a month later to a smaller one-year deal. Johnson will continue rehabbing his arm with the hope of breaking back into the big leagues at some point during the middle of the 2015 season.
Johnson was massively disappointing for the Blue Jays in 2013, as he finished with a 6.20 ERA over 81.1 innings, and was ultimately shut down with a forearm injury. A 4.62 FIP suggests that he was a victim of bad luck, while his 9.2 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 were right in line with expectations. All of this hints at a bounce back in 2014, particularly given that Johnson is ditching the AL East for pitcher-friendly Petco Park and a return to the NL. However, there's still cause for doubt, given that Johnson has a long injury history, and that he underwent a minor elbow procedure in the offseason. While it won't be particularly surprising if Johnson looks like the ace of years past, he's hardly a lock to revitalize his career in San Diego.
Perhaps the most impressive number in Johnson's bounce-back season in 2012 is 31 - the number of starts he made following a shoulder injury that ended his 2011 campaign after just nine appearances. It represented just the second time in his career that the imposing right-hander made 30 starts in a season (2009) and his 191.1 innings represented the second-highest total in his career. Although Johnson's fastball velocity took a slight dip in 2012, he successfully turned to his slider more frequently than he had in previous seasons while continuing to work a curveball into his arsenal. Despite the fact that his 7.8 K/9 was his lowest since 2006, he should make a smooth transition to the AL East after being traded to Toronto in November.
Johnson lasted just nine starts last year before a shoulder injury sidelined him, and he was never able to make it back into action. The injury never required surgery and he was throwing pain-free bullpen sessions in September, so he should be good to go this spring, but this is now two straight years in which Johnson has dealt with shoulder woes. When he's healthy he's as good as any pitcher in the game, with an ace's arsenal and a bulldog mentality, but the mounting injury concerns make him a risky acquisition if you have to pay anything close to top dollar for him.
Johnson celebrated his new four-year, $39 million contract with a big year, putting up Cy-worthy numbers for five months until shoulder and back issues shut him down in September. While his ERA will probably creep back up due to a lucky HR/FB rate in 2010, the rest of his skill set is still improving (he topped 9.0 K/9IP for the first time last season) and promises more seasons of ace-like numbers to come. Last year's injuries weren't serious, but with the memory of his 2007 Tommy John surgery still lingering and the Phillies' four aces overshadowing the rest of the pitchers in the NL East, you might just be able to get Johnson at a discount this spring.
Johnson pitched in 2009 like his Tommy John surgery never happened, emerging as the Marlins' ace and as one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He finished 10th in the NL in strikeouts and K/BB, while his 8.22 K/9IP fell just outside the top 10, and he cracked the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. He'll be the Marlins' Opening Day starter in 2010, but the salary wrangling between the club and his agent has already begun so what uniform he wears beyond that is anyone's guess.
Last offseason there was some doubt Johnson would even pitch in 2008 following his Tommy John surgery. Not only did he pitch he re-defined the best case scenario for pitchers in their first year back from TJ, actually improving his BB/9 rate from 2006 en route to a thoroughly impressive second half. He'll enter 2009 as the Marlins' No. 2 starter behind Ricky Nolasco, and if he can keep his new-found control while shaving a few hits off his line he could finish it as a true ace.
Arm trouble limited Johnson to four starts between DL stints and eventually required Tommy John surgery in August. He'll probably miss all of 2008, and given that his out pitch is his slider he may not be immediately effective when he does finally get back onto a mound. If you take a chance on him, don't expect a return on your investment until late 2009 or even 2010.
Coming into 2006, Johnson was just another arm in the Marlins system, a guy who would have to step it up to distinguish himself from the horde of young pitchers the team had accumulated in the offseason. Step it up he did -- Johnson started in the bullpen, earned a rotation spot and then spent a good part of the season competing for the NL ERA crown, before a late forearm strain left him just five innings short of qualifying. The circumstances of the injury were eerily reminiscent of those that led to AJ Burnett's Tommy John surgery, as Johnson came back out after a rain delay only to come up lame before his next start, but fortunately he avoided going under the knife and seems like he'll be fine for 2007. Despite his success last season, he still profiles as a mid-rotation starter for the Marlins, as he doesn't have the eye-popping raw stuff of an Anibal Sanchez.
Johnson's numbers at Double-A in 2005 don't seem that impressive until you realize he was just 22. As one of the more advanced homegrown prospects in the Marlins system, he's among the early favorites to win a rotation spot this spring, provided the team doesn't bring in a bushel of veteran stopgaps to avoid rushing its young hurlers. He probably won't be an ace, but Johnson could eventually emerge as a solid No. 3 starter.