Baltimore pulled a bit of a head-scratcher, sending Jim Johnson to Oakland for Jemile Weeks and a player to be named. As we did with Washington’s Doug Fister deal, let’s turn to Fangraphs to make sense of it:
t’s easy to explain from the Orioles’ perspective. Weeks, probably, won’t turn into anything for them, given his statistical decline and increasing age. And Johnson, for years, has been a pretty good late-inning reliever. But the Orioles aren’t a team that can afford to spend $11 million on a closer, not when there are other holes around the roster of a potential contender. This is a salary dump for the purpose of gaining flexibility, and while the Orioles are said to be looking for a closer replacement, that guy shouldn’t cost as much as Johnson will. There’ll be other money to put in other places. The Orioles will spread that $11 million around, in the hopes of being the better team for it. It’s that simple.
It’s not sexy, but I suppose it is that simple. So long, Jim Johnson. you did (mostly) good.
As for Weeks, I don’t know. He’ll be 27 this year and has a .258/.319/.367 line in 957 Major League plate appearances. He does play second base, though, which is bad news for Brian Roberts. And now I’m kinda bummed.