Kelly Johnson accepted the Jays arbitration offer today, giving them a potentially solid option at second base.
Johnson is basically Aaron Hill in that he has 20 home run power but can’t hit his weight. In 2010 he did his 26 HR, 71 RBI and hit .284. This past season between the Snakes and Jays he hit .222 with 21 HR and drove in 58. Obviously Toronto is hoping he’ll be more like the ’10 version.
At the time trading Hill for Johnson didn’t make much sense given that Johnson was a free agent. The whole deal hinged on the fact that Johnny Mac would re-sign in the off-season and Johnson would accept arbitration or agree to a long term deal. While Johnny Mac didn’t follow through, the Johnson part of the deal worked out.
Alex Anthopolous has also indicated that Johnson could be an option in the outfield as well should the Jays find a better option at second.
While all this was going on the suddenly big spending Los Angeles Angels bought just about every big name free agent that the Marlins didn’t, snagging Albert Pujols AND C.J. Wilson on the same day. This deal not only makes them better but also steals the Rangers’ ace in the process. Hard to argue with that logic. Also, I hear Pujols is a pretty good hitter too.
Now that Pujols is off the table it’ll be interesting to see where Prince Fielder winds up. The Jays are still interested but there are three or four other teams also in as well.
In terms of pitching help, outside of the recently posted Yu Darvish, there’s not much help left out there. If the Jays are hoping to upgrade their rotation they’ll have to explore the trade route.