According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Dodgers may be considering making a deal for the reigning American League saves leader:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2013
Johnson is coming off a season in which he finished with 50 saves and a 2.94 ERA in 63 appearances for the Baltimore Orioles. Despite those numbers, the right-hander also led the league in blown saves with nine and it seems as if the Orioles are looking to go in another direction. Johnson led the league in saves the past two years and is in his last year of arbitration.
The Dodgers interest is surprising, considering they’ve already made Kenley Jansen the closer for next season after his dominant 2013 season. The team may be interested in using Johnson in a set-up role, especially if Wilson doesn’t re-sign. The Orioles don’t seem willing to pay the 30-year-old that much money and could find a suitor with more than enough money in the Dodgers.
The right-hander has appeared in at least 69 games the past three seasons with an ERA under 2.94 and 101 saves. Johnson isn’t a strikeout pitcher, averaging just six strikeouts per nine innings in his career. The Dodgers are more than capable of replacing Wilson from within, with young relievers Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez and Jose Dominguez; however, the team may be looking at an insurance policy for Jansen and another established arm in the bullpen.
The Dodgers are considering all options in case Wilson leaves and will likely be in on any relief pitchers made available this off-season.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and right-hander Dan Haren agreed to a one-year deal last week