With an eye on the distance past and not last season, the San Diego Padres decided to sign free agent Josh Johnson.
The 29-year-old right-hander signed a one-year, $8 million contract on Nov. 20.
According to reports, the deal is guaranteed and includes $1.25 million in additional performance bonuses if Johnson makes 26 starts next season. If Johnson makes fewer than seven starts, the Padres would have a $4 million option for 2015.
Because the Toronto Blue Jays did not extend a qualifying offer to Johnson, the Padres will not have to give up a compensatory draft pick.
Johnson battled through injury problems in 2013 with Toronto. Before undergoing elbow surgery in October to remove bone spurs, Johnson finished the year with a 2-8 record and a 6.20 ERA in 16 starts. He is expected to be at full strength for spring training.
In nine major league seasons with the Blue Jays and Miami Marlins, Johnson has a 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA.
Johnson will compete a spot in the Padres' rotation next year with Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, Eric Stults, Tyson Ross, Joe Wieland, Cory Luebke and Robbie Erlin.
2013: 76-86, fourth place in NL West
TEAM MVP: OF Will Venable almost by default. SS Everth Cabrera had the inside track until he drew a 50-game suspension for getting linked to the Biogenesis scandal. Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso were playing well until injuries cut their seasons in half. Although slowed over the final month with an abdominal issue, Venable finished with a .268 average with 22 doubles, eight triples, 22 homers and 22 steals.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: 3B Chase Headley, and it isn't close. An incredible second half last year (he was the National League Player of the Month for both August and September) resulted in a breakout season for Headley in 2012. He hit .286 with 31 homers and a league-leading 115 RBIs. He finished fifth in the NL MVP voting and won both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards at third. This season: A .250 average, 13 homers and 50 RBIs.
TOP PROSPECT: RHP Matt Wisler, 21, was 10-6 with a 2.78 ERA in a season split between Class A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. Although he didn't get a September call-up (the Padres don't have to add him to the 40-man roster this winter), Wisler will get a shot at making the rotation next spring. Expect to see him in the major leagues some time next season.
--OF Seth Smith was acquired by the Padres from the A's in exchange for RHP Luke Gregerson on Dec. 3. Both players are eligible for arbitration this winter.
Smith, 31, was squeezed out of Oakland's crowded outfield with the arrival of Craig Gentry in another trade the same day. Smith hit .253 with a .329 on-base percentage, a .391 slugging percentage, eight homers and 40 RBIs in 117 games last season.
Gregerson, 29, went 6-8 with four saves and a 2.71 ERA in 73 appearances last season.
--1B/OF Alex Dickerson was acquired by the Padres from the Pirates in a Nov. 25 trade that sent OF Jaff Decker and RHP Miles Mikolas to Pittsburgh.
Dickerson, 23, hit .288 with 17 homers in 126 games for Double-A Altoona.
Decker, 23, hit .286 with 10 homers in 105 games for Triple-A Tucson last season. He batted .154 (4-for-26) with one homer and two RBIs in 13 games for San Diego.
Mikolas, 25, gave up no hits and no runs in 1 2/3 innings in two appearances for the Padres last season.
--RHP Brad Brach was traded from the Padres to the Orioles on Nov. 25 in exchange for minor league RHP Devin Jones. Brach, 27, went 1-0 with a 3.19 ERA in 33 appearances for San Diego this year. He figures to compete for a spot in Baltimore's bullpen during spring training. Jones, 23, finished a combined 5-7 with a 5.64 ERA in 25 starts for Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.
--LHP Clayton Richard cleared waivers and elected to become a free agent. The Padres figured to non-tender this winter because he is coming off shoulder surgery. Richard, 30, went 2-5 with a 7.01 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for San Diego this year. He underwent the season-ending operation in July.
--RHP Colt Hynes was dealt from the Padres to the Indians in exchange for cash on Oct. 31. Hynes, 28, had no record and a 9.00 ERA in 22 relief appearances for San Diego this year.
--LHP Tommy Layne, designated for assignment by the Padres in late October, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso on Nov. 4. Layne, 28, went 0-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 14 relief outings in 2013.
--C Chris Robinson was outrighted to Triple-A Tucson as the Padres took him off their 40-man roster. Robinson, 29, went 2-for-12 in eight games with San Diego this year.
--RHP Tyson Ross had arthroscopic surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, the club announced Oct. 3. Ross is expected to be ready by spring training. Ross, 26, endured a nine-game, season-ending winless streak. He finished the season with a fine 3.17 ERA, certainly not a mark that befits a 3-8 record.
--2B Jedd Gyorko, 25, was easily the Padres' Rookie of the Year and deserved consideration as the club's MVP. He hit his first grand slam in the season finale. The homer was Gyorko's 23rd of the season and raised his RBI total to 63. Gyorko became the first rookie since Nate Colbert in 1969 to lead the Padres in either homers or RBIs or both. Colbert set franchise records for rookies during the Padres' inaugural season with 24 homers and 66 RBIs. Gyorko led all major league rookies in homers this season and became the first rookie second baseman ever to lead his team in RBIs. Remember, Gyorko not only missed 30 games at midseason with a right groin strain, he was 5-for-50 in his first 13 games after the injury with no extra-base hits.
--OF Mark Kotsay's 16-year major league career came to an end in the season finale against a former teammate and close friend. In his final at-bat, Kotsay struck out swinging against LHP Barry Zito, who was likely making his last appearance for the Giants. Bruce Bochy brought in Zito from the bullpen to face Kotsay. The two were formerly teammates in Oakland. "That was great," said Kotsay of his final at-bat. "What better way to end my career against one of my favorite teammates and a close friend. It was a great moment for the both of us. One of us had to win." After the game, Zito and Kotsay exchanged text messages from their respective clubhouses. Said Zito: "I love that it was us out there together." Kotsay came within inches of two hits in the last game but went 0-for-4. Kotsay fell a hit shy of finishing the season at .200.
--OF Chris Denorfia finished the season on a seven-game hitting streak (13-for-30) with five hits in the final two games. He had a double, triple, homer, four RBIs and 10 runs scored during the streak. The late-season run boosted Denorfia's average from .269 to .279. Denorfia led the Padres in hits (132) and runs scored (67) with a career-high 10 homers.
--1B Tommy Medica, 25, capped his first month in the major leagues by finishing the season on a five-game hitting streak (9-for-15) with a double, a homer and four RBIs. Medica had the first three-hit game of his career in the next-to-last game of the season.
--3B Chase Headley isn't just saying he struggled through an injury-plagued season. He's doing something about it. Headley has scheduled surgery for Oct. 1 on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus that he says occurred in training camp. That helps explain how the Padres' most hotly pursued player in trade talks last offseason after hitting .286 with 31 home runs and 115 RBIs could be arguably the club's biggest disappointment this season. He went 0-for-2 in the season finale to finish 2013 with a .250 average to go with just 13 homers and 50 RBIs. Want another sign his leg was bothering him? He stole only eight bases this season after swiping 17 a year ago.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Health would be the biggest acquisition." -- Manager Bud Black, whose team was paralyzed by injuries this season, talking about the Padres' needs this offseason.
A year ago, the Padres went into the offseason happy with their position players but concerned with their pitching. A year later, they are happy with the future of their pitching staff but desperately in need of a bat or two -- particularly a bat or two that can stay healthy for a full season.
BIGGEST NEEDS: Add a power bat at a corner outfield or corner infield slot. And that bat, maybe two, needs to be durable. Perhaps a bigger need would be good health. The Padres have four players who will be coming off surgery (OFs Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin, C Yasmani Grandal and 3B Chase Headley), three starting pitchers rehabbing from Tommy John surgery (LHP Cory Luebke and RHPs Casey Kelly and Joe Wieland) and at least two players (OF/1B Kyle Blanks and INF Logan Forsythe) whose injuries border on chronic.
ARRIVALS: RHP Josh Johnson (free agent from Blue Jays), OF Seth Smith (trade with A's)
DEPARTURES: OF Jaff Decker (traded to Pirates), RHP Miles Mikolas (traded to Pirates), RHP Brad Brach (traded to Orioles), RHP Luke Gregerson (traded to A's)
FREE AGENTS: SS Ronny Cedeno, RHP Jason Marquis, OF Mark Kotsay (retired)
The Padres aren't expected to offer Cedeno what his market value might be. Marquis is coming off elbow reconstruction surgery and might not pitch in 2014.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: OF/1B Kyle Blanks, OF/1B Jesus Guzman, 3B Chase Headley, SS Everth Cabrera, RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Tim Stauffer, RHP Tyson Ross, OF Seth Smith
The Padres will decide this winter whether to sign Headley to a long-term contract or trade him before he becomes a free agent after the 2014 season. Blanks and Guzman are pretty much the same person and one could be moved or traded.
IN LIMBO: 3B Chase Headley, LHP Clayton Richard, SS Ronny Cedeno, RHP Anthony Bass, RHP Brad Boxberger, LHP Tommy Layne, LHP Colt Hynes
--RHP Tyson Ross (arthroscopic left shoulder surgery in October 2013) is expected to be ready by spring training.
--1B Yonder Alonso (weakened right hand) is expected to heal with time. He should be ready by spring training.
--OF/1B Kyle Blanks (Achilles tendinitis and a weakening left shoulder) battled both injuries at the end of the season. The Padres are concerned about the shoulder, which had a previous round of surgery in April 2012.
--INF Logan Forsythe (plantar fasciitis in right foot) was bothered by the injury during spring training and again over the final two months of the season. Forsythe had foot problems before, and the sesamoid bones in each foot were surgically removed following fractures.
--C Yasmani Grandal (right knee surgery in August 2013) had a torn anterior cruciate ligament repaired. He aims to be ready by Opening Day; the Padres expect him back no sooner than late May or early June.
--3B Chase Headley (torn meniscus in right knee) will have surgery on Oct. 1. He will be ready by spring training.
--OF Rymer Liriano (elbow reconstruction surgery) will be training and hitting at the Padres academy in the Dominican Republic over the winter.
--CF Cameron Maybin (right wrist surgery in September 2013) had two torn and inflamed ligaments repaired. He hopes to play winter ball around the first of the year and expects to be ready by the start of spring training.
--LF Carlos Quentin (right knee surgery in September 2013) had a third operation on the knee in a span of 18 months. He plans to be ready by the start of spring training. He played in only half of the Padres' games each of the past two seasons.
--LHP Cory Luebke (Tommy John surgery in May 2012) will get another opinion after his rehab was shut down a third time following discomfort in various stages of his throwing program.
--RHP Casey Kelly (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) is scheduled to start throwing over the winter and hopes to be ready to pitch by June 2014.
--RHP Joe Wieland (Tommy John surgery in July 2012) was shut down in August 2013 due to a "stress reaction" during rehab. He should resume rehab in October or November.
--RHP Josh Johnson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery in October 2013) should be back at full strength for spring training.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Diego Padres
- Chase Headley
- spring training