Sources: Josh Johnson agrees to incentive-laden, one-year deal with Padres

MLB columnist
Yahoo Sports

Starting pitcher Josh Johnson agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with the San Diego Padres that includes incentives that could net him an additional $6.25 million, sources with knowledge of the deal told Yahoo Sports.

Josh Johnson is coming off his second Tommy John surgery. (USAT)
Josh Johnson is coming off his second Tommy John surgery. (USAT)

The deal is pending a physical, though the Padres are familiar with the medicals of the 30-year-old Johnson, who missed all of 2014 after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in April. The Padres paid him $8 million last season and declined a club option for $4 million.

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When healthy, Johnson has been one of baseball’s best pitchers, though since his first full season in 2006 he has been distinctly hit or miss, throwing 183 or more innings three times and 88 or fewer the other four.

Johnson’s performance bonuses are tied to games started. If he reaches five, he receives a $500,000 bonus. For his 10th start, he would receive another $1 million. At 15 it’s $500,000 more, and 20 nets him another $1 million. For every start after that he makes through his 33rd, Johnson would receive $250,000. The chances of Johnson earning the maximum bonus are minimal, as his surgery was in late April and second-time Tommy John patients often take 14-plus months to return.

Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, declined comment.

The signing continues a flurry of maneuvers for the Padres, who found themselves at the center of the baseball world last week with trades for outfielders Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp. With a deep pitching staff headed by Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy, new general manager A.J. Preller has fortified the back end of his rotation with big-upside starters in Johnson and Brandon Morrow, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal.

The Padres’ rotation now potentially includes Ross, Cashner, Kennedy, Morrow, Johnson, Odrisamer Despaigne, Robbie Erlin, Casey Kelly and top prospect Matt Wisler.

 

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