Teams shying away from Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson
Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Teams are shying away from trading for Miami starting pitcher Josh Johnson because of the steep demands being asked by the Marlins in return for the All-Star right-hander.
The Marlins are reportedly asking for a team’s top two or three prospects in every trade scenario involving Johnson.
“They’re asking for a ton,” an American League general manager said, doubting if the Marlins will find a new destination for Johnson before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Due to lack of interested teams, a baseball official who requested anonymity told espn.com that Johnson’s chances of staying in Miami are “95 percent”.
Another Major League source said steep demand forced several teams to change their mind about dealing with the Marlins, despite their need for pitching depth. Reportedly, the Rangers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels, Braves and Red Sox are interested in dealing for Johnson.
Several baseball officials said the Marlins are focusing on elite prospects like Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt and Martin Perez of Texas; Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado of Baltimore; and Travis D’Arnaud and Anthony Gose of Toronto.
Johnson is one of the best pitchers available after Cole Hamels signed a fresh contract with the Philadelphia Phillies while Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs is out because of health concerns.
Johnson is under contract for $13.75 million in 2013 and won’t hit the free-agent market until after next season.
The Marlins are a disappointment this season, 14 games out of first place in the NL East with a 45-53 record.
They traded second baseman Omar Infante and pitcher Anibal Sanchez to Detroit earlier this week for pitcher Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers, and shipped Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate to the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer.
Ramirez, Infante, Sanchez and Choate are making a combined $28.5 million this year, so the two deals took a major chunk out of the Marlins’ $111 million opening day payroll. The Marlins also removed the additional $31.5 million owed to Ramirez in the 2013-2014 seasons.