Report: Josh Johnson ‘Leaning’ Towards A Padres Return
By Billy Brost
According to a report from Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, free agent right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson is favoring a return to the Padres for 2015. Johnson missed the entire 2014 regular season, not having thrown a single pitch for the Friars after injuring his pitching elbow. The hard throwing righty then underwent his second Tommy John procedure of his career. Cotillo states that according to his major league source, a signing is not imminent Johnson is being true to his word and plans on pitching for the Padres.
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At the end of the season, the Padres declined a $4 million dollar option on Johnson, that would’ve automatically vested had he made only a handful of starts. Dennis Lin of the UT-San Diego reported back in November that Johnson and his representatives had spoken to up to six different teams, but none of those teams were ever identified.
The last time Johnson pitched during the regular season, it was for the Toronto Blue Jays, and it was a struggle for the 30-year-old. In an injury-plagued 16 starts, Johnson went 2-8 with an ERA of 6.20. The former Cy Young Award contender is looking to prove he is fully healthy, and is capably of being a front of the rotation starter for the Friars. With the Padres’ need for an impact bat, and with the possibility of having to deal one of their big three starting pitchers: Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, or Ian Kennedy, a healthy and on point Johnson could lessen the blow of having to deal one of those power arms for a bat.