Monday, January 10, 2011
Today from Bleacher Report: Could Cliff Lee Signing Make Josh Johnson Available?
Of all the Bleacher Report articles, this is the Bleacher Reportiest. The gist: Because the Phillies are so good (thanks to their monster rotation), the Marlins should consider trading their best pitcher (and second-best player overall), even though they are getting a bargain on him, to free up money for other good players. FLAWLESS LOGIC!
Some choice quotes from the article/slideshow, written by Gregory Pinto:
The Marlins are stuck in the proverbial "rock and a hard place." The rock is the fact that they aren't willing to spend top dollar on free agents, or expand payroll much beyond it's minuscule limits, and the hard place is that they have never developed great farm systems.Today's achievement in false dichotomies goes to this sentence: "The Marlins are forced with a difficult decision—Can they win with Josh Johnson under contract, or should they add several more pieces for him?"
Though the Marlins can afford the pitcher, they could trade him and free up that money for a number of different uses, including addressing other areas of need on the roster and spending bigger in the draft, something that would help a low-payroll team like the Marlins to a great extent.
However, unlike most people seem to believe, he is far from the "work-horse" type of pitcher that teams like to see out of their staff's ace. Unlike some of the other "aces" of the NL East, like Johan Santana, Roy Halladay and Tim Hudson, Johnson has thrown over 200 innings in a single season just once—209 innings in 2009. In fact, he has thrown just 665 innings over the course of his career.
Would trading Josh Johnson make that much of a difference? To the Marlins' fan base, it would. They love their ace. However, from the Marlins point of view, they'd be killing several birds with one stone.
Most Bleacher Report writers are unpaid (Note to Jeff Loria, don't get any ideas), giving new life to the truism "you pay for what you get."