The week begins with the free agent market resuming speed and the Orioles involved in yet another trade rumor.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Orioles are trying hard to unload closer Jim Johnson. They want to clear payroll to try and sign a major free agent, and they don’t like the idea they may have to pay a closer who blew nine save chances in 2013 in excess of $10 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are mentioned as a likely landing spot for Johnson, and that makes sense. The Dodgers aren’t shy about spending money, and don’t seem to care much about the luxury tax.
They also have some outfielders, especially Andre Ethier, who the Orioles could find useful especially if Los Angeles absorbed some of his contract. The Dodgers are said to willing to trade Ethier, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford.
Ethier bats left, and has played left field, which are two plusses. His contract has four years and $52.5 million to run, so the Orioles would certainly want substantial help if he’s involved.
Manager Buck Showalter would eagerly praise Johnson to his old friend, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Perhaps the Orioles would get into the free agent market to get something a little cheaper than Johnson.