Where do the O's go from here after Machado's injury?
BALTIMORE – Dan Duquette said that he expects Jim Johnson back with the Orioles next season.
There has been some thought that the Orioles wouldn’t tender a contract to Johnson, who leads the American League with 48 saves and also has nine blown ones. Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, says the Orioles will offer Johnson a contract.
“Jim Johnson is one of our core players,” Duquette said on Friday afternoon.
Johnson is currently earning $6.5 million, and he could earn $8 million in arbitration.
“Jimmy has done something historic in terms of the number of games he has saved over the last couple years. He has established significant value by doing that in consecutive years. He came into the job last year and I think he had (21) saves in his career and over the last two years he has (99),” Duquette said.
“I think that Johnson has established himself as a top closer in the big leagues when you look at the top savers in the league. He is right up there.”
Duquette said that the blown saves were an aberration.
“Jim Johnson’s been consistent over those last two years. He had a better year last year than he had this year but he still had a good year this year. You could see the good stuff he had [Thursday] night when he closed the game out. I mean, he is healthy, he is strong, he is throwing good,” he said.
Duquette said that the Orioles wouldn’t make Johnson a starter and declined to say if the team would move him out of the closer’s role.