Friday, November 6, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking: The Josh Johnson Contract Extension

Will the Marlins sign Josh Johnson to a contract extension?'s Joe Friscaro sure thinks so:
"I think the Marlins will sign Josh Johnson to a long-term deal. As hard as it was to see Beckett and Mike Lowell get traded, the Marlins received Hanley Ramirez in return. Ramirez is among the top five players in the game, so trading Beckett ended up being a good deal. The jury is still out on the Cabrera trade. But in your question, which I shortened for space reasons, you also mentioned you wanted Dontrelle Willis signed to a long-term deal. Had the Marlins done that, considering all the struggles Willis has gone through, it wouldn't have been a wise decision."
What would it take for the Marlins to keep Josh Johnson long term? Let's take a look at what each side would need to make Johnson a Marlin for the foreseeable future.

The Marlins

1. Buyout the two remaining years of arbitration

2. Buyout at least two years of Johnson's free agent seasons

3. Reasonable salary that increases as the Marlins payroll is set to increase

The Josh Johnson Camp

1. Financial Security

2. Eventually become one of the highest paid pitchers (annually) in the NL

So how about this deal for Johnson and the Marlins?

(4 years/$40 million)

Here is the contractual breakdown:

2010: $4 million
2011: $8 million
2012: $13 million
2013: $15 million

Why it works for the Marlins:

1. Buyout 2 years of arbitration

2. Buyout 2 years of free agency

3. Backloaded deal that corresponds to the opening of Marlins' new stadium, which should lead to an increased payroll

Why it works for Johnson:

1. Financial Security

2. Become a free agent at age 29 after the 2013 season

If the Marlins let Johnson become a free agent after the 2011 season, there is a very high possibility that he could become one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball history. Granted, that statement is contingent on Johnson staying healthy and dominant for the next two seasons, but he definitely has the ability to do so.


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