This is the first of a few "you be the general manager" questions we can debate over the next few weeks. Today's subject is Josh Johnson. News came out today that Josh has just had surgery on his elbow to remove bone spurs. The Jays have until just after the world series to decide whether to offer Johnson a qualifying offer. That basically means Johnson will earn approx. $14M next season.
The Jays originally intended to have Johsnon get healthy right around now and then for them to watch him throw to evaluate whether to offer to re-sign him. This surgery now eliminates that approach by the Jays.
The story suggests James Andrews saying that the bone spurs were the reason JJ didn't pitch well this year. Do we believe that or is JJ's agent trying to talk up his client for more money?
Todays question for the GM is, would you make a qualifying offer to JJ?
On the positive side of the decision we have:
Johnson's past performance as a top tier pitcher.
The escalating cost of pitching where $14M is not consider an outrageous sum for a pitcher
The Jays need for starting pitching
Johnson's need to do all he can to play well for a big payday.
On the negative side of the decision we have:
Johnson's 2013 performance
Johnson's declining fastball velocity
Johnson's injury history
The Jays somewhat tight budget
The Jays already having a list of question mark pitchers lining up for 2014 jobs
I would not give a qualifying offer to JJ. With his diminished velocity, and with Johnson therefore needing to change his approach, I think Johnson could be worth $14M if he was fully healthy for a season. But I don't see that. I decline to extend the offer.
What says you?