The Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be the frontrunner in the trade talks with the Baltimore Orioles for closer Jim Johnson. However, the question has to be asked why the Dodgers are in talks with the Orioles in the first place.
Los Angeles has far bigger needs than dealing for a closer, especially when the organization already employs Kenley Jansen. The 26-year-old posted a 1.88 earned run average with 111 strikeouts and saved a career-high 28 games as well as 16 holds in 2013. There’s no question he’s getting better as he progresses in his career in the big leagues, which means the Dodgers really shouldn’t pay Johnson $10 million for a position that is already secure.
I understand Johnson is one of the best closers in the majors. He saved a Major League-high 50 games this past season. That means he has saved 101 games in two years, the most by any closer in the big leagues over that span. However, he also blew nine saves and posted a 2.94 ERA. Not to mention, there is a good chance Johnson has seen better days. That means giving up anything for him could be a huge waste, along with spending the money to have him on the roster.
I’m not saying the 30-year-old isn’t worth it. What I am saying is that Los Angeles needs to spend their money elsewhere and trust in Jansen if they want to make a deep playoff run in 2014.
As of right now, it appears the Orioles are determined to trade Johnson, which means the Dodgers will have the first stab at him.