Josh Johnson finished the 2010 season 11-6 with 186 strikeouts in 28 starts. He was second in the major leagues with a 2.30 ERA.
Johnson’s season finished early in September because of back pain. In 2011, Johnson was off to a 3-1 and an ERA of 1.64., right shoulder inflammation would keep him out most of the season.
Johnson pitched 60.1 innings in 2011.
Johnson’s 2012 season hasn’t quite met the standards of the previous three seasons, yet Johnson is the talk of trade rumors this year.
Johnson is 6-7 with an ERA of 4.14, in 2012. He has pitched 119 innings.
The Miami Marlins have said they will listen to offers for Johnson, but the price is said to be extremely high, even for a team in selling mode. With Zack Greinke traded to the Angels, Ryan Dempster in limbo, Johnson becomes the hottest pitcher on the trade market.
The Marlins are looking for a package of prospects similar to the deal the Texas Rangers got for Mark Teixeira when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. That is not likely. At the time the Teixera deal was made he was an offensive force in major league baseball, and carried a gold glove onto the field when he played first base.
Johnson is not at that level at the moment.
Trading for Johnson is not without risk, especially at the current asking price. General managers will have to decide which Johnson they are going to get. Will they be getting a top of the rotation All-Star, or will they be getting a middle of the rotation type pitcher? Having been shut down the last two seasons, durability has to be an issue to be considered.
Are there teams willing to give up the mother load of prospects to secure Johnson in a trade? The Texas Rangers are the most likely suitors, but they have concerns about his health and his home/road splits. He has a 3.35 ERA at home and a 5.48 ERA on the road.
The Rangers do have high regard for Johnson’s makeup in character as to all teams. Johnson does have a positive that seems to be a popular metric when teams are assessing potential trades these days.
Team control, Johnson is signed through 2013, so Johnson is hardly a rental player.
Johnson could be traded, or the Marlins could decide to build what I have for future they have around him. One thing seems certain. If the asking price is not lowered a bit, Johnson will be making his home in South Beach at least through the end of this year.