Josh Johnson

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As reported by MLBTR, talks between Marlins ace Josh Johnson and the club have broken off, and he is not expected to sign an extension. This brings about the obvious statement: let’s go get him.

Johnson, who will be 26 for the 2010 season, is coming off a year in which he had just a 3.06 FIP, and struck out 8.22 batters per 9. On top of it, Johnson features good control (2.5 BB/9) and gets ground balls (career 47.8%). Johnson has some concerns about his health (he has already had Tommy John surgery) and is only under contract for 2 more seasons, but he could be the ace the Twins have missed since Johan Santana left.

The obvious question, then, is what would the Twins need to give up for Johnson? For that, it’s time to bust out the trade value calculator.

Going by the 40/60/80 method of arbitration, that’s the salary that would be expected for Johnson based on his projected WAR. I doubt he will get that high of a salary, but hey what do I know. It’s also unclear what type of free agent Johnson will be, but if he keeps at his projected pace, a Type A isn’t out of the question.

So what would the Twins have to give up? According to the phenomenal research by Victor Wang, 18.7 million in value would expect a return of: A top 51-75 hitting prospect + a grade B hitter. It could also be worth a top 10 pitcher + a grade B hitter, etc. Realistically, it’s probably going to take Wilson Ramos, a current pitcher to replace Johnson, and a minor prospect.

Is it worth it? Well, if we sign Mauer Ramos is most valuable as a trade chip, and most of the Twins pitching prospects are pretty much the same (low 90s strike throwers), so yes, in order to acquire an ace I think it is worth taking a run at Josh Johnson.

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