Josh Johnson has signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the San Diego Padres, according to reports. Johnson can make an extra $1.25 million if he makes over 26 starts next season.
Johnson's signing is a great deal for the Padres, as he's signing is definitely a low-rish, high-reward signing. Johnson at times can be dominant and pitch to an ace's level of pitching. Padres starters had a 23rd ranked 4.31 ERA, even in the pitcher's park of Petco Park. The park in San Diego may just be what Josh Johnson needs to be able to revamp his career. He did not lose any velocity last season (fastball around 93 MPH), showing that he can still be an effective pitcher. Over time, however, Johnson has lost a good 2 MPH off of his heater. Although he's lost that velocity, again I think he'll be able to throw better in Petco. Being back in the National League may also help Johnson, as he is familiar with the NL (pitched eight years in the National League).
Johnson, 30 in January, has been an ace in the past. He's won over 10 games three times in his career, and in 2010, he led the National League with a 2.30 ERA. He has a career 3.40 ERA and a career 1.27 WHIP. Last season, however, Johnson had one of the worst seasons of his entire career, going 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA. His best outing of the season was on June 17, against the Colorado Rockies (an NL TEAM!!!!). Johnson was dominant, pitching 7.1 innings of shutout ball. He allowed only 5 hits, and struck out 10 hitters. Johnson got a no-decision in the game, because the Blue Jays scored their only two runs in the eighth inning, after Johnson was finished. That was one of his only five quality starts (16 total starts). I still believe that Johnson has it in him to be the ace of the 2014 San Diego Padres pitching staff.