The Los Angeles Angels have acquired RHP and former closer Jim Johnson, plus international signing bonus pool money from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Justin Kelly.
Johnson isn\’t the best reliever, but he can eat up innings, especially with Yusmeiro Petit, Huston Street and Jesse Chavez gone. Also, the international signing bonus pool money is about $1.1 million. They\’ll use that to go after Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani.
Johnson, 34, had a 5.56 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 22 saves and 61 strikeouts in 56.2 innings in 2017. In his MLB career for the Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers, Johnson has a 3.79 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 176 saves and 486 strikeouts in 641.1 innings.
Looking at Johnson\’s 2017 numbers, they were horrible. This is pretty much a dump off.
Kelly, 24, had a 3.53 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 63.2 innings in many different leagues in 2017. In his minor league career, Kelly has a 4.59 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 100 innings.
I think the Angels win this trade. Johnson isn\’t a good major leaguer, but at least he is a major leaguer. Plus, the international signing bonus shows the that the Braves don\’t want Ohtani, and were willing to sacrifice that to dump Johnson.