Going in to the offseason, the Braves have clearly and loudly declared that the bullpen was going to be an area of focus for improvement...and with good reason. The bullpen ranked among the worst in the majors last season and was the source of more than a few losses.
However, there were some bright spots including the play of Jim Johnson, who came in and filled in admirably for injured closer Jason Grilli. It was one of the reasons that the Dodgers wanted him in the trade that sent Alex Wood to the Dodgers. Johnson's tenure in LA did not go well, which is why the news today is a little bit surprising.
#Braves agree to terms with RHP Jim Johnson on one-year contract; Free-agent reliever returns to bullpen for the 2016 campaign— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 30, 2015
#Braves bringing back reliever Jim Johnson on a one-year contract— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 30, 2015
The Braves clearly must think that the 10.13 ERA in 23 games that Johnson put up as a Dodger is not representative of his ability at this point. After all, before the trade, Jim Johnson had been quite good.
The terms of the deal are not yet known, but it would stand to reason that it would not be a big money deal since JJohnson is far from the marquee name on the free agent market. This move could also signal that the Braves have officially been priced out of the Darren O'Day market and are moving in a different direction.
***UPDATE 6:31 PM EST***
Johnson's deal is reported to be a one year deal for $2.5 million
Jim Johnson will receive $2.5M with his one-year deal. #Braves— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 30, 2015