One of the most reliable men in the bullpen for the Braves this season has been Jim Johnson. The 33-year-old veteran has put in one of the best seasons of his career so far, and the Braves have decided that it’s worth keeping him around for at least a couple more seasons.
Going into the final game of the 2016 season, Jim Johnson has a 3.11 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, and 19 saves over 64 appearances. It’s a stark improvement over the numbers that he finished with in 2015, and his 1.3 fWAR is the best that he’s had since 2011, which is when he put up 1.3 fWAR in that season as well. It seemed like he was a prime candidate to be traded at the deadline, but the Braves decided to hold on to the ground-ball pitcher for the time being. Now, he’ll be under team control for the next two seasons.
For the Braves, this is a smart move. Jim Johnson provided plenty of value for the incredibly cheap contract that Atlanta signed him on, and as long as this contract is fairly cheap as well, then there’s no reason to believe that they won’t stop getting value from Johnson over the next two seasons. It’s a well-earned contract, and both parties should be pleased with this agreement going forward.