Before acquiring reliever Bryan Morris from the Pirates last weekend and signing Kevin Gregg, the Marlins came close to adding another reliever. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Miami nearly acquired reliever Jim Johnson from the Athletics in exchange for the 39th pick in the draft and another player, before using the pick to acquire Morris.
The Athletics were willing to do the deal because of their lack of top picks (only two within the top 100, at 25 and 65), and planned on completing it before Miami snagged Morris from Pittsburgh, according to Rosenthal. The A's are not actively working to move Johnson, but considered it in this case because of the high value of the draft pick.
Johnson, who turns 31 this month, has struggled with Oakland after coming over in an offseason trade from the Orioles. In 22 appearances, he has posted a 6.55 ERA while saving only two games in a surprising downturn following three straight seasons in which he posted a sub-3.00 ERA.
Morris, who joined the Marlins this week, is 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 appearances on the season after posting a 3.46 mark in 55 games last year. Despite his success, executives and analysts from around baseball are questioning the move from the Marlins point of view.
The 39th overall pick is worth $1.4576M, causing many to be concerned that the Marlins paid too much for an average relief arm in Morris. If anything, the Morris deal signifies that the Marlins, who currently sit one game behind the Braves in the NL East, are committing to winning this season, even if it means mortgaging the future.