The Angels acquired reliever Jim Johnson and international bonus money from the Braves for minor-league left-hander Justin Kelly, according to a club announcement.
Today, the #Angels have acquired RHP Jim Johnson and international pool space from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Justin Kelly. pic.twitter.com/coe0vBWK5F— Angels (@Angels) November 30, 2017
Johnson, 34, struggled to a 5.56 ERA and 4.22 FIP in 56.2 innings for Atlanta in 2017 after signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the club in October 2016. He recorded 22 saves on the year before relinquishing the closer role in July and struggling in the second half of the year (8.35 ERA in 18.1 second-half innings).
Johnson is the first bullpen addition for an Angels club that will have to revamp part of its relief corps this winter— relievers Bud Norris, Jesse Chavez, Andrew Bailey and Huston Street are all free agents while righty Yusmeiro Petit already departed for a two-year deal with the Athletics. Johnson will join Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton and Jose Alvarez as relievers projected to be with Los Angeles at the start of the camp, though other additions are likely as well.
Kelly, 24, was a 33rd-round pick by the Halos last year and appeared at five minor-league levels in 2017. Over 63.2 innings between rookie-ball and Triple-A, the southpaw worked to a 3.53 ERA and 8.1 K/9 in 25 appearances (six starts). He wasn’t ranked by MLB Pipeline as one of the Angels’ top 30 prospects.