Even though there is a bit of gap between what the Orioles submitted and what Jim Johnson’s agent is seeking through arbitration, the Orioles closer said today he’s not concerned at all about his 2013 contract. He figures the business side of it will get taken care of and soon.
Johnson is seeking $7.1 million through arbitration and the Orioles’ offer was for $5.7 million.
“You know how this stuff always plays out,” Johnson said. “They do their thing. My agents do theirs. I get a phone call in a week or so and, ‘OK, this is where we’re at,’ and it’s done.
“You do what you have to do and you trust the counsel you put together. I have faith in my agency, Mike Moye and his team. They’ve taken good care of me so far and so have the Orioles, so there is really nothing to lose sleep over.”
Johnson set an Orioles record and led the major leagues with 51 saves last season. He is one of five pitchers in American League history to save 50 or more in one year. He has two seasons left of team control before he can be a free agent. Has there been any talk of a long-term deal for Johnson?
“I haven’t heard anything,” Johnson said. “I’m not one of the guys that will get too caught up in what is going on. I’ve have one phone call with my agent. Most guys are surprised by that. When I say I really don’t put too much stock in that, I’m telling you the honest truth.”
By the way, the Orioles announced that there are over 18,000 fans here today at the Baltimore Convention Center. That is easily a FanFest record. Last year there were around 9,000 at the event.