Though the Marlins came close to completing a trade for Oakland A’s reliever Jim Johnson in late May, according to one published report, their interest in the former closer didn’t stop there.
According to a major-league source, the Marlins and A’s have engaged in recent discussions involving Johnson and Marlins minor-league pitching prospect Adam Conley.
After posting 50-save seasons each of the previous two years for Baltimore, Johnson hasn’t come close to matching his success in Oakland, which landed him in a trade with the Orioles in December.
Johnson has a 6.25 ERA and only two saves in 37 relief appearances for the A’s, eventually losing the closer’s role to Sean Doolittle.
Conley, the Marlins’ second-round pick in 2011, has also struggled this season at Triple A New Orleans. The left-hander has gone 3-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 games (11 starts).
According to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com, the Marlins and A’s had a deal in place in May for Johnson. The Marlins would have sent their Competitive Balance pick in the draft (No. 39 overall) to the A’s for Johnson, Rosenthal wrote, before changing their minds and sending that pick to Pittsburgh for Bryan Morris instead. The Marlins used the money they saved on that pick to sign Kevin Gregg.
Johnson is making $10 million this season, after which he becomes eligible for free agency.
WAIT AND SEE
It’s looking less and less likely that Gregg will come off the disabled list after his 15 days are up. Manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday that Gregg has yet to resume throwing.
Gregg was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 14 with right elbow inflammation.
It would appear unlikely he will be ready to return next Tuesday when the Marlins are home facing the Nationals.• Derek Dietrich (right wrist strain) and Rafael Furcal (groin) also continue to mend on the DL. Neither has resumed baseball activities, Redmond said.
GOT YOUR NUMBER
Freddie Freeman says he has no explanation for it. Neither do Marlins pitchers.
Freeman, the Braves’ first baseman, went 0 for 5 on Monday and is 2 for 41 this year against Marlins pitching entering Tuesday.
“They’re just catching me at the right time I guess,” Freeman said. “Sooner or later I’ll come out of it, but I guess they’re just catching me when I’m terrible.”
Said Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler, who started Monday’s game for the Marlins: “The league has the same scouting report [on Freeman] as we do. I don’t think we’re doing anything that other teams aren’t trying to do. We know he’s going to get hot at some point.”
COMING UP:• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-5, 4.08 ERA) at Atlanta Braves RHP Ervin Santana (8-6, 4.03), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (6-5, 2.64) at Braves RHP Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.36), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.