My first fanpost. As I have been reading the discussions regarding offseason movement the one thing that has shocked me the most is a lot of people wanting either Scutaro or Johnson on the Jays next season. I don't want to talk about Scutaro because he still has an option with the Sox, and therefore may never even be an option for the Jays. However, Johnson is a realistic option. Ignoring what we cannot know (such as if he wants a short term or long term contract, how much money he will be offered per year, if he even likes Toronto) I was wondering if you think Johnson is a fit for the Blue Jays in the long term. I figure before the Jays make an offer to a player they first need to consider if they actually want the guy on the team.
Personally, I can't help but hate him as a player. Ignoring his offensive stats for a moment, he looks terrible at 2nd base defensively. A lot of people have been complaining about Hill's declining defence over the past two seasons, yet I think he looks like a gold glover compared to Johnson. I know UZR doesn't think Johnson is all that bad over the last three years, but my eyes tell me that Johnson's range is just plain awful. As AA has said, the positions in the centre of the diamond are premium defensive positions, and Johnson doesn't provide premium defence in the slightest.
From an offensive stand point he is better, but I am not sure he is what the Jays need at his position. Assuming he returns to his previous form, he can get on-base, but he does not hit for average or power particularly well. His LD%, FB%, GB% have not fluctuated at all really, so I assume what we see is what we get from that standpoint. I believe Johnson will bat closer to what he did in 2010 than he did in 2011. But that still is not good enough.
Looking at the Jays's competition in the AL East Johnson is quite honestly pathetic. Both Cano and Pedroia are top in the league at their position with the glove and the bat. I know it's hard to find players like Cano and Pedroia, but if the Jays want to compete in the AL East they need to be able to compete at every single position. Not only is Johnson worse offensively, but he is significantly worse defensively than both Cano and Pedroia. If the Jays do invest in Johnson long-term, they are leaving themselves a lot of ground to make up at other positions.
I am not trying to offer an answer to who is better for the Jays, or what the Jays should do. I think they need to explore the trade market, but it really is hard to know what is available. The bottom line to me is that in the AL East Johnson truly isn't good enough defensively or offensively to play 2B.
The conclusion I am left with is that if the Jays resign Johnson they are not committed to winning this year, which is fine if there is a plan for the future. If Johnson wants to sign a 1-year deal with the Jays, and the Jays believe he can make it to type-A status, that is a great signing for the future. But if you hoping the Jays have a shot next year, the way I see it, you better be hoping they get someone better than Johnson.
What do you all think? Regardless of the contract, does Johnson make the cut as a starting 2B in the AL East?