The Baltimore Orioles have decided not to sign their former closer, free-agent Jim Johnson, according to MASNSports' Roch Kubatko.
The news came just hours after the team invited him to its spring training complex to throw a side-session Monday, where he auditioned for his former employer. Johnson was 2001 fifth-round draft pick by the Orioles. The free agent pitched for six full seasons with the Orioles before being traded in 2013 to Oakland for second baseman Jemile Weeks.
After posting two consecutive 50-plus save seasons in 2012 and 2013, Johnson was also slated to close games for Oakland in 2014. While the Athletics had removed him from the closer position by the third week of the season, that expectation came to a formal end last week when Oakland cut Johnson after he posted a 7.14 ERA over 40 1/3 innings.
Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun had tweeted earlier Monday that the 10-minute bullpen session was thrown in front of former Orioles great Scott McGregor and had gone well.
Oakland is paying Johnson $10 million this season. It is not clear how much of that contract other teams interested in signing Johnson would be obligated to take on.
- Will Green