Jim Johnson Back With the Atlanta Braves!


Jim Johnson agrees to a one-year deal to come back to the Atlanta Braves after the club traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers near the MLB Trade Deadline.

Nearly one year to the day when the Atlanta Braves first acquired him, RHP Jim Johnson is back in Braves’ uniform after signing a one-year deal with the club. Johnson was part of the package the Atlanta Braves sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers in what was the Alex Wood/Hector Olivera deal near the MLB Trade Deadline last year.

In 49 games for the 2015 Atlanta Braves, Jim Johnson had a 2-3 record serving primarily as the club’s setup man in the first half of the season. When Closer Jason Grilli went down with a painful Achilles’ tear in Denver near the All-Star Break, Jim Johnson briefly served as the club’s closer before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

-= See Also: Ben Zobrist: Part of Atlanta’s Plan to Bridge to 2017? =-

Atlanta sold high on Jim Johnson who pitched exponentially better in Atlanta than he did for contending Los Angeles last year. Just look at the contrasting ERA+. In Atlanta, Jim Johnson boasted a 168 ERA+, while in Los Angeles he had a dismal 38. 100 is the base line for that statistical measurement.

More from Atlanta Braves

Johnson will gladly help bolster what became an atrocious Atlanta Braves bullpen after his trade to LA. Once Grilli went on the DL and Johnson went to the Dodgers, the only redeeming quality of the Atlanta Braves’ second half bullpen was new closer Arodys Vizcaino. He at least proved that he can close games at the big league level, but with so much losing he didn’t get many of those opportunities.

Jim Johnson will pitch in 2016 as a 33-year old. Last year’s stint in Atlanta did a world of good for him. He’s not the 50 save guy he once was in Baltimore (2012-13), but he can’t absolutely help the Atlanta Braves in the back-end of their bullpen.

This is a great low risk, high reward move for the Atlanta Braves. Jim Johnson could serve as both a setup man and a closer for the Braves as long as they are technically alive in the postseason picture. If he does well, Braves GM John Coppolella could again move Jim Johnson on an expiring deal to a contending team in need of bullpen help in return for another young asset or two in a packaged deal.

Next: Joc Pederson: Braves Talking Trade with Dodgers for OF?

Welcome back to Braves Country, Jim Johnson! Our terrible bullpen missed you!