Jim Johnson has gone from being the American League’s top closer in 2013 to being a mop-up man in Oakland in 2014.
For Oakland A’s demoted closer Jim Johnson, WAR is hell. Specifically, his -0.9 WAR in what’s been a hard-to-watch collapse by the man who led the American League with 50 saves last season with the Baltimore Orioles.
In the past two decades, no pitcher has led his league in saves one season and followed that up with a worse WAR than Johnson is currently sporting.
In the offseason, the A’s front office left some people scratching their heads when the small-budget team traded for Johnson and his $10 million contract despite having young, cheap potential closers Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Dan Otero already on the roster.
Johnson stumbled right out of the gate with Oakland, coughing up five runs on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts in just one inning of work over the first two games of the season.
Fast forward to the All-Star break and Doolittle is confidentl...