JJ to Stay?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Our reaction 
From Jayson Stark:
After all that Josh Johnson talk, the Marlins were telling teams Monday they're just going to keep their ace unless something unforeseen happens. With 15 scouts watching closely Sunday, Johnson turned in a six-walk, four-whiff, five-inning start that one scout summed up with one word: "Uninspiring." So the Marlins are informing clubs they see more value in keeping Johnson, heading into his free-agent year, than trading him just to say they did.
Some fire sale, amirite?! This makes sense, though. JJ has not been nearly as effective this year as he was before elbow troubles sidelined him in 2011. Here are his ERA, FIP, and xFIP for the past three seasons (via Fangraphs):

2010: 2.30/2.41/3.02
2011: 1.64/2.64/3.32
2012: 4.04/3.06/3.56

Using xFIP minimizes the difference, but there is still an upward slope, which is likely scaring teams off. JJ is due $13.75 million in 2013, teams clearly don't want to pay that much (plus give up some good prospects) for anyone short of a sure thing. Add in the fact that Carlos Zambrano will likely walk this offseason, and it is easy to see why the Marlins don't want to lose the best pitcher in the 2013 rotation.

This could all change before tomorrow's 4pm EDT trade deadline, but I think we'd all be surprised if the Marlins move JJ now.


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