M’s Extend Johjima
Well, this is a bit surprising – the M’s have locked Kenji Johjima up through the 2011 season. No financial details to report, but I was told that this was “a good deal” for the M’s. Considering that Johjima took less money to play in Seattle initially, it’s not a huge surprise that he’d take a below market deal to stick around.
Despite his early struggles, he’s still an above average catcher right now, but I do wonder how much he’ll have left to contribute beyond 2008. Signing him through his age 35 season is a classic M’s move, as they consistently show willingness to have bad long term contracts in exchange for some short term rewards.
The bigger news is that this almost certainly means that Jeff Clement’s days behind the plate are numbered. The M’s wouldn’t have extended Johjima if they were optimistic that Clement was anywhere close to being ready (in their opinion) to be behind the plate regularly. Johjima’s extension means Clement’s going to end up at 1B or DH, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the organization start trying him out at first base in Tacoma in the not too distant future.