Rob Johnson DFA’d

Dave · December 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners needed to clear a spot on the 40 man roster for Jack Cust today, and they’ve announced the move that will open a spot for him – they’ve designated Rob Johnson for assignment. This means the team has 10 days to trade or waive Johnson, but it gets him off the 40 man right now.

No matter how frustrating he was to watch at times, he’s nowhere near the most useless player on the 40 man – hello, Cesar Jimenez! – so I’m going to read between the lines and assume that this means the M’s are working on a deal to ship Johnson to another team. If they know they can get something done in the next few days, this just extends their window and keeps them from having to dump someone else off the 40 man before that trade is complete. With Miguel Olivo in the fold and Adam Moore still around, Johnson was ticketed for Tacoma in 2011. Perhaps another team felt they would be willing to give up a minor piece to get Johnson as a backup catcher, and the M’s and that team are simply trying to figure out what minor piece that should be.

I could be wrong. Maybe they’ll just end up waiving Johnson in a few days, but I doubt they really viewed him as the most expendable guy on the 40 man. He certainly wasn’t our favorite player, but he’s also not totally useless, especially for an organization that doesn’t have much in the way of high level catching depth in the minors.

Comments

37 Responses to “Rob Johnson DFA’d”

  1. lubin_cuban23 on December 13th, 2010 1:54 pm

    YESSSSS!! FINALLY! GREAT MOVE!

  2. IwearMsHats on December 13th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Any chance he gets outrighted?

  3. lubin_cuban23 on December 13th, 2010 1:56 pm

    NO BOOT HIM OUT!

  4. shortbus on December 13th, 2010 1:57 pm

    Be still my heart.

    Jiminez may be more useless (less useful?) than Johnson, but sweet Jesus do I hate watching Johnson play. For every passed ball that shows up in the stats I swear there are three dropped balls or balls that sort of “roll away” while Rob twirls in circles trying to find them while runners do the momba around the basepaths.

    Olivo’s rep isn’t much better, but at least he might pop a home run or a double now and then, and can gun some guys out for a change.

  5. Typical Idiot Fan on December 13th, 2010 2:01 pm

    Easy lubin. This isn’t Lookout Landing. The rooftops here aren’t for shouting.

    Honestly, I’m not sure Johnson wasn’t the worst person on the 40 man roster. I’m with you that I do not understand the team’s lovefest with Jimenez, but Johnson was a catcher who couldn’t catch, throw, or hit. What potential upside does Rob have now? What potential upside does Jimenez have? I’d have to give the nod to a lefty bullpen arm over a useless catcher.

  6. PositivePaul on December 13th, 2010 2:02 pm

    So funny seeing the USSM Twitter feed scrolling along:

    “RT @samdonnelley Rob is the Albert Pujols of “Hot Potato”. #GamesRobJohnsonIsGoodAt 243 days ago”

    “RT @gracefullypunk:he’d be great at Press Your Luck. Keeps landing on Whammies & just dances right along with them.#GamesRobJohnsonIsGoodAt 243 days ago”

    “Email submission: “Bad Mitt On”. #GamesRobJohnsonIsGoodAt 243 days ago”

  7. Carson on December 13th, 2010 2:03 pm

    “Listen, John. You come from a pitching background. I was a catcher, as you know. There’s this kid in Seattle…”

  8. gwangung on December 13th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Honestly, I’m not sure Johnson wasn’t the worst person on the 40 man roster

    Personally, I think it’d be a healthy debate to determine that (healthy for the debate, that is, not the Mariners).

  9. Chris_From_Bothell on December 13th, 2010 2:11 pm

    At last, the key remaining piece to the secret deal for Grienke is made available…

  10. msfanmike on December 13th, 2010 2:12 pm

    I mentioned yesterday that I thought this might be the direction the team would lean for their near term transaction requirement (pure speculation on my part) – and then someone talked me out of it by saying “it would never happen” because of a lack of organizational depth (which was hard to argue with).

    Either way, I am glad we won’t have to watch him play any longer, and overall … this is no loss whatsoever.

    The worst of the worst performers from last season are subject to being cast offs at any time. There are several more that could be shipped and/or shopped until Jack’s spleen has been fully vented.

  11. IwearMsHats on December 13th, 2010 2:13 pm

    At last, the key remaining piece to the secret deal for Grienke is made available…

    hah, I’m sure I’m not the only one secretly hoping he was a piece in a deal for Grienke.

  12. Liam on December 13th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Now that Wakamatsu and his coaching staff are gone there’s no one pushing to keep him on the roster anymore.

  13. vj on December 13th, 2010 2:43 pm

    WRT Jiminez, I see on fangraphs that as recently as 2008, he logged 34 innings in relief with a 3.60 FIP. Not exactly useless. I have no idea what happened since but I think calling him useless in an offhand remark didn’t improve your post in any way, Dave.

  14. Westside guy on December 13th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Wow, this is a shock – seems like not that long ago we were trying to understand Rob’s inexplicable hold on the organization’s heart.

  15. ivan on December 13th, 2010 3:15 pm

    I don’t understand why people are down on Jimenez while Garrett Olson remains on the roster.

  16. The Ancient Mariner on December 13th, 2010 3:52 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks this move might have been made to keep Johnson from bewitching Wedge the way he did Wakamatsu?

  17. Jordan on December 13th, 2010 4:08 pm

    and then someone talked me out of it by saying “it would never happen” because of a lack of organizational depth (which was hard to argue with).

    I stand corrected and I’ve never been so happy. Although, citing my reasoning above, now I wonder who the 3rd catcher will be, Quiroz no thanks.

  18. thurston24 on December 13th, 2010 4:55 pm

    I wonder if Johnson was the young person GMZ was talking about who he just took it for granted that he was on the big league club? It would be a great example of what Z would do if you didn’t put forth a lot of effort.

  19. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 5:01 pm

    I wonder if Johnson was the young person GMZ was talking about who he just took it for granted that he was on the big league club?

    I think it was Moore.

  20. JMHawkins on December 13th, 2010 5:17 pm

    RoJo seemed like a decent enough kid, just couldn’t hit or catch at a MLB level. Made it kinda frustrating.

    Now that he’s gone, I’m sure he’ll make the All Star game in a couple of years.

  21. Madison Mariner on December 13th, 2010 5:47 pm

    Not surprising to see RoJo go. Is it typical for most MLB teams to carry 3 catchers on their 40-man rosters? If so, maybe Jimenez will go sooner rather than later if we find another one.

    Or if we don’t, we can hope that Johnson clears waivers and is sent outright to Tacoma, and we re-sign him to a new minor league contract for 2011. He’ll be there if needed next year in that case and the M’s can purchase his contract and add him to the 40-man roster again.

    If he doesn’t clear waivers, or we actually find a trading partner, or clears waivers and is released, best of luck, Rob. Thanks for the memories. :)

  22. Duncan Idaho on December 13th, 2010 5:49 pm

    Make that zero catching depth in the minors at this point. Unless Brandon Bantz profiles to be something. Which I have not yet heard.

  23. Duncan Idaho on December 13th, 2010 5:53 pm

    And I too would like to thank Rojo for twice picking guys off third base in close games and for that one time he had a lead assuming bases clearing triple in Safeco. Three ‘good’ memorable plays in just about two seasons. You sir will be missed. Especially by the Rob ‘Passed Ball’ Johnson betting pool in Montana.

  24. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2010 6:32 pm

    Nothing like kicking a guy when he’s down. My gosh, it’s a good move. After it’s been analyzed, can’t we leave it at that instead of personalizing it? It’s not as though he was a known cancer on the ballclub. In fact, it seems to me he worked his butt off to be able to play last year after his numerous surgeries. He just didn’t play all that well.

  25. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 7:25 pm

    Nothing like kicking a guy when he’s down. My gosh, it’s a good move. After it’s been analyzed, can’t we leave it at that instead of personalizing it?

    Sorry, Rob’s Dad.

  26. SonOfZavaras on December 13th, 2010 7:35 pm

    I like Rob Johnson as a human. I come from Montana stock, too and would even allow him to date my sister, if I had one.

    But holy hell, the man can’t play major-league baseball. I don’t care how many built-in “injury excuse” passes you give the guy.

    Can’t hit, doesn’t have the bat speed. Can’t throw, doesn’t have the mechanics down. Can’t keep the ball in front of him, his hips are flexible as San Francisco bridge cables.

    He’s got an okay brain for the major leagues and what to do to win games…and that’s it. That’s probably his biggest asset.

    And his biggest accomplishment was that he somehow gave Felix Hernandez a comfort zone when working with him.

    Fifteen years from now, he’ll be Don Wakamatsu walking into his first press conference as the new skipper of a big-league team.

    And someone from an online site will then say “You know, I remember him kinda when he played, he probably just didn’t get a real chance as a big-leaguer….”

  27. 300ZXNA on December 13th, 2010 9:07 pm

    Fifteen years from now, he’ll be Don Wakamatsu walking into his first press conference as the new skipper of a big-league team.

    And someone from an online site will then say “You know, I remember him kinda when he played, he probably just didn’t get a real chance as a big-leaguer….”

    Ain’t that the truth. I actually do hope that he is able to hang around long enough in MLB that he can get onto the coaching track, I agree that he seems suited for such a role.

  28. Westside guy on December 13th, 2010 9:26 pm

    I expect RoJo will be just fine. He may not end up with the career he’d hoped, but being a catcher he’ll be given the chance to make a passable living playing a kid’s game over the next 10-15 years. That’s not a bad life, as Jamie Burke can probably attest.

  29. RRR on December 13th, 2010 9:55 pm

    Jack Z passed an assistant the DFA forms to sever ties with Jimenez. The assistant managed to let the forms fly right by him, a complete whiff, some would say.

    The new, humbled Jack Z, took it as a sign…

    See you Rojo, there is nothing wrong with being a AAA quality player with enough moxy to get some time in the big leagues. I know about 4 million males that would kill for that opportunity. Best of luck to you!

  30. MrZDevotee on December 13th, 2010 11:40 pm

    Breaking News-
    Cliff Lee turns down bigger dollars to return to Philly — for 5 years/$100 million.

    Yankees had offered 7 Years/$154 million.

    That warms my heart- as much as it breaks it.

    Classy guy.

  31. griffin on December 14th, 2010 12:19 am

    I was very excited when I saw the news on ESPN that he reached a deal with Philly. Hearing that he turned down money to back was icing on the cake.
    He leaves the division/conference, he leaves the Yankees! LOVE IT!
    When the Mariners are knocked out by the All-Star break, the Phillies again will be one of those teams where I say “hmm, I wouldn’t mind seeing them win it” And although I hate teams with the huge bucks that buy every good player, I like seeing this go down for Cliff.

  32. Evan on December 14th, 2010 9:01 am

    Under no circumsntances do I think Rob Johnson counts as “catching depth” – on this team or any other.

    Because he can’t catch. He’s the worst catcher in the history of baseball. He’s the only guy on the diamond who, if you throw the ball right at him, he doesn’t catch it.

  33. JMHawkins on December 14th, 2010 1:05 pm

    Well, this does pose a problem – what to do with the sculpture outside the Left Field entrance?

  34. brit_abroad on December 14th, 2010 2:14 pm

    For those of you advocating Jimenez to be DFA’d, check out Drayer’s latest blog post – http://mynorthwest.com/?nid=373. She states that players added to the 40 man roster to avoid rule 5 draft must be kept on the roster until spring and because of this the following players cannot be taken off the roster (only traded):

    OF Johermyn Chavez

    LHP Cesar Jimenez

    INF Alex Liddi

    RHP Josh Lueke

    RHP Yoervis Medina

    OF Carlos Peguero

    RHP Michael Pineda

    LHP Mauricio Robles

    RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

  35. DC on December 14th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Doumit!!!

  36. zackr on December 18th, 2010 3:25 pm

    crickets…

  37. Madison Mariner on December 21st, 2010 4:27 pm

    With 2 days left in the 10-day window since the DFA, the Mariners finally found a trading partner and have sent Rob Johnson to the San Diego Padres(our fierce rival!) in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations.

    Good job, Jack Z., for getting something for RoJo!

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