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Josh Johnson won't be cheap

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As the speculation keeps going about whether the Marlins will be able to retain the services of Josh Johnson, here is the latest.

"They have said they want to try to get something done in the offseason, but I've also made it clear what my feeling is about what his value is," said Matt Sosnick, Johnson's San Francisco-based agent.

"He'd like to stay in Florida, but they're probably going to have to really bust out of their [financial] comfort zone to make it happen."

The next two seasons combined, Johnson, through arbitration, would likely make somewhere around $15 million. Where it gets tricky is assigning a price for his free-agent seasons. Don't look for Johnson to give the Marlins a break on those free-agent years the way Hanley Ramirez did.

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"Josh is a pitcher who is absolutely unaffected by the economy," Sosnick said. "Whatever the economy is, there are four or five teams that would pay him $20 million a year to go play for them five or six or seven years.

"Josh is not going to make a bad deal. They're going to have to make a market deal for him, and it just so happens that in this case a market deal for this player is going to be somewhat precedent-setting. Once again, it doesn't make it right or wrong on the Marlins' part, but it doesn't seem like that follows into their past strategy of doing business."

This isn't pregame posturing to improve ones position, Mack Sosnick is very forthright and true to his word, this is the deal once Johnson hits free agency.  This is going to prove interesting.  Paying a pitcher that much money for that long of a time period is one tough contract to accept.  That is, unless, you are one of the teams with seemingly unlimited funds.  Pitchers tend to get hurt which makes some clubs hesitant in inking such a deal.  For example: in Atlanta's heyday of Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine they wouldn't sign any of them to a contract lasting more than three-years.

Josh Johnson is great, but that is a lot of money to tie-up in just one pitcher.  Like I said, this will be interesting.