Miami doesn't mind picking up the phone a second time.
The Marlins are reportedly once again in former Oakland Atheltics closer Jim Johnson, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Miami made the A's an offer for Johnson before sending a draft pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for Bryan Morris.
While nothing was made official, it was noted the A's sought another player in addition to the draft pick in exchange for Johnson, who lost the closer job to Sean Doolittle after struggling early. With the draft pick gone, the Athletics are looking at Adam Conley among others.
Though they failed to pull the trigger on an earlier deal for A's reliever Jim Johnson, it appears the the Marlins continue to remain interested in Oakland's struggling former closer, according to sources. One player the A's have discussed with the Marlins as a possible trade return: Marlins minor league pitching prospect Adam Conley.
Johnson has saved 51 and 50 games over the last two seasons, respectively, and has posted a 6.25 ERA and 5.30 FIP in 40 and a third innings. He has had difficulty finding the strike zone at times, walking just over five batters per nine innings (5.13), but has been a strikeout pitcher for most of his career (6.25 K/9 in 2014).
Oakland thought they had a new closer when they acquired Johnson, who is in his third year of arbitration and eligibile for free agency after the season, from the Orioles.
It may take more to get a deal done, but if the Marlins feel confident they can have success with Johnson in the bullpen, including a prospect such as Conley in the deal would be fair. Conley, like Johnson, has struggled at times this season, pitching to a 3-5 record with a 6.00 ERA and 4.16 FIP.
Miami used the money it saved from the draft pick to sign Kevin Gregg, who is currently on the disabled list. The Marlins do have one of baseball's younger bullpens and limited bullpen depth, and trading for Johnson would add depth and experience.
The Marlins' interest in Johnson likely means the organization intends to hold onto closer Steve Cishek, who Jon Heyman of CBS Sports noted on Monday is drawing a lot of interest from teams around the league seeking inexpensive closing help.
Considering the fact the Marlins recently noted they were after a second baseman and starting pitcher before the deadline, the bullpen interest is a bit surprising. But if Miami is looking to make a push, another reliever to complement Morris, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos, and Cishek can't hurt.
Miami has yet to note whether it will be a buyer or seller come the deadline, and the reality may be somewhere in between. But if the Marlins are confident Johnson would be a quality addition, they may pull the trigger on a deal the second time around.