Josh Johnson free agency: Royals interested in short-term deal

USA TODAY Sports

Despite having the worst season of his career in 2013, the Royals are thinking about a low-risk contract for Johnson.

The Kansas City Royals are looking to add some starting pitching to their roster with Ervin Santana likely leaving via free agency, and are showing interest in Josh Johnson, according to Buster Olney.

Johnson was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays before last season as part of the blockbuster deal that made Toronto preseason favorites. Unfortunately for Toronto and Johnson, the year was nothing short of a nightmare. Johnson pitched in only 16 games, posting a 6.20 ERA, .307 BAA and 1.66 WHIP, and his season ended with surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow.

Still, the Royals are looking at a one-year deal with Johnson. It would be stunning considering his performance in 2013 and injury history if a team offered more than that, giving the Royals a real chance of bringing him in. Johnson has made 30 appearances only three times in his nine-year career, but there have been seasons where he's been brilliant -- the last came in 2010, however, when he finished fifth in the NL Cy Young vote thanks to a 2.30 ERA in 28 starts.

In a perfect world, Kansas City would ink Johnson, team him with James Shields, and get a healthy year out of a very motivated pitcher.

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