The Pittsburgh Pirates are among the three or four clubs that free agent starter Josh Johnson is considering signing with this winter, reports Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Johnson, 29, is reportedly on the market for a one-year deal to rebuild his value and several teams seem interested. The right-hander has been hampered by arm problems the past several seasons -- and lost significant velocity in 2013 -- but still has the upside of a top-flight starter.
Johnson's agent thinks that the veteran could sign somewhere soon, per Sawchik, and it won't necessarily be with the Bucs. The right-hander's stated wishes are to play (relatively) close to his Las Vegas home, with the Giants and Padres emerging as favorites among nearby locales.
Johnson owns a 4.52 ERA in 272⅔ innings over the last two seasons, but posted a 2.43 ERA in 453 innings in the three years before that. Whoever ends up signing Johnson will be putting money down on the hopes that the latter pitcher will show up for Spring Training in 2014.