The Cascading Effects of the Jim Johnson Trade

If the Jim Johnson trade is going to be a good one, the follow up will be far more important than the actual return from Oakland (Jemile Weeks and a PTBNL).  

The Orioles now have approximately $80 m tied up after arbitration raises.  Many have been operating under the assumption that the organization will enter the 2014 season with roughly a $100 m payroll.  With Johnson that would have meant $10 m to spend on acquisitions.  Now the Orioles presumably have a little more cash - perhaps $20 m - to spend this offseason.  That's significant.

For example, the Orioles could theoretically sign a starter for $10 m, resign Nate McLouth for $5 to $6 million, and have money left over for either a closer or a LH designated hitter option.  It is hard to argue against that being a better use to the team's budget.  Of course, it is now up to the Orioles to use their savings in a constructive manner.

If nothing else, the acquisition of Weeks also means that the team is done looking at 2B options this winter.  Ryan Flaherty, Weeks, and Cord Phelps provide the O's with enough options at that position (with Jonathan Schoop possibly being ready for a mid-season call up).  So to that end, the team has one less open roster spot to fill now bringing them down to LF, LH DH, and starting pitching.

If the Orioles wisely use the money saved by trading Johnson to address more pressing areas, this trade will be a win.  We probably won't know that for some time however.