Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette would not comment on whether the club had any interest in reuniting with former closer Jim Johnson, whom Duquette traded to the Oakland Athletics in December.

The Athletics designated Johnson for assignment Thursday and, if he clears waivers, the sense is the Orioles would be interested in at least talking to him. Oakland had 10 days from Thursday to trade, release or ask waivers on Johnson.

“He’s under contract with another club,” Duquette said. ”So it’s not appropriate for me to talk about that.”

Johnson was a favorite of Orioles manager Buck Showalter because of his toughness and presence in the clubhouse, but there would not appear to be an immediate place in the bullpen for him.

If Johnson clears waivers and wants to return, it seems likely the Orioles would be willing to sign him to a minor league contract and work on getting him back to the form that made him one of the top closers in the game in 2012 and 2013.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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