A spring training that has been full of Orioles reunions has another one coming. Right-hander Steve Johnson, a Baltimore native and former St. Paul’s star, is back with the Orioles on a minor league deal.
The deal is pending a physical, according to an industry source, and does not include an invitation to major league spring training.
Johnson, whose professional career began in 2005 in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, first came to the Orioles in a 2009 trade for George Sherrill. He made his major league debut with his hometown team in 2012.
That year, Johnson went 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 appearances (four starts), and he made 15 more major league appearances with the club before he moved on after the 2015 season.
Johnson spent spring training with the Texas Rangers in 2016, but didn’t make the club, and landed with the Seattle Mariners. He had one long stint with the Mariners in the majors last year, compiling a 4.32 ERA in 16 relief appearances, and also posted a 2.05 ERA in 11 games with their Triple-A affiliate.
For his career, the 29-year-old Johnson has a 4.26 big league ERA in 76 innings (43 appearances) and a 4.10 lifetime minor league ERA.
The son of former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson finds himself back with the hometown team now, though he’ll report to minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park instead of major league camp. However, with a long spring still ahead and plenty of games thanks to the World Baseball Classic, he’ll likely get a look in a major league game before long.