The closer question

The front office will have a very sensitive decision to make when it comes to closer Jim Johnson. His gaudy save totals the past two seasons could add a few million dollars to this year's $6.5 million salary in arbitration, so the club may need to move quickly to work out a one-year deal it can live with before it has to decide whether to tender him an arbitration-eligible contract. This wouldn't be an issue if Johnson had the same success ratio as last year, but his nine blown saves have raised enough questions that a $9 million salary after arbitration is understandably problematic. Prediction: He agrees to a deal closer to this year's salary and comes back next spring as the primary closer — but with a shorter leash.
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun
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