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Former Orioles closer Jim Johnson signs one-year major league deal with Braves

Former Orioles closer Jim Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Former Orioles closer Jim Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. (Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports)

One year after the Orioles traded Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics, the first step in what became a nightmare 12 months for the former closer, he has found a home for 2015.

Johnson signed a one-year major league deal with the Atlanta Braves, the club announced Wednesday.

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Johnson, 31, posted back-to-back 50-save seasons for the Orioles in 2012 and 2013, leading the American League in saves both seasons.

Last Dec. 2, he was dealt to the Athletics in exchange for second baseman Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later who ended up being minor league catcher David Freitas.

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The move was made so the Orioles could shift their payroll as Johnson was projected to make around $10 million in his final year of arbitration.

Johnson lasted just four months in Oakland, losing the closer's role in April after just eight appearances with an 18.90 ERA in that span. From there, the Athletics struggled to find a role for Johnson and eventually released him Aug. 1. He was 4-2 with a 7.14 ERA in 40 1/3 innings with Oakland.

On Aug. 6, Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers and joined the major league club less than two weeks later. He had a 6.92 ERA in 13 innings with the Tigers.

The Orioles spoke with Johnson both times that he was available in the past four months. A reunion could have been possible if he was still available late this offseason and willing to sign a minor league deal, but the club really had no interest in signing him to a major league deal.

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