Will Jim Johnson cash in at closer?


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I looked at the catcher position for positional rankings in the AL East. However, I realized that the rankings are an exercise of futility until free agency ends, because of how much things will change.

But one position that is certainly intriguing in the AL East is that of closer.  Mariano Rivera, who will go down as the best closer in history, has retired.  The Red Sox closer at the end of the year, Koji Uehara, was lights out when he took over the position and likely will be closing next year too.

The Jays don’t have one player entrenched at closer, and the Rays, well the entire bullpen is their most glaring weakness.  The arrow-firing Fernando Rodney struggled in 2013, but several other relievers for the Rays did as well.

Then there is Jim Johnson.  Johnson led the AL in saves each of the last two years.  But he also lost 8 games in 2013, and struggled in a number of other games.  But the performance isn’t so much of an issue.

Johnson made $6,250,000 in 2013.  He is arbitration eligible, meaning that he is likely getting a raise again this offseason, likely to something around $10 million.  Is he worth it?

That is literally the ten million dollar question.  Is a closer worth that kind of money when you have holes at two every day positions?

What do you think, should Jim Johnson, with the raise he is due, be the closer next year for the Orioles?