Still hopeful to sign J.J. long-term

Efforts to reach a multi-year contract with Josh Johnson may have broken down a few weeks ago, but don’t rule out the Marlins trying to re-open negotiations.

Retaining Johnson for the long-term is an objective the Marlins would like to achieve.

One of the top right-handers in the National League, Johnson will turn 26 in January. He comes off a 15-5 season with a 3.23 ERA.

The 6-foot-7, 250-pounder was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time. The Marlins are open to working out a multi-year contract that would cover at least one year of potential free agency for the right-hander.

Johnson, who made $1.4 million in his first year of arbitration, could make around $4.2 million in 2010. He has two more seasons of arbitration before reaching free agency after 2011.

It’s also possible that even if Johnson signs a one-year deal for 2010 that the team would be open to work out an extension.

While there has been trade speculation regarding Johnson, the Marlins are determined not to trade their ace.

Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, also the subject of trade speculation, are locks to be at the front of Florida’s rotation in 2010. Florida has no intention to move either one.

Nolasco, also in his second season of arbitration, is projected to make close to $4 million.

— Joe Frisaro



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