D-backs and Nick Johnson

A report that the D-backs are one of seven teams “in on” free agent first baseman Nick Johnson prompted some emails to me from fans wondering if this is true.

My best answer is it depends on what you mean by “in on”. I think that there is some interest in Johnson on the part of the D-backs and they have no doubt checked in with his agent. However, with Johnson set to make around $6 million or $7 million and maybe get a two-year deal, it seems hard to figure out how the D-backs could work him into their budget and still sign a fourth-starter.

You can certainly make a case that Johnson would be a good fit in Arizona, provided he stays healthy of course, but signing him would mean the D-backs either sign or acquire a lower-cost pitcher.

It brings up an interesting debate: Should the team focus on (i.e. spend its money on) solidifying the rotation, or are they better served trying to upgrade an offense that has been sub par the past few seasons.

It seems that right now their determination is to go the pitching route, particularly with someone who can eat innings, but of course things could change.
 

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