Johnson's $39M contract finalized
MIAMI -- Pitcher Josh Johnson and the Florida Marlins have finalized their $39 million, four-year contract, announcing the deal at the construction site of the ballpark they expect to move into by 2012.
Florida reached the agreement last week, just days after the Marlins pledged to increase payroll spending in response to complaints from the players' union.
The right-hander gets $3.75 million in 2010, $7.75 million in 2011 and $13.75 million in both 2012 and 2013.
"I'm excited,'' Johnson told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick last week after he agreed to the new deal. "It sets up me and my family for life. One of the best parts is knowing where I'm going to be the next four years. I won't have to hear about any trade rumors or anything like that. I'm happy to be in South Florida.''
Johnson was an All-Star last season, going 15-5 with a 3.23 ERA in 209 innings.
The frugal Marlins will have their long-sought home in 2012, and they're starting to spend more money in anticipation of the move.
The Marlins have even decided they can afford Dan Uggla. Team president David Samson said the team won't trade its slugging second baseman, who agreed Monday to a $7.8 million, one-year contract.
"We're going at 2010 with the team we have now," Samson said.
That means a payroll of about $45 million, an increase of more than 20 percent from last year's $36.8 million opening-day figure, which was the lowest in the major leagues. It would be Florida's largest payroll since 2005.
Samson declined to make a commitment regarding payrolls in 2011 and 2012, saying they will depend in part on whether the Marlins incur cost overruns for the ballpark project.
But Samson said it's reasonable to envision the Marlins in the middle of the major league pack in spending, which would have put them around $80 million last year.
"We're not a small-market team," Samson said. "This is a large market in Miami. We're a low-revenue team."
The Marlins expect revenue and attendance to improve at the new ballpark, which is on schedule to be completed for opening day 2012.
The franchise recently reached an agreement with the players' union to increase spending in the wake of complaints the payroll has been so small as to violate revenue sharing provisions. But Samson denied the decisions regarding Johnson and Uggla stemmed from the agreement with the union.
"I did not go to bed a single night this offseason thinking Dan Uggla was not going to be in our lineup," Samson said. "We wanted to do everything we could to build on last year as we're heading into the new ballpark and get momentum."
Despite the tight budget, Florida went 87-75 in 2009 and finished six games behind NL champion Philadelphia in the East.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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