ATLANTA -- Though they failed to pull the trigger on an earlier deal for A's reliever Jim Johnson, it appears the the Marlins continue to remain interested in Oakland's struggling former closer, according to sources. One player the A's have discussed with the Marlins as a possible trade return: Marlins minor league pitching prospect Adam Conley.
After posting 50-save seasons each of the previous two years for Baltimore, Johnson (see stats here) hasn't come close to matching his success in Oakland, which landed him in a trade with the Orioles in December but would now like to trade him before the July 31 deadline. Johnson has a 6.25 ERA and only two saves in 37 relief appearances for the A's, eventually losing the closer's role to Sean Doolittle.
Conley, the Marlins' second-round pick in 2011, has struggled this season at Triple A New Orleans. The left-hander has gone 3-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). Conley missed some time earlier this season with elbow tendinitis.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com, the Marlins and A's nearly had a deal in place early last month for Johnson. The Marlins would have sent their Competitive Balance pick in the draft (No. 39 overall) to the A's for Johnson, according to Rosenthal, before shifting gears and sending that pick to Pittsburgh for Bryan Morris, instead. The Marlins used the money the saved on that pick to sign Kevin Gregg.
Johnson is making $10 million this season, after which he becomes eligible for free agency.
It's looking less and less likely that Gregg will come off the disabled list after his 15 days are up. Manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday that Gregg has yet to resume throwing.
Gregg was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 14 with right elbow inflammation. But given the fact he hasn't thrown, it would appear unlikely he'll be ready to return next Tuesday when the Marlins are home facing the Nationals.
-- Derek Dietrich (right wrist strain) and Rafael Furcal (groin) also continue to mend on the DL. Neither has resumed baseball activities, Redmond said.
Freddie Freeman says he has no explanation for it. Either do Marlins pitchers.
Freeman, the Braves' first baseman, went 0 for 5 on Monday and is now 2 for 41 this season against Marlins pitching.
"They're just catching me at the right time I guess," Freeman said. "Sooner or later I'll come out of it, but I guess they're just catching me when I'm terrible."
Said Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler, who started Monday's game for the Marlins: "The league has the same scouting report (on Freeman) as we do. I don't think we're doing anything that other teams aren't trying to do. We know he's going to get hot at some point."
Marlins: 1. Christian Yelich 7; 2. Donovan Solano 4; 3. Giancarlo Stanton 9; 4. Casey McGehee 5; 5. Marcell Ozuna 8; 6. Jeff Baker 3; 7. Adeiny Hechavarria 6; 8. Jeff Mathis 2; 9. Jacob Turner 1.
Braves: 1. B.J. Upton 8; 2. Tommy La Stella 4; 3. Freddie Freeman 3; 4. Justin Upton 7; 5. Jason Heyward 9; 6. Evan Gattis 2; 7. Chris Johnson 5; 8. Andrelton Simmons 6; 9. Mike Minor 1.