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Josh Johnson underwent surgery to remove bone spur in elbow

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Josh Johnson heads to free agency recovering from a terrible season and elbow surgery.
Josh Johnson heads to free agency recovering from a terrible season and elbow surgery. (USATSI)

Soon-to-be free agent starting pitcher Josh Johnson underwent successful surgery to remove "loose bodies" and a bone spur in his right elbow Tuesday, the Blue Jays announced. He's expected to be ready for spring training, but this is still interesting due to his contract status.

Johnson's contract is up after the 2013 season, so he's almost certain to hit the free agency market. Even if the Blue Jays eventually bring him back, he'll likely be allowed to test the waters.

Johnson, 29, is an interesting free agent case. He's coming off an utterly dreadful season and now surgery on his pitching elbow. He's previously had Tommy John surgery and also had a season ended after just nine starts due to shoulder inflammation.

When he's healthy and pitching to his ability, however, he resembles an ace. The two-time All-Star led the NL with a 2.30 ERA in 2010 before beginning the 2011 season 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. But, again, his season ended after nine starts due to his shoulder injury.

And in 2013, Johnson was 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 16 starts. In different parts of the season, he dealt with shoulder, forearm, knee and blister issues.

Expect an incentive-laden deal for Johnson with low years and guaranteed dollars.

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