Marlins seek 'Colon deal' for Josh Johnson, but numbers and velocity raise red flags

With Marlins big right-hander Josh Johnson you hear two different stories about how much the Marlins are seeking.

In one story, the Marlins want a "Teixeira-like" package for Johnson, a reference to the enormous package the Braves gave up to Texas for Mark Teixeira.

In another, they want a "Colon deal," meaning the mega-trade where the Indians got Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips for Colon.

In either case, the Marlins might have to do a little fancy talking to get there, despite his most recent start where he pitched six one-hit innings and struck out none Braves in a 2-1 victory.

The Rangers, who want a frontline starter, are said not to be seriously involved after checking in, as they have a concern about his velocity, and also poiinted to an additional concern about his unflattering home-road split.

"He still doesn't have the same velocity as in the past," said an executive with another interested team. "Teams are going to have to give them help now and really pay for it if they want him."

Several other teams, including the Dodgers, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Royals and White Sox have been tied to Johnson, and the Marlins may benefit by the need oustripping the supply.

But others have noted how upset folks in the Miami area are to see three veterans, including Hanley Ramirez, traded already, and wondered whether Marlins people would risk further annoying the home crowd.

Which means that if they trade Johnson, to appease the fans they might have to get an enormous package that's been described, one that's beyond what a pitcher with a 6-7 record and 4.14 ERA warrants.

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