Angels Sign Former Red Sox Lefty Brian Johnson to a Minor-League Deal, Provides Depth for the Rotation

Former Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson has signed a minor-league deal with the Angels. The news was first reported by Johnson’s independent league team, the Milwaukee Milkmen. Chris Cotillo of MassLive also confirmed the news from his personal Twitter page in addition to the Milkmen.

Johnson was a former first-round pick, No. 31 overall back in 2012 for the Red Sox. The 30-year-old spent his first nine seasons with the Red Sox. He posted a 4.74 ERA in 65 appearances, he made 26 starts over the course of four big-league seasons.

The left-hander was with the Red Sox alternate site last season. He was not on the Red Sox 40-man roster and hadn’t pitched since 2019 where he went 1-3 with a 6.02 ERA in 21 games for Boston. Johnson was released following his request last season.

Chaim Bloom granted Johnson’s request and he released the left-hander in order for him to find a better opportunity. Upon his release from the Red Sox, Johnson remained out of baseball for the remainder of 2020.

Depth for the Angels

The move gives the Angels additional pitching depth within their system. The Angels are 36-36 and are 7½ games behind the Astros and Athletics for first place. Shohei Ohtani has been the only bright spot for the Angels starting rotation. In 10 games he is 3-1 in 10 starts with a 2.70 ERA.

Johnson could provide depth for the Angels and potentially replace some of the arms not performing. The Angels will be getting back Jose Quintana back from the injured list, he was out due to shoulder inflammation.

The new Angels lefty will need to complete the league’s COVID-19 protocol and will join the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City.


This is not an earth shattering move for the Angels but he will provide depth for a team desperately needing quality pitching.

Ohtani has been the story for the Angels on and off the mound. Despite Ohtani’s success, the others around him in the rotation have not been sharp.

It is nice to see Johnson get an opportunity with another organization and hopefully he gets to pitch with Los Angeles. The former first-round pick never truly put it together at the big league level but will now get a chance in the minors again before possibly getting a call-up with the Halos.

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