Mariners Kenji Johjima – 3.7
It seems like forever ago that Kenji Johjima was on the Mariners. It was 2006, and the Mariners had signed him to a 3yr/$16.5m deal. It ended up being a great value, and Johjima would rake his first two seasons on the team.
.289/.327/.442, 279 games. Those were his numbers during the first two seasons. There are a couple of things that I remember about him during his time year. He hardly ever walked and he hardly ever struck out. In fact, he had K% rates of 8.5, 8.0, 8.1 during his first three seasons, striking out at about 45% of league average. His walk rate was also minuscule, with league average being 8.5% and his rate being 3.7%.
He started off as a good defender too, and was actually an overall 2.8 and 2.5 WAR for Fangraphs during those two seasons, with WRC+ numbers of 105 and 101. It seemed like the Mariners had found great catcher. The only question was, for how long into his career could he do it?
He struggled in 2008, but the team would decide to bring him back and Johjima would actually sign a second deal with the Mariners. again, it would be for three years, but this time at $24 million. After a rough 2009 during his age-33 season, Johjima surprised the club by opting out of his final two years, leaving ~$16 million on the table, so that he could return to Japan to finish out his playing career there.