Tomo Nohka for the Nationals

Former Montreal/Washington pitcher Tomo Ohka is taking his talents to the American League signing a 1-year, $1.5 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Mlb.com’s article says Ohka could as much as $3 million in performance bonuses.  I would like to know what these bonuses are.  Finishing below a 4.50 ERA?  180 innings? 10 wins? 30 starts?

He’s joining a team that had one of the league’s best offenses last year and took second in the AL East, a shocking accomplishment considering the 1-2 stranglehold the Yanks and Sox have had for the past several years.

Ohka went 4-5 with a 4.82 ERA last season with Milwaukee, but injuries limited him to just 18 starts. A partial tear in his right rotator cuff kept Ohka on the disabled list from May 3-July 17, but the injury wasn’t severe enough to require surgery. He also suffered a hamstring strain late in the year. I’m worried right away about a pitcher who doesn’t require surgery for a partial rotator cuff tear. If he passes the physical, I guess it’s a moot point.

Washington traded Ohka to Milwaukee during the 2005 season. He had an 11-11 record with a 4.55 ERA in 40 games for the Brewers in 2005 and 2006. It had been rumored the Nationals were among a short list of teams rumored to be in the running for Ohka, a report that was refuted earlier this week. Last month, the Nationals offered Ohka a contract well below market value.

I’m not wild about average pitchers from the NL moving to the AL. I guess Ohka (48-57 lifetime with 4.04 ERA) soon will find out if his 1-year gamble pays off. If not, Washington can always take him back in 2008 at bargain basement prices.  Ohka would’ve been a decent option for the Nationals 2007 rotation-an actual veteran pitcher with big-league experience.  I guess that’s not part of the plan.

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