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Josh Johnson rumors: Johnson wants to play for Giants or Padres

Tom Szczerbowski

Free agent pitcher Josh Johnson wants to pitch for the Giants or Padres because they're near his home in Las Vegas, Hank Schulman tweets.

Industry sources tell me FA starter Josh Johnson let the and know early on they were his first choice, close to Vegas home

San Francisco isn't all that near to Las Vegas, but it's a lot closer than Pittsburgh is. There haven't been any actual rumors connecting Johnson to the Pirates, but Bucs fans have speculated about him a lot, in part because he seems like the sort of buy-low candidate the Pirates might seek to get cheaply.

If Johnson is going to be a bargain, though, he has to stay healthy. He had forearm and triceps issues last year, and the forearm issue might be a concern going forward. He also had elbow surgery in October. Johnson didn't have  a miserable 2013 season because he needed to make a few mechanical adjustments. He had a miserable season because he had arm issues (and because the BABIP gods smote him). That's not to say he won't bounce back, but he's risky.