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Red Sox were also thinking about acquiring Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes

05.01.13 at 8:20 pm ET
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The Red Sox had interest in acquiring Josh Johnson. (AP)

TORONTO — The Red Sox weren’t willing to execute the same offseason strategy employed by the Blue Jays, and that’s why Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes are calling Canada their home. But that didn’t mean the Sox didn’t try and get the pair.

According to major league sources, the Red Sox had conversations with the Miami Marlins about potentially acquiring both Johnson and Reyes (with a willingness to include Emilio Bonafacio if needed). But with the likelihood that top prospect Xander Bogaerts would need to be included in any such deal, the Red Sox weren’t willing to further talks with Miami.

Speaking before the Blue Jays’ game against the Sox Wednesday night, Johnson said he hadn’t heard anything about Boston’s interest in the offseason, but wouldn’t have been surprised if something went down at the non-waiver trade deadline.

“In the offseason, I wasn’t even thinking about it at all,” Johnson said. “I thought we would have most of the guys there (in Miami), or least me there, until the All-Star break or so. That’s what I had in my head.

“But during the (2012) season I had my wife on high-alert, saying, ‘If something goes down we’ve got to be able to move pretty quick.’ I was hearing a lot of stuff. But ding the offseason, I wasn’t hearing one thing. My agent never said anything. Even when the trae went down he was like, ‘Let me see if this is real or not.’ But by then it was already on MLB Trade Rumors and stuff.”

Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, Johnson had done some leg-work on what it was like to work for the Red Sox.

“I had a good buddy on the team, Cody Ross. Just talking to him, he said I would love it,” said the pitcher, who played with Ross with the Marlins. “We went to dinner when (Boston) was in Miami. There was just small talk, joking around, like, ‘You would like it here.’ Stuff like that.”

While Reyes (who is likely out until the All-Star break with a severely sprained ankle) is signed through 2017, Johnson will be eligible to become a free agent after the ’13 season. So, with Ross’ endorsement, does the 29-year-old believe he would like it in a place like Boston?

“Everything I’ve heard about it, everybody likes it,” said Johnson, who has been hampered by triceps soreness while compiling a 6.86 ERA in four starts with Toronto. “I don’t see why not. You always want to go to a good baseball town wherever you’re at. That’s a pretty good one.”

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