Marlins sign Chris Johnson
By Mark Laming
With a day already filled with Marlins activity, the Marlins are expected to sign veteran third baseman Chris Johnson according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Johnson spent the beginning of the season with the Atlanta Braves before being dealt to the Cleveland Indians towards the tail end of the 2015 season. Johnson has split his baseball career between the Indians, Diamondbacks, Braves, and Astros.
Unfortunately, Johnson has been anything but a force at the plate in reason years and has ended the previous two seasons with a negative WAR. 2013 was Johnson’s best season ending with a 2.5 WAR and a 127 WRC+ which are respectable numbers.
2015 was a disaster for Johnson, he was unable to establish any sort of positive momentum and slumped through the season which ended up with him being dealt in a deal that involved Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Declared one of the worst contracts in baseball, the Indians took him on just to run out the final year of his deal and shed his large salary.
Johnson’s role with the Marlins will be that of a veteran presence and utility infielder. Coming off the bench, Johnson will more than likely spend time backing up Martin Prado and Justin Bour as he can play both first and third base. This is Johnson’s biggest asset to the Marlins and probably the main reason for the signing. He could be the utility infielder the Marlins have been searching for since the offseason began, and he could be a good influence on the Marlins still young and developing locker room.
Overall this is a solid signing for the Fish. Johnson has proven he can be a decent bench player and could be used in spot-situations to relieve Martin Prado and Justin Bour for a day or two and that will be a tremendous asset for the Marlins in 2016.