More On The Newest Cub, Reed Johnson

So the Cubs' Extra Righthanded-Hitting Outfielder spinner stopped and it landed on...former Toronto Blue Jay, Reed Johnson. The Cubs signed the 31-year-old Johnson to a one-year contract on Tuesday, in time for Johnson to make his Cactus League debut this afternoon against the Giants. (He went 2-for-5.)

Johnson was a 17th-round pick of the the Jays in the 1999 amateur draft and spent his entire professional career in the Toronto system. The Riverside, California native has five Major League seasons under his belt, the best of which was 2006, when he appeared in 134 games, hitting .319 with 12 homers and an OPS+ of 124. He missed more than three months last season recovering from back surgery.

Defensively, Johnson started 410 games in the Jays outfield, half of them in left, about 40% in right, and the remaining handful in center. His Defensive Zone Ratings have been solid if not spectacular.

Cathal Kelly, writing Sunday for the Toronto Star:

Reed Johnson's nine years in the Blue Jay organization ended this morning. The club released him.

One minute he was there in his civvies saying goodbye, and then he was gone. He will receive a $546,000 (U.S.) cheque as a parting gift - one-sixth of his planned $3.275 million salary.

The winner in the left-field battle, Shannon Stewart, wasn't doing any crowing. He referred to Johnson as a "close" friend and seemed shocked that he'd been cut.

Even GM J.P. Ricciardi seemed rattled by the decision. "Today wasn't a fun day for me, telling that to somebody I personally like and professionally like," Ricciardi said.

But Johnson will find work quickly, most likely as a fourth outfielder on a National League club... Here's wishing him all the best. He was one of the good ones and will be missed.


aaaawww, how sweet of them to offer up such kind words. he must be a swell guy. here's hoping he's worth that albatross contract of his!!

message put in wrong reply box. moved.

all 3 OF slots, a plus arm, can hit the lefties, and wont whine about bench work...looks like hendry got his guy without giving up anything but a roster spot and some doughnut money.

absolutely exciting as mud.

WOOO!!!! 4TH OF'RS!!!!


all 3 OF slots, a plus arm, can hit the lefties, and wont whine about bench work...looks like hendry got his guy without giving up anything but a roster spot and some doughnut money.

absolutely exciting as mud.

WOOO!!!! 4TH OF'RS!!!!

lol... if anyone was looking for some perspective on this acquisition, see above.

I like the new addition to the site.

Gotta love this signing. The guy seems to provide exactly what we were looking for in a 4th outfielder. He has been successful in batting lead-off, he is great in the field and plays hard. I'm amazed this guy didn't show up in a steroid investigation or the Mitchell report.

For those who don't live here, so far the brutal winter keeps on coming - forecast for Opening Day: low 40's, heavy sleet/thunderstorms. Whomever keeps coming up with these inane schedules for cold - weather teams should be drawn and quartered, the Cubs are again playing way too many games at home this early in the season. Let's play snowball!

Cintron was Released?

Cedeno told he made the team, Cintron no longer in camp.

Last spot down to Murton or Fontenot and basically comes down to whether they want an lefty infielder or a righty outfielder.

Actually... that link says this:

That leaves the last spot for Mike Fontenot as the Cubs decided to go with an extra infielder over an extra outfielder. The Cubs will bring five outfielders to Chicago, including two reserves in Daryle Ward and Reed Johnson.

It was a tough decision for Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella, since both Fontenot (who hit .255 this spring) and Murton (who hit .345) made contributions to last year's division-winning team.

Murton will be sent to Triple-A Iowa or traded.

That sucks.

they must have updated it after they posted originally said they were still deciding.

Keeping a second middle-infielder (Mike Fontenot) will allow Piniella to move Mark DeRosa around to other positions as needed, just as would have been the case if the Cubs had acquired Brian Roberts. The only difference is that now DeRosa will be the #1 second-baseman when he isn't playing another position, instead of sitting on the bench as would have been the case if the Cubs had acquired Roberts.

I would think Murton will get traded rather than sent back to AAA, and Hendry will probably want a proven MLB LOOGY and a younger version of Murton (a young outfielder with a similar profile as Murton's who can be sent to AA or AAA without creating hard feelings) back in the deal.

As far as the Cubs releasing Alex Cintron rather than sending Fontenot to AAA, I would imagine it was based mainly on the Cubs desire to save a few hundred thousand bucks by releasing Cintron before the start of the season. Fontenot is simply the cheaper option, and it gives Uncle Lou two lefties (Ward and Fontenot) and two righties (Johnson and Cedeno) to hit off the bench.  


Recent comments

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  • I am going tonight, so I am not ok with that.

    But, maybe Hendrix will give his patented solid 5 before Richard or Wood comes in...

    One can hope.

  • if you save the lumber from your constant trips to the cross you can build your very own safe space to view my posts.

  • @billybucks you speak the truth and it's precisely what me and others have been saying for over a year. It's an unfortunate hitch in his game, one that seems correctable, but so far has not been corrected. Also a hitch that is going over 3 seasons now and no one has been able to truly exploit in any meaningful way (except sort of the Royals in that Wild Card game although they stole plenty of bases off the other pitchers in that game and the rest of the playoff teams the rest of that run).

  • AZBOBBOP: Nothing new on Oscar de la Cruz. Still shut down with elbow issues.

  • I nominate Sean Rodriguez.

  • who's this guy being all reasonable and stuff?

    pick someone on the board who's literally worse than hitler and start screaming about it. cubs 2016!

  • It's not pathetic -- it's what we've been waiting for!

  • Yikes -- I was off the site for a short while and it blew up.

    Gentlemen -- it is apparent that Lester has a weakness in his game. Everybody knows about it. He has, apparently, tried to work on it, but without success. Fortunately, he is talented enough that he is able to largely overcome his shortcoming.

    I am amazed that other teams don't try to bunt on him, but, as has been said, bunting is not a skill many players have.

  • Interesting that Hendricks is going tomorrow -- so, he wasn't really "skipped", just moved back a few days so Jake and Lester could deal against the Pirates. I'm OK with that.

  • PHIL: Thanks for your updates.

    One thing that we are seeing come to bear is that Theo's obvious strategy has been to stockpile young, power arms in the lower levels while owning bats that are much nearer to MLB ready - then, buying the arms the org needs in order to be highly competitive.

  • It's fun to watch the cards shit the bed anytime of the year

  • I really thought he would be the one getting the call-up. This must be a favor to the player from Theo.

  • I'm already scoreboard watching and it's only the start of May. How pathetic is that?

  • Glad to see Hudson having another good outing. He is so impressive for an 18/yo. Surprised to see Shane V. still there. I thought he would be gone this week. I can picture today. Thanks Phil!

  • stats don't lie. *nods*

  • 2016 Cubs are 0-1 on day after Trans recaps, 20-5 in other games. I enjoy his recaps, but there is a price to pay.