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.

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Comments

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!!

-edit-
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!!!!

crunch:

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?

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

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 it....it 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.  

 

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