Miami adds R. Johnson to mix on Minors deal
Right-handed-hitting outfielder gets invitation to big league spring camp
The Marlins seemingly filled their need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder on Friday, signing veteran Reed Johnson to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Johnson, 37, hit just .244/.311/.341 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 74 games for the Braves last season. In parts of 11 Major League seasons, Johnson owns a .282/.339/.409 batting line while playing all three outfield positions.
Miami has been looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder since trading Justin Ruggiano to the Cubs in December, a deal that brought in the lefty-swinging Brian Bogusevic. The Marlins had been looking to fill that void before Spring Training begins on Feb. 16, as their roster is otherwise nearly set.
The Marlins already have Giancarlo Stanton in right field and Christian Yelich in left, with some uncertainty remaining in center field. Marcell Ozuna is coming off left thumb surgery, and Jake Marisnick underwent left knee surgery the day after the season ended. Although both young outfielders have recovered well, a veteran like Johnson -- who's previously played for the Blue Jays, Cubs, Dodgers and Braves -- could provide some insurance.
While his overall offensive numbers weren't particularly strong in 2013, Johnson did perform well as a pinch-hitter, batting .297 with an .801 OPS in 44 plate appearances off the bench.