Indians Sign Nick Johnson

The Indians, perhaps seeking a midseason OBP boost, officially signed first baseman/DH Nick Johnson to a minor league deal today.  Johnson will earn $750K if he makes the team, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  The Indians have a $2.75MM option for 2012, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).

Rex Gary, Johnson's agent, recently explained to MLBTR that his client is "heading in the right direction" after being limited to 24 games last year due to a wrist injury. Though Johnson probably won't be ready for the beginning of the season and can't swing a bat all-out at this point, he should be ready soon after the season starts.

Johnson, 32, has a .401 on-base percentage over the course of a nine-year career that's seen him hit the disabled list nine times. If Johnson can recover from the wrist operation that sidelined him for most of the 2010 campaign, the Indians will have added a cheap on-base specialist to contribute at first base and DH when Matt LaPorta and Travis Hafner are rested.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement on Twitter.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


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54 Comments on "Indians Sign Nick Johnson"


drjayphd
4 years 5 months ago

Point of order, that should probably be “Indians’ 60-day disabled list signs Nick Johnson”.

Tpifer78
4 years 5 months ago

That deserved a “Bazinga”

fpz
4 years 5 months ago

If it was a major league deal.

4 years 5 months ago

Indeed. But even if Johnson does get healthy enough to make a contribution, he wouldn’t be much more than a role player. It’d be nice to have a guy on the bench with a .400+ OBP

4 years 5 months ago

If he’s going to perform his annual “What Will Nick Johnson Break This Year?” trick, he might as well do it in the obscurity of Cleveland at this point.

4 years 5 months ago

The ratings for that show were so bad it is no longer on in a big market lol

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 5 months ago

5 bucks on the Kendry Morales “celebrate until you break” technique.

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 5 months ago

I got 10 bucks on the Russell Braynan “tango with the curtian” and the Chris Coghlan “twist and pie”.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 5 months ago

Still open is the Geoff Blum “How do I put on a shirt” injury.

TartanElk
4 years 5 months ago

Still to come, John Smoltz’s seminal “Ironing boards are for chumps”

Bust A Posey
4 years 5 months ago

Don’t forget Kent and washing his truck.

wickedkevin
4 years 5 months ago

$10 on the Joel Zumaya guitar hero injury!

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

How about Slammin Sammy’s “voilent sneeze”

4 years 5 months ago

does any1 remember the khailile greene “anger issues” injury?

4 years 5 months ago

If he can stay healthy…..hahaha…almost typed that without laughing.

Not sure where he fits in with Pronk and Laporta. Even if he COULD stay healthy, where would he play? And he’s not going to get you any prospects at the deadline…

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 5 months ago

Sound like the Indians are doing the “sign and trade midseason for prospects” to rebuild the team. I guess the Pirates forgot to ca and let them know it does’nt work.

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 5 months ago

I thought he would go on Danceing with the Stars, i heard they were going to have a “break” danceing episode.

dc21892
4 years 5 months ago

I’d love to see this guy healthy for a couple straight seasons.

Motor_City_Bombshell
4 years 5 months ago

I think Betty White might be more durable than Nick Johnson at this point.

No but on a serious note, why sign a guy now who isn’t going to help you until May when it’s obvious no one was going after him anyway.

fpz
4 years 5 months ago

It’s a minor league deal. No real risk imo.

Motor_City_Bombshell
4 years 5 months ago

I don’t see the risk either, I’m just saying, they signed him rather early for a guy who’s rehabbing. I guess I’m one to talk if he passed his physical though.

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 5 months ago

She did take one hell of a hit in that snickers commercial.

Motor_City_Bombshell
4 years 5 months ago

And she took it like a champ.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 5 months ago

Nick Johnsons body is about as stable as Charlie Sheen’s mind at this point!

wickedkevin
4 years 5 months ago

Except that Charlie Sheen’s mind says he is living the dream and Nick Johnson’s body says he is lucky to be walking.

4 years 5 months ago

Nick Johnson: “I am typing this message to MLBTR readers to let them know that I am going to play the entire seas…”(Breaks his pinkie. On 60 day DL).

YanksFanSince78
4 years 5 months ago

I guess Nick will be a safety insurance if LaPorta doesn’t work out. LaPorta will be the safety net when Nick goes back on the DL. The circle of life.

MFH
4 years 5 months ago

Over/Under for the amount of games he plays is set at 1.

bjsguess
4 years 5 months ago

At this point I’m not sure Johnson adds any value – even if he is healthy.

His power appears to be completely gone. A 400 OBP is very nice but when you slug like Chone Figgins, run like Bengie Molina, stay healthy like … well, like Nick Johnson, and require a spot at either 1st base or DH I’m not seeing a ton of upside.

It’s not a bad deal by any means. Just unfortunate that someone so talented has become just a shell of his former self.

geolink2349
4 years 5 months ago

Teams just don’t learn…

4 years 5 months ago

At least they didn’t offer him a big league contract.

feztonio
4 years 5 months ago

How nice. the Indians must have a new HMO and alot of spare cash to spend on doctors and medical procedures. I’m guessing sometime around tuseday of next week Johnson will make his annual year ending trip to the DL to have some part of his body surgically repaired. So thankfully for Nick he will have some MLB insurance to cover his hospital time

kipnis4040
4 years 5 months ago

why be negative. hes on a minor league contract if he passes his physical. go watch the reds

sportsnut969
4 years 5 months ago

This is not about the Indians as much as it’s about Nick Johnson.

Johnson probably looked over the league to see where he had the best shot of being called up by May and saw the Indians as the best location with the Haf Man Haf once a ball player in the now singles hit in Hafner. And then he look at the much overly hyped prospect stiff at 1st in LaPorta then he saw the outfield backups you have the Drunk – Kearns with his leagal issues, you have Shelly ( my dad gave me a girls name at birth ) Duncan the clutsy outfielder, then he saw that Sizemore was not going to be ready for opening day and Crowe go down and said this is the place for me.

4 years 5 months ago

How bout former SF Giant 3B Chris Brown “Eye Lash” injury?

4 years 5 months ago

I really like what chris antonetti has done with the tribe in his short time, at the helm. He has been quite busy, i can’t remember a time as an indian fan in my life span, (24 years) of so many players from outside the organization joining the team via free agency. not to mention we worked on deals with choo, asdrubal and chris perez, 3 of the teams best players, arguably there 3 best. (all came via trade)

4 years 5 months ago

– Trevor Crowe, Michael Brantley, Grady Sizemore.. all 3 , are question marks going into 2011… so he signed Austin Kearns
-Carlos Santana and Lou Marson as well question marks, no 1 questions santana’s talent though. He signs Luke Carlin and Paul Phillips, Because Lou was more of a question, becuase of his bat his defense is grade a! and to be safe we might need another backup catcher. also a vet working with lou like Sany alomar is genius. paul phillps is a vet aswell. I liked the jason bere vet signing to help with younger pitchers. some other vet was signed too cant remeber who but he will help with the young players as well.
-2b/3b utility infiled.. infield defense.. has been a situation everyone is aware of, jack Hannahan adam everett, orlando cabrera were signed to figure it out, obv cabrera will be 2b? well not obv but he is lol. he prob covers the utility part too but, time will tell.
-The bull pen is pretty solid, they need a middle guy thoughjust to be on safe side, they sign chad durbin.
-The Indians will receive infielder Matt Lawson in return for Laffey, according to a team press release. Seattle will also send cash considerations to the Tribe, according to their Twitter feed.

Lawson has mostly played second base, but has also seen some time in the outfield as well as at shortstop. The Indians’ press release refers to the 25-year-old as an “infielder/outfielder”. In 118 games at the Double-A level last season, Lawson hit .293/.372/.439 with nine homers.

I LOVE DEALING WITH THE MARINERS!!! = choo, asdrubal, :)

kipnis4040
4 years 5 months ago

So, Asdrubal Cabrera .280 – .300, (Grady Sizemore), Shin Soo Choo .300 avg .400 obp, Carlos Santana .400 OBP, (*Travis Hafner15-20 HR/Nick Johnson.400 OBP*), Orlando Cabrera .280, (matt laporta 20+ HR/ Nick Johnson OBP .400) Michael Brantley 25 SB, .. i reallly like every spot in the line up every night but 3B really doesn’t have a offensively above avg. player.

kipnis4040
4 years 5 months ago

sportsnut wasnt to blunt about , but he was right lol