Diamondbacks Acquire Chris Johnson

The Diamondbacks have acquired third baseman Chris Johnson from the Astros for minor league outfielders Marc Krauss and Bobby Borchering, the teams announced. Borchering, 21, was Arizona's first round pick in the 2009 draft while Krauss, 24, was taken in the second round of the same draft.

Johnson, 27, has a slash line of .279/.329/.428 with eight homers in 368 plate appearances this season. The right-handed hitter, who also played a handful of games at first base for Houston this year, won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season unless he qualifies for super two status this coming offseason.

The Diamondbacks dealt from an area from strength in this trade as they are rather deep in the outfield. While Krauss and Borchering were standouts at the Double-A level, they also have prospects Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock in Triple-A Reno. 

GM Jeff Luhnow continues to sell off Major League pieces as a part of the club's rebuilding effort. In the last ten days, the Astros have traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates, Brett Myers to the White Sox, and J.A. Happ to the Blue Jays.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


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95 Comments on "Diamondbacks Acquire Chris Johnson"


Tyler Sekula
3 years 5 days ago

Fire sale!

Bob Hulsey
3 years 5 days ago

The Astros are beyond fire sale. Now they are selling the embers.

grant77
3 years 5 days ago

Impressive haul for Houston, Johnson isn’t that good.

Brandon Stubbs Calvert
3 years 5 days ago

Does this make Stephen Drew more expendable??

James Attwood
3 years 5 days ago

Yes it does. Bloomquist can slide back over to SS and be backed up by McDonald. Wheeler and CJ can platoon 3B or Wheeler can go back down and Bloomquist can give CJ days off as needed.

3 years 5 days ago

It’s almost like the Astros are playing a video game

3 years 5 days ago

This is a pretty solid return for Johnson, who is solid with the bat but terribad on defense.

DerekJeterDan
3 years 5 days ago

Johnson became somewhat expendable when the Astros made the move to acquire Matt Dominguez. Johnson became a need for the Diamondbacks for the Dbacks following Ryan Roberts DFA. I like the package Houston received here, especially Bobby Borchering. He isn’t Chris Johnson from the Titans but he is posting a 1.2 OWar and should fit in in Arizona just fine. Hopefully we see some more under the radar deals.

3 years 5 days ago

I agree. I figured this was coming as soon as we picked up Dominguez. When the Padres listed Headley as crazy expensive i saw Johnson getting traded soon. If he ever stops K’ing so hard on the outside breaking ball he could be productive. He is a terrible defender though. Astros got a great return from a guy who is just now putting in his first full season in the MLB

Catztradamus
3 years 5 days ago

Borchering and Johnson went to the same high school.

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 5 days ago

Also, Luhnow moved Brett Wallace back to 3B. Wallace lost 30 lbs during the offseason and has not only been playing 3B but has made some spot starts at SS.

mgsports
3 years 5 days ago

This means Diamondbacks are going for it and think that Johnson is better then keeping Roberts.

coachofall
3 years 5 days ago

……and the D Backs are still looking for a third basemen

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

Johnson is a 1.1 WAR guy for 2012. I think AZ will be happy with that, given the people they gave up to get him.

3 years 5 days ago

I like this deal for Houston, they somehow keep getting good returns on their MLB players. First Miami, then Toronto, now Arizona…

richardb21
3 years 5 days ago

Luhnow does it again. Arizona you’ll have fun with CJ…and that’s all I’ll say about that… Love what we got though.

James Attwood
3 years 5 days ago

Dbacks clearly overpaid, but they had the extra capital to do it with. And quite frankly, the trade allows them to unload the cancer that is Stephen Drew while not sacrificing any performance at 3B.
As average at 3B as CJ might be, he’s as good as anything the Dbacks are running out there right now.

davbee
3 years 5 days ago

Not sure how much AZ really overpaid. Johnson has a career WAR of 3.0 in a little over three seasons. I doubt Krauss and Borchering end up with a career WAR of 3.0 combined.

davbee
3 years 5 days ago

Borchering is really struggling at Double A–.390 OPS and K-ing at a 33% rate. For his career Borchering K’s at about a 26% rate. If he could get it to 25% he could have a chance to make it as an mlb player, but he’s trending the wrong direction. AZ was smart to deal him now before he gets more widely exposed.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 days ago

starting to like the astros

Karkat
3 years 5 days ago

He means the 2015 Astros, guys.

Chuck Norris
3 years 5 days ago

The mother of all “Fire Sales” is ON!

sourbob
3 years 5 days ago

This is certainly an aggressive fire sale, but I’m not sure if I’d call it “The Mother of All Fire Sales,” if for no reason than they’re already nearly out of stuff anyone would want.

Ian Masterson
3 years 5 days ago

Yeah, I’d check back in a day or two. The Phillies should be starting the “Mother of All Fire Sales” before too long.

Randyh55
3 years 5 days ago

A decent return for an average bat and a below average defender.

Jerry Mandering
3 years 5 days ago

I guess they don’t like Wheeler that much after all. Weird.

James Attwood
3 years 5 days ago

They still like Wheeler. But he was called up earlier than projected and is learning the bigs the hard way. Getting CJ just means that Wheeler doesn’t have to produce to full expectations right now, today.
CJ is not the Dbacks long-term solution for 3B. But he is no worse than what has been on the field for the Dbacks the majority of the year. It’s likely that the off season brings another 3B to the team, or Wheeler finally figures it out.

Jerry Mandering
3 years 4 days ago

Good response. +1

stroh
3 years 5 days ago

As an Astros fan, sad to see Johnson go as he was a pretty good player, but really he profiles mostly as a long-term utility type – can play both third and first. The return they got from him – Borchering and Krauss is very impressive…..unbelievable, really.

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

You looking at the same Borchering/Krauss i am?

3 years 5 days ago

Two guys with a little upside for a guy with none? Odds are at least one of those guys will end up a good bench bat. Johnson hasn’t hit a home run outside of Houston since last season.

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

Id bet that Borchering adn Krauss combined dont add up to the 3.0 War of Johnsons career.

Kev
3 years 5 days ago

CJ’s defense has wiped out more than half of the WAR he has put up with the bat. D-Back fans need to realize that he is probably one of the three worst defenders at 3B among players who are full timers there.

davbee
3 years 4 days ago

At least Johnson is a bad defender on a major league roster. Borchering and Krauss–it would be hard to envision either on a major league team. Borchering, in particular. If he keeps K-ing at the 33% rate that he is now, he has no future in the bigs.

Kev
3 years 4 days ago

Sure, it’s hard to imagine most minor leaguers doing much of anything, because there’s such a high attrition rate, but if either one of these two does make it, he’ll be more valuable than Johnson.

I’ve watched CJ for his entire career. I have no idea why a team would give guys with upside for him. He’s barely replacement level for his career, and it wouldn’t shock me if his defense eventually zeros out his WAR. He’s shown above average hitting ability only when he has above average luck. He’s on a hot streak though, and I guess Towers is hoping he’ll keep it up. Seeing as his batting lines are dreadful outside of MMP, I have my doubts.

Borchering and Krauss may not amount to anything – it’s probable really – but they would still barely be less valuable than CJ at that point.

qudjy1
3 years 4 days ago

The 1.2 WAR for this year (glove included) is probably 1.2 more war than you will get out of Krauss, Borchering. I agree CJ isnt that good, but you are overvaluing the 2 prospects.

Kev
3 years 4 days ago

Not really. I don’t expect either prospect to make it, but that’s not the point. If GMs just factored WAR into every possible trade, then every post-trade analysis would break down into “the team who gets the MLB player wins, because those prospects probably won’t make it.” Well duh, most don’t.

Saying that the trade is a good one for ARZ because CJ will put up more WAR than the Borchering/Krauss is lazy though. A prospect’s value is not tied to a WAR number, but what the market says his value is. Borchering/Krauss have known flaws, but the former still has significant upside. The point is not whether they will be better than CJ, but whether the market says they are worth more than CJ. I believe they are, because we know what CJ is at this point, and it’s a guy who has been worth one extra win over 300 games.

Are you telling me there wasn’t a replacement-level option available for the D-Backs anywhere? Cody Ransom has put up nearly the exact same WAR over the exact same number of games. Would you trade two prospects, any two prospects, for Cody freaking Ransom?

WUNNINE
3 years 5 days ago

How ironic.. both played for Bishop Verot in Ft Myers, Fl and one is traded for the other.. don’t think they played together though

3 years 5 days ago

Definition of irony: The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Catztradamus
3 years 5 days ago

Bobby was a freshman when Chris was a freshman in college, but they know each other very well and played on the same summer league teams, etc… Bobby was really advanced for his age.

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

Krauss cant field – may be OK DH for cheap, Borchering is very young, stil 21, cant control K zone, and is really struggling in AA outside of hitters environment. Both guys are long shots for MLB in my opinion. Not sure i see the upgrade at 3B for AZ though.

stroh
3 years 5 days ago

Interesting that you call two guys who were taking in 2009 as their #1 and #2 picks and have been tearing it up in the minors as “long shots”……ok, if that’s what you want to call them, fine. We’ll just call it a fair deal, but in my opinion if I was a GM I would not want to deal with Luhnow as he seems to be out there picking pockets.

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

Tearing it up in the minors? Borchering has a 300 something OPS in AA. He is still young – i agree. Krauss can hit – cant field. Could be good DH as i said above.

stroh
3 years 5 days ago

Yes, tearing it up. Borchering’s AA numbers are only based on 77 ABs. He was killing it at high class A (18 HRs, 60 RBIs) and he will eventually kill it at AA and much beyond. I’ll take Krauss even if he can’t field – he had 15 HRs in AA and the ‘stros are moving to the AL and we will need a DH for the future. Good luck with CJ — he’s a good player, just not worth anyone’s #1 and #2 picks.

3 years 5 days ago

He was repeating A Ball and it was the hitter friendly CAL League. Borchering still has a ton of raw talent, but he’s looking like a Brandon Wood/Joe Borchard type. I think he is worth the risk for Houston, but I believe you’re pumping up his value higher than it actually is.

qudjy1
3 years 5 days ago

Cal league dude. If you count where they are picked as important, ive got a Matt Bush to sell you.

stroh
3 years 5 days ago

Ok then Baseball America rated Borchering as Arizona’s best power hitting prospect at the beginning of this season, and he’s smacked 20 HRs so far….so they must not know this guy’s talent either. Sorry but I would have taken just one of the two guys for CJ……don’t get me wrong I like CJ, but I know his talent — seen him play for three years now.

qudjy1
3 years 4 days ago

Cal League. Homers are fine, but in A ball, in the Cal League, its not all that impressive.

stroh
3 years 4 days ago

What’s even more un-impressive? CJ’s 8 HRs this year, all at Minute Maid Park, pretty much all over the short left field porch. Enjoy.

3 years 5 days ago

I love this deal. Johnson hits, but man that guy is a terrible defender.

Brandon Stubbs Calvert
3 years 5 days ago

It might seem like a overpay but with how deep arizona is in OF who knows if or when they would be called up

bigpat
3 years 5 days ago

Houston didn’t really get any stud prospects after wiping their roster clean, but when you bring in so much depth, I’m sure guys will pan out and become useful players. It’s going to be a very rough season or two, but they will have more depth and freedom do build the roster their way. Things are looking good for them in a few years.

Also, it’s not like they traded away studs for crappy returns, all the guys they traded were either overpaid vets or simply average players. I feel like Lowrie would have been dealt of he were healthy, they could have received a good haul for him.

Karkat
3 years 5 days ago

It’s going to be really, really rough next year in the AL West. But they just need to stock up. Look at Oakland.

Andy Repinski
3 years 5 days ago

when you have 100 high upside prospects, a few of them usually turn out. lol. Glad the Astro’s are moving out of the NL central because in a few years they’re going to be scary.

304
3 years 5 days ago

No they didnt get any studs but they sure have some young talent already in the organization. Id say that they just freed some space for their youngsters to shine and i agree
they are gonna be a tough team in about 2 – 3 years. Singleton Villar Cosart Correa etc. are all gonna be studs in the bigs

padresfuture
3 years 5 days ago

Seems like an overpay on dbacks part. Shows you what the 3b market really is…. limited.