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.