11:15am: Johnson receives a $2MM guarantee for a one-year term, with the ability to earn $1.25MM in incentives, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
10:39am: The Braves and veteran infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter link). Johnson, a client of Relativity Sports, will be signing on for his third stint with the Braves — the same organization that originally selected him with the 38th pick of the 2000 draft.
Financial terms have yet to be reported. It seems likely that the Braves were able to woo Johnson back with the chance to earn significant playing time, though he’ll have to compete with fellow veteran free agent signee Emilio Bonifacio.
His most recent run with the club, of course, ended when he was shipped to the Mets — along with Juan Uribe — in a deadline deal last summer. Clearly, there were no hard feelings, as Atlanta added a pair of young arms and Johnson got a chance to play in the World Series.
All told, Johnson ended the 2015 campaign with a solid .265/.314/.435 slash, with 14 home runs, in 335 plate appearances. He was limited almost entirely to facing right-handed pitching last year, though it’s fair to note that he has actually been slightly better against southpaws over his career.
With roughly league-average batting results over his career, Johnson has plenty of appeal as a utility piece. He’s never been viewed as a supremely talented defender, but he’s generally received roughly average ratings from defensive metrics at a variety of spots.
Johnson saw time at six positions last year between the two organizations, and could conceivably be an option at third, second, or the corner outfield this time around. If nothing else, he and Bonifacio give the club options in the event that it decides to cash in the just-acquired Ender Inciarte or finds a taker for some of the remaining money owed to Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher.