12:20pm: Although the Braves announced in a morning press release that Johnson had been designated for assignment, the team now tells reporters that Johnson has not been designated and that there was some internal miscommunication (Twitter link via David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Atlanta considered designating Johnson but ultimately elected to keep him on the roster due to the fact that they already had an open 40-man spot for Sanchez.
10:11am: The Braves announced that they have designated infielder Micah Johnson for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Johnson’s 40-man roster spot will go to catcher Tony Sanchez, who was acquired yesterday in the trade that sent Brandon Phillips to the Angels.
Johnson, 26, was once one of the White Sox’ best-regarded prospects, but his stock has fallen in recent years. He was shipped from Chicago to Los Angeles as part of the three-time Todd Frazier trade in the 2015-16 offseason, and the Dodgers flipped him to the Braves for cash this past winter. Injuries limited his playing time this season, but Johnson batted .301/.391/.390 across three levels (mostly Triple-A — 36 games) in a total of 157 plate appearances. He’s a career .282/.341/.392 hitter in Triple-A bu has struggled in his brief exposure to the Majors.
Sanchez, meanwhile, is a known name due to his status as the former No. 4 overall pick in the draft (Pirates, 2009). He hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2015, though, and has never enjoyed much success at the game’s top level. In parts of three seasons, the now-29-year-old Sanchez has totaled 155 plate appearances and batted .259/.303/.378. He’s hit for a respectable .272 average and gotten on base at a solid .355 clip through 70 Triple-A contests this season, though he’s scarcely hit for power (.374 slugging, .102 ISO, four homers in 284 PAs).