Johnson Signs With Braves, EYJ With Brewers

Ex-Met Kelly Johnson has re-signed with the Braves—his third stint with Atlanta. The contract is for one year and $2 million. I can’t imagine what the Braves plan on doing with Kelly, as they’ve already signed free agents Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio. A trade brought Erick Aybar to Atlanta, all of whom further the Braves’ depth of up-and-coming talent in Daniel CastroAdonis Garcia, Hector Olivera, Jace Peterson, and Joey Terdoslavich. The idea seems to be showcase low-cost veterans (Johnson, Beckham, Bonifacio, Aybar) and trade them at the deadline for prospects. Not a bad concept for a team that hopes to compete within two years.

Eric Young Jr. has signed a minor league contact with the Brewers, adding depth to an outfield that includes another former Met in Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

I was a big fan of both of these Mets, and thought they each had a case to be brought back in 2016. I felt as though Johnson brought and embraced a super-utilityman type bench role that was important to the Mets’ success down the stretch. Although the front office considers Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera an improvement over Johnson—they have much less versatility. As for Young, he brought a spark-plug-type presence that I haven’t seen in orange and blue since Jose Reyes. Sure, he didn’t have the average, on base percentage, or even power that Reyes possessed—but the 2013 National League Stolen Base Leader’s speed and base running ability are unmatched and have the potential to give a spark to any lineup.

 

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