In the midst of the discussion surrounding Brian McCann’s impending exile and the interest surrounding Tim Hudson in free agency, the Atlanta Braves made an “actual” procedural move on Monday afternoon.
Reed Johnson had a 1.6 million dollar option for 2014 which the #Braves declined, opting for the $150K buyout.
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) November 4, 2013
In 2013, Reed Johnson was reduced to being a “bit player” in Atlanta with the arrival of BJ Upton and Justin Upton to fill full-time outfield spots, and the use of catcher Evan Gattis in the outfield. With that and some injury issues, Johnson only managed to get to the plate 136 times in 74 games and the results weren’t outstanding.
The 36-year-old outfielder produced only a .244/.311/.341 slash line (.652 OPS) with 1 home run in those plate appearances, and as a result, he was only “worth” 0.2 wins according to FanGraphs. However, he is a solid “4th outfielder” type even at this stage, and his propensity to hit left-handed pitching (career 118 wRC+) makes him an attractive bench option for a contender.
The Braves are likely making the right move here, as they are a relatively cash-strapped team (well, for as much as a $100 million is “cash-strapped) with a bevy of options in the outfield. That said, Johnson gets paid to “go away” in this case, and he should still land on his feet elsewhere.