October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Elliot Johnson (30) celebrates after scoring a run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians sign infielder Elliot Johnson to minor league contract

When he was non-tendered by the Atlanta Braves earlier in the off-season, it seemed exceedingly likely that free agent infielder Elliot Johnson was sign on with a team. It took a little longer than expected, but Johnson has found a new home.

The 29-year-old Johnson served as a utility man in his limited stay with Atlanta, and he appeared in 32 games for the Braves with 102 plate appearances. Somehow, Johnson became the starting second baseman for the Braves down the stretch (hello, Dan Uggla!) and he produced a respectable .261/.317/.359 slash line with good speed (8 stolen bases in 10 attempts). Prior to his stint in Atlanta, Johnson spent more than 2 full seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, and his most impressive statistical performance is having 46 stolen bases in only 806 career plate appearances.

In Cleveland, it’s important to note that Johnson isn’t guaranteed anything but an invite to Spring Training. Still, he brings a unique versatility to the table, having played multiple infield and outfield positions, and every team can use some speed off the bench. Johnson likely won’t hit at anything more than an average rate, but there’s value there if Cleveland keeps him around.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Elliot Johnson

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