The Atlanta Braves looked up and down their roster. It had been at least a few weeks since they signed somebody to a contract extension. Things just didn’t feel right.
To remedy that situation, the Braves set their sights on an extension with third baseman Chris Johnson. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reported that the deal was in the works Thursday afternoon, and now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is official:
Source: #Braves agree with Chris Johnson to 3-yr extension plus club option. Buys out final 2 yrs of arb, plus 1 and possibly 2 yrs of FA.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 1, 2014
For much of his career Johnson was considered to be a disappointment. He changed all of that with a breakout campaigns in 2012 and 2013, highlighted by a .321 average last season. Johnson has stumbled a bit thus far in 2014, batting .231/.260/.330 through 25 games. That might make the timing of this move a little curious, but the Braves appear to have seen enough to have faith that it is worthwhile to buy out his arbitration years.
Between Johnson, Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman, and Julio Teheran, the Braves have locked up most of their young talent. Off to another hot start this season, there are good vibes in Atlanta and now Johnson will be a fixture at third base.