Dodgers sign Reed Johnson to one-year deal

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Reed Johnson and the Dodgers have officially agreed to a one-year deal worth $800,000 plus another $250,000 in potential incentives.
Between a part-time role and fractured foot Johnson played just 65 games for the Cubs last season, hitting .255/.330/.412 to basically match his .282/.344/.411 career mark. That production and the ability to handle all three outfield spots defensively makes Johnson a very solid fourth outfielder, but he’d also make a strong platoon starter if the Dodgers are willing to bench Andre Ethier against lefties.
Ethier has hit just .252/.317/.382 against southpaws during his career, including .194 last season, whereas Johnson is a lifetime .313/.378/.463 hitter against lefties. Johnson is a good low-cost pickup for the Dodgers even if they merely use him to fill in for injured outfielders, play defense for Manny Ramirez late in games, and scare young children with his facial hair, but actually giving him a chance to start over Ethier versus lefties would make the move even better.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.