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.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.