The Mets are interested in Reed Johnson

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A team source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Mets have identified Reed Johnson “as a potential fit” for their bench.

Johnson, who turned 34 earlier this week, batted .262/.291/.366 with two home runs and 15 RBI over 202 at-bats with the Dodgers this past season. Alarmingly, he drew only five walks all season and struck out 55 times, or in 24.8 percent of his at-bats. He has a .281/.340/.408 career batting line, including a .312 batting average and 836 OPS against left-handed pitching.

The Mets don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll this winter, but it would be smart to add some insurance for Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay. At the very least, Johnson has the reputation as a fine defender, and would likely come at a lesser cost than some of the alternatives in free agency, including Fred Lewis and Scott Hairston.

By the way, new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson hosted a conference call with a number of prominent Mets’ bloggers earlier this evening. MetsBlog has a number of interesting quotes from the call. Look forward to more of these in the future. And Mr. Alderson, invite me next time!

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.