Kelly Johnson and the Diamondbacks had an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, but the two sides have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.8 million.
Johnson requested $6.5 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $4.7 million, so they compromised at $200,000 more than the midpoint.
Atlanta non-tendered Johnson last offseason rather than commit to paying him around $3.5 million and he resurrected his career on a one-year, $2.35 million deal with Arizona, hitting .284 with career-highs in homers (26), steals (13), runs (96), and OPS (.865) while staying healthy for 154 games.
This is Johnson’s third and final season of arbitration eligibility, so a repeat of his 2010 performance would put him in position to cash in big as a 30-year-old free agent.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.