Braves decline Reed Johnson’s option

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Reed Johnson is a free agent after the Braves declined his $1.6 million option for 2014, paying him a $150,000 buyout instead.

Johnson was useful in a part-time role, but then missed most of the second half with an Achilles’ tendon injury. He finished hitting .244 with one homer and a .653 OPS in 136 plate appearances and at age 37 he may struggle to find regular work, but Johnson has long been very productive versus left-handed pitching and can play all three outfield spots (if healthy).

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.