According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Braves have signed third baseman Chris Johnson to a three-year extension with a club option for 2018. This confirms a report from Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.
No word yet on the exact terms involved, but the deal will buy out his final two years of arbitration and at least one year of free agency. Johnson is making $4.75 million this season in his second year of arbitration. Because he was a Super Two player, he gets four years of arbitration as opposed to the usual three.
Johnson is hitting just .231 with one home run and a .590 OPS so far this season, but he owns a .286/.324/.433 batting line in the majors and had a career-high .321 batting average last year. The 29-year-old is just the latest player to be locked up by the Braves, joining Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.