Veteran outfielder Reed Johnson has re-signed with the Marlins on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
For a long time Johnson was an ideal fourth outfielder who could handle all three spots defensively and knock around left-handed pitching, but now he’s 38 years old and hit a combined .239 with a .630 OPS during the past two seasons.
He got into 113 games for the Marlins last year despite producing a .614 OPS, but just 27 of them were starts. He’ll compete for another bench spot.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.
Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.
The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.