The Dodgers have traded infielder Micah Johnson to the Braves for a player to be named or cash considerations, the team announced this afternoon.
Johnson had two brief stints with the Dodgers in 2016, playing seven games, going 1-for-6 with a run scored. He hit .261/.321/.356 with 23 doubles in 120 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, starting 78 games at second base, 20 games in left field, 14 games in center field, and made two starts at third base. He stole 26 bases in 37 attempts.
For a contender like the Dodgers, playing time would’ve been hard to find. For a rebuilding Braves team, however, his versatility should come in pretty darn handy. Even if he starts in Triple-A, he’ll likely have plenty of opportunities in Atlanta in 2017.
After nearly a month, the Dodgers made the signing of closer Kenley Jansen official on Tuesday. To create roster space on the 40-man roster, the club designated second baseman Micah Johnson for assignment, per Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA.
Jansen, 29, agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Dodgers on December 12. The right-hander was coming off of the most dominating season of his career in which he finished with a 1.83 ERA, 47 saves, and a 104/11 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings.
Johnson, 26, hasn’t yet found his footing and is very likely looking at having to find major league success with his third team. The White Sox selected him in the ninth round of the 2012 draft, then traded him to the Dodgers as part of a three-team trade also involving the Reds in December 2015.
The Dodgers have made no secret about its interest in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. The new wrinkle, though, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, is that the Cardinals are “very much in it” as well. Wolfson adds that the Nationals and Giants remain in dialogue with the Twins, too.
The Cardinals, of course, have a crowded infield as is with incumbent second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong played some outfield last season but it would make more sense if Wong were included in a deal that brought Dozier to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Dodgers traded veteran 2B/OF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies and regular second baseman Chase Utley is still in free agency. If the season were to start today, Enrique Hernandez and Micah Johnson would handle the position.
Dozier, 29, had an outstanding 2016 campaign, finishing with a .268/.340/.546 triple-slash line along with 42 home runs, 99 RBI, and 104 runs scored in 691 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement, only Jose Altuve (6.7) and Robinson Cano (6.0) were more valuable than Dozier (5.9) at the second base position.