Kelly Johnson, who played for the Braves from 2005-2009 after coming up through their farm system as a first-round draft pick, has returned to Atlanta on a minor-league contract with a spring training invite.
Johnson split last season between the Yankees, Red Sox, and Orioles, hitting a combined .215 with seven homers and a .659 OPS in 106 games.
He had some big years offensively early in his career, but now Johnson is 33 years old and hasn’t topped a .725 OPS since 2010. He does have some defensive versatility, so it’s possible he’ll be able to snag a spot on the Braves’ bench.
There’s no official announcement yet, but Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports that “NCAA coaches and MLB officials met Monday” and came away with a “general agreement” to move the draft from mid-June to July 1.
In doing so the signing deadline for draft picks would be July 15, which leaves just two weeks for decisions to be made and negotiations to take place.
The move to July 1 would be made at least in part to allow players participating in the College World Series to finish their seasons before the draft. It’s unclear how the delayed draft date would impact the start of rookie-ball seasons for minor leaguers.
San Francisco has designated Marco Scutaro for assignment one month after general manager Brian Sabean admitted that the 39-year-old infielder’s career is in jeopardy following surgery to fuse vertebrae in his lower back.
Scutaro missed all but 13 games last season and the recovery timetable for his surgery is expected to be 4-6 months. He’s owed $6 million in 2015 as part of a three-year, $20 million contract signed in the wake of his winning MVP of the NLCS for the Giants in 2012.
It’s all but guaranteed that no other team will claim Scutaro and his contract off waivers, which would enable the Giants to potentially retain him without taking up a spot on the 40-man roster.
Houston designated Carlos Corporan for assignment Tuesday and now the Astros have traded the veteran catcher to the Rangers.
Corporan is a capable backup, but became expendable when the Astros acquired Hank Conger from the Angels to join incumbent Jason Castro on the catching depth chart. And they also have Evan Gattis around as an emergency catching option.
Corporan, who’s hit .226 with a .637 OPS in 659 plate appearances as a big leaguer through age 31, joins Robinson Chirinos as the Rangers’ in-house catching options.
Johan Santana’s body will apparently not allow a comeback to happen. Or at least not without a bunch of setbacks first.
Finally healthy again after tearing his Achilles’ tendon last spring while coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries, Santana has been pitching in the Venezuelan winter league. But now he’s been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with shoulder soreness.
According to a report out of Venezuela he underwent an MRI exam that showed no structural damage, but Santana has struggled to recover from game action and everyone involved decided to shut him down.
Santana had two Cy Young awards and three ERA titles through age 29, when he led the league in ERA (2.53) and innings (234) for the Mets in 2008. Since then he’s been injured more often than not, including last pitching in the majors in 2012 and missing the entirety of three of the past four seasons.
What a shame.