D'Backs waiting on word from Kelly Johnson

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The Diamondbacks handed a one-year contract offer to free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson last week thought to be worth around $2 million.  According to a Monday evening report from MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, they’re hoping to hear back from the infielder within the next few days.

Johnson drew a surprising amount of interest this winter despite posting a disappointing .224/.303/.389 batting line during the regular season.  The Cardinals, Nationals, and Astros were all in the mix for the second
baseman and the Pirates were even considering using him in the outfield.

The D’Backs, though, can offer Johnson what most other clubs haven’t been willing to — a full-time job at second base.  Acquiring the 27-year-old would also allow Arizona management to get serious about dealing infielder Augie Ojeda, who surfaced as a possible trade candidate during December’s Winter Meetings and drew a decent level of interest from opposing clubs.

Roberto Osuna to be the Astros new closer

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When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.

This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.

Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.