Diamondbacks set to sign Kelly Johnson

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Kelly Johnson took a week to ponder the Diamondbacks’ one-year offer believed to be worth around $2 million and has apparently decided to accept.
Johnson is expected to finalize the contract by taking a physical exam today, choosing Arizona over at least a handful of other teams in part because the Diamondbacks wanted him to play second base every day.
After two years as the Braves’ starting second baseman Johnson lost his job last season because of an injury and career-worst performance at the plate. He was non-tendered earlier this month and at least one team pursued Johnson as a free agent with an eye toward making him a full-time outfielder, but the Diamondbacks will keep him in the infield and hope for a big bounceback from the 28-year-old who hit .282/.362/.451 in 1,222 plate appearances between 2007 and 2008.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.