Reed Johnson, who spent 2008 and 2009 with the Cubs before playing last season with the Dodgers, has returned to Chicago on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
Johnson struggled for the Dodgers last season and has always been stretched as a regular, but he’s a good fit as a fourth outfielder or platoon player who draw starts versus left-handed pitching.
If he makes the Cubs’ roster out of spring training he figures to step into the lineup in place of Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin against southpaws, as Johnson hit .321/.377/.465 versus lefties during the past three seasons.
Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:
“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”
Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.
Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.