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.
A wise man once said that a wise mad said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The White Sox are not prepared to miss their shot: Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says they are “actively trying” to trade Avisail Garcia.
Which seems like a super difficult shot given that (a) Garcia had knee and hamstring injuries this past season; (b) hit just .236/.281/.438 when he did play; and (c) is arbitration eligible and stands to make more than the $6.7 million salary he made in 2018. You put those things together and you have a guy that the Sox are almost 100% going to non-tender rather than take to arbitration, thereby making him freely and cheaply available to anyone who wants him as long as they can wait until November 30, which is the tender/non-tender deadline.
Garcia, who somehow is still just 27 years-old, is one year removed from what many considered a breakout year, in which he hit .330/.380/.506 in 136 games, but I don’t think anyone is going to bite at him in a trade. Assuming he’s in decent shape and recovered from injuries, however, he could be a useful player in 2019.