Free agent outfielder Reed Johnson has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Johnson has always been an ideal fourth outfielder because he can handle all three spots defensively, puts up strong numbers versus left-handed pitching, and isn’t totally overmatched versus right-handers once in a while.
At age 34 his range has slipped some and his strikeout-to-walk ratio over the past two years is laughably bad at 113-to-10, but he also hit .303 off lefties during that time.
By re-signing with Chicago he could be an option to platoon with the left-handed-hitting David DeJesus in right field or could be used in left field if the Cubs somehow find a taker for Alfonso Soriano.
The Pirates announced on Wednesday that the club acquired infielder Erik González along with minor league pitchers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza in exchange for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
González, 27, is quite versatile, having played all four infield positions as well as both outfield corners. He has just a .681 career OPS across 275 plate appearances in the big leagues, though. González will provide infield depth for the Pirates, who are losing Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer.
Thomas, 19, completed his second season at rookie ball. He pitched 19 2/3 innings, yielding 10 earned runs on 13 hits and 10 walks with 27 strikeouts.
Mendoza, 19, also just completed his second season at rookie ball. The right-hander pitched 37 1/3 innings, allowing 19 earned runs on 33 hits and 20 walks with 37 strikeouts.
Luplow, 25, has played 64 games in the big leagues as an outfielder, mustering a paltry .644 OPS in 190 plate appearances.
Moroff, 25, has played second base, third base, and short stop in the majors. He carries a career .625 OPS in 209 trips to the plate.