Braves decline Reed Johnson’s option

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Reed Johnson is a free agent after the Braves declined his $1.6 million option for 2014, paying him a $150,000 buyout instead.

Johnson was useful in a part-time role, but then missed most of the second half with an Achilles’ tendon injury. He finished hitting .244 with one homer and a .653 OPS in 136 plate appearances and at age 37 he may struggle to find regular work, but Johnson has long been very productive versus left-handed pitching and can play all three outfield spots (if healthy).

Yankees, Brett Gardner reunite on one-year, $12.5 million deal

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George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner are back together on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal includes a second year option worth $20 million.

Gardner, 36, is coming off of the strongest offensive season of his career, batting .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 74 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases over 550 plate appearances. While he has certainly lost a step or two with age, he still rates as an above-average defensive corner outfielder as well.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees also value Gardner — a veteran of 12 seasons — for his leadership, especially with CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius gone.

Bringing Gardner back into the fold allows Giancarlo Stanton to remain the full-time DH. Gardner will return to left field with Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge reprising their roles in center and right, respectively.