Moments after learning that Wei-Yin Chen was signing with the Marlins, Barry Jackson reported that Miami is also adding Chris Johnson.
Also am told Marlins are signing Chris Johnson, a career .280 hitter as right-handed bat off bench. Can spell Bour vs lefties— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 12, 2016
While the financial terms have yet to be announced, it's a safe bet that Johnson will get a major-league deal worth the minimum, as he's still being paid by the Indians and Braves from his previous three-year deal for $23.5 million.
Johnson has been an offensive disappointment since 2014, and has little value left. In 225 plate appearances last year, Johnon hit .255/.286/.337, and posted a wOBA of .274, along with a wRC+ of 71. Over the past two seasons, he has failed to produce an average wRC+ or OBP, and has accumulated an fWAR of -0.1.
Even his power has disappeared, as he's now had two consecutive seasons of a below .100 ISO. Despite Johnson's shortcomings, Jackson notes that he's a good fit for the Marlins, and becomes their top right-handed hitter off the bench.
Chris Johnson, who will become Marlins' top righty hitter off bench, hit .255, 3,18 with Cleve/Atlanta in 2015; .263, 10, 58 with Braves '14— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 12, 2016
Chris Johnson the ideal complement to Bour. Bour hit .270 vs. righties last year, Johnson hit .326 vs. left. Johnson .314 career vs lefties.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 12, 2016
Johnson will likely be used in a strict-platoon role, as he "hit .326 vs. left-handers last season, while [Justin] Bour hit just .221 against lefties, albeit in just 68 at-bats."
With these two additions, the Marlins are likely done dipping into the free agent market, but that doesn't mean their offseason is complete. For months we've been hearing about a potential extension for Dee Gordon, and according to Jackson, they "remain in negotiations with second baseman Dee Gordon on a long-term contract." It's difficult to know how far along those talks are, but with arbitration hearings quickly approaching, we'll likely have an answer on his future soon.