Reed Johnson
Reed Johnson
41-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Reed Johnson in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Nationals in April of 2016.
OFFree Agent  
April 3, 2016
Johnson was released by the Nationals on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
Johnson had been in the mix for one of the final bench spots in Washington, and when he didn't make the cut, the Nationals chose to grant him his outright release rather than send him to the minors. He'll look to catch on with another organization in need of outfield depth.
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Appearing in 113 games for the Marlins last season, Johnson managed a mediocre .235/.266/.348 line while yielding regular playing time as the season wore on. At age-37 Johnson was able to provide a strong veteran presence in a young and talented Miami clubhouse, but he ultimately elected for free agency following the season. He’ll look to latch on with a team as veteran depth in the outfield heading into camp.
Achilles tendinitis bothered Johnson on and off through the first four months of the 2013 season, and a late-July flareup finally sent him to the disabled list. Johnson proceeded to miss most of the final two months, and still wasn't 100 percent when he returned in September, but the 36-year-old was included on the Braves' postseason roster. In 74 at-bats on the year, Johnson hit just .244/.311/.341, numbers which fell well short of his career marks (.282/.339/.409) and resulted in Atlanta's decision to decline Johnson's $1.6 million club option for 2014. Perhaps they'll bring him back at a reduced cost, but if not, Johnson should be able to latch on elsewhere as veteran outfield depth.
Johnson is a player who has been relegated to a fourth outfielder role nearly his entire career, but it is a position at which he has excelled. Over a 10-year career, he has a .284 batting average and .752 OPS. He has showed no sign of slowing despite going into his age-36 season. In fact, over the last two seasons, Johnson has a .299 average and .773 OPS. He'll have a nice batting average, but he has seen a decline in his power and he has never been a stolen-base threat. After signing with Atlanta, Johnson will work as an outfielder off the bench and carry value only in deep NL-only formats.
The 35-year-old Johnson put together a passable campaign last year with a .309/.348/.467 line in 246 at-bats. But if you look beneath the surface, you'll see just five walks, 63 strikeouts and an unsustainable .399 BABIP (career: .330). Given Johnson's modest power, poor on-base skills and below average center-field defense (he's solid for a corner outfielder), it's hard to envision his role growing beyond a lefty platoon/fourth outfielder for the Cubs this year.
Johnson was as advertised in 2010, providing solid defense off the bench and a .301/.324/.466 line versus southpaws. That he's worthless versus right-handers limits Johnson to backup outfielder status at best, and he'll be battling for a reserve role regardless of where he lands at this stage of his career. Considering that he hasn't hit double-digit homers since 2006, you're better off without him even in deeper AL/NL-only formats.
Johnson was limited to just 65 games last year due to back problems and a broken foot. When healthy, Johnson is a serviceable fourth-outfielder type, able to hit for average, get on base and play all three outfield positions. He'll try to win a reserve role after signing with the Dodgers this winter.
Johnson was serviceable last year as the right-handed side of the Cubs' center-field platoon. The left-handed side, Jim Edmonds, filed for free agency, so Johnson's atop the depth chart entering spring training. But Johnson's not a great defensive center fielder, doesn't have a lot of pop and doesn't walk much, so he's more suited to a fourth outfielder role. It remains to be seen exactly how the Cubs will configure their outfield with Milton Bradley's arrival as Kosuke Fukudome will likely move over to platoon with Johnson. But Felix Pie (if he's not traded) could get another shot and Joey Gathright remains in the mix. In any case, we'd be surprised if Johnson had the job to himself when the season starts.
Johnson missed nearly three months due to a herniated disc in his back, and his numbers down the stretch (.566 OPS after August 1) were terrible. He's still seeing at-bats atop the order, but at some point his poor OBP will change that. He's got a skill set that could fade quickly, and a major back injury doesn't help.
Johnson surprised in 2006, managing to hit .319 despite a poor 33:81 BB:K rate in 461 at-bats. There's little here, other than the occasional ball finding a hole, over 2006 (.319/.390/.479) and 2005 (.269/.332/.412). He's expected to start the year as Toronto's leadoff hitter, however, which should result in plenty of runs hitting in front of a solid middle of the order.
Johnson still manages to earn 400 AB a year, which is part of Toronto's problem. It can't last forever, and his counting stats will dry up as a result.
Johnson led off once Frank Catalanotto was sidelined, but posted a poor .317 OBP in that spot. There's a platoon role waiting for him in 2005, especially if Toronto fills the hole at first base with someone other than Catalanotto. He would share time well with Gabe Gross when he's called up, but things would have to align perfectly for him to see 550 plate appearances again.
Johnson sparked the Jays' offense the first six weeks he played in an Eric Byrnes-like fashion, only to slump badly in July and August, posting OPS' of .589 and .601. He followed that with an 18-game hit streak in September, though it came without the improved plate discipline you'd like to see. He'll start the year as one of Toronto's corner outfielders, but could be back to a reserve role by mid-season if Gabe Gross hits as expected at Triple-A.
A wrist injury kept him out of action for much of the first part of the season. Struggled at Triple-A upon his return, and deserves a ?mulligan? based on his numbers the year before at Double-A. A solid season at Triple-A will get him back on track for being a very good reserve outfielder.
More Fantasy News
OFWashington Nationals  
March 29, 2016
Johnson is still in the mix for the final spot on the Nationals' bench.
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OFWashington Nationals  
November 16, 2015
Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on Monday.
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OFWashington Nationals  
September 26, 2015
Johnson (foot) was activated from the 60-day disabled list Saturday.
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OFWashington Nationals  
Foot
August 26, 2015
Johnson (foot) was pulled off his rehab assignment after sneezing and pulling an oblique muscle, Jacob Emert of MLB.com reports.
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OFWashington Nationals  
Foot
August 13, 2015
Johnson (foot) joined High-A Potomac on Thursday to begin a rehab assignment, the Washington Post's James Wagner reports.
ANALYSIS
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