Braves add depth by trading for Dodgers IF Micah Johnson
After opening up two spots on their 40-man roster by trading Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves addressed their bench depth by trading for Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Micah Johnson in exchange for cash or a player to be named later.
Johnson, a 26-year-old former ninth-round pick, has spent time primarily at the Triple-A level in the White Sox and Dodgers organizations over the past two seasons, which could be his starting point with the Braves as well. The 5-foot-11 speedster has played 36 MLB games at second base, though the Dodgers attempted to utilize his athleticism in a variety of roles.
In Atlanta, Johnson will likely encounter a similar situation. He could compete for a roster spot in spring training alongside fellow second base options Jace Peterson, Sean Rodriguez and (eventually) top prospect Ozzie Albies.
However, Johnson's bat will need to produce more if he's going to push for major-league playing time. In 120 career plate appearances, he is batting .226/.299/.264 with just four extra-base hits. Johnson's speed remains his greatest asset; he's stolen 57 total bases since the start of the 2015 season.
Johnson's only extended MLB fielding stint cost the 2015 White Sox seven defensive runs in 280 innings at second base.
Originally drafted out of Indiana University by the White Sox, Johnson ended up in Los Angeles through the three-team Todd Frazier blockbuster last summer, a deal which also included former top Braves prospect Jose Peraza. The Dodgers designated Johnson for assignment on Tuesday.
The Braves have one more open spot on their 40-man roster.