Kelly Johnson Non-Tendered; Next Stop Chicago?

Garrett SistoCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Infielder Kelly Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at Champions Stadium at Walt Disney World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Originally posted on BringingHeat.com

Kelly Johnson, the versatile 27-year-old, has just been told by Atlanta he will not be tendered a deal for the upcoming season.

Not many Brave fans would have expected such a sudden loss of faith in the second baseman after two quality seasons in 2007 and 2008. The young man hit 16 home runs in 2007 while putting up a sterling .375 on-base percentage for the season.

Yet in 2009, Johnson battled injuries while also undergoing a season-long slump. He finished this past season batting .224 with a lowly .692 OPS. The Braves feel safe letting go of him because they have the young infielder Martin Prado to replace him.

The Cubs come into play predominantly because of their “black hole” at second base. Mike Fontenot , Aaron Miles , and Andres Blanco had absolutely no offensive game to speak of. Jeff Baker was lightning-in-a-bottle at the plate last year, but many doubt that the Cubs are content giving him the starting position. Baker would be much better in a role on the bench, where he has spent his entire career thus far.

Kelly Johnson would be a sub-par defender at second base, but his potential offense massively outweighs any of those shortcomings. He will be a very cheap, low-risk signing with very high reward possibility. If healthy, he can definitely replicate his past success.

Honestly, there is no way that Johnson would be worse than what the Cubs threw out at second base last season. As an organization, they would regret missing out on this move.

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