Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Much like how Lowrie can fill in and potentially solve the Astros problems at either short of third, Kelly Johnson could fit in a myriad of places around the diamond, as he had experience at first, second, third and left. That versatility is valuable for any team, but for a team with the types of questions that the Astros have, it may be even more valuable.
With the Astros having holes in left and at third, plus the question of whether or not Jon Singleton will take the next step in his development, Johnson fits perfectly as a low cost security blanket. If any of the options that Astros have in the lineup are struggling, Johnson could fill in and provide a bit of pop.
A career .250/.333/.423 hitter with 131 home runs, Kelly Johnson would not even need to be a true starter to have an impact upon the Astros. Given his ability to play numerous positions, Johnson could well appear in close to 100 games, yet not even appear in 30 games at any one spot. A solid veteran who could provide players with needed days off without losing much in the lineup, Johnson would certainly be an interesting addition.
Another factor in Johnson’s favor for the Astros is that he is likely to come cheaply. After all, that combined .215/.296/.362 batting line is not exactly something that cries out for teams to batter down his door with multi year deals worth several millions of dollars. Yet, for a one year deal worth $1 or $2 Million, Johnson could be quite the bargain for the Astros.
Kelly Johnson may not be a super star, but he is the type of player that could help the Astros win this season.