Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros infielder Dan Johnson poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
In the surprise (not) move of the offseason, the Astros traded Dan Johnson to the Cincinnati Reds. In return for Johnson, the Astros will receive either a player to be named later or cash considerations for the veteran first baseman. Johnson signed a minor league contract earlier in the offseason, and has helped mentor some of the young Astros throughout spring training.
He was considered an intriguing player, who had a good season with the Athletics on 2007 hitting .236 with 18 home runs and 62 runs batted in. I remember having him on my fantasy team at one point during his early career. With the talent the Astros had, it was a long shot for Johnson to make the team with Jon Singleton and Chris Carter aboard.
Johnson discussed the trade with Evan Drellich and others when he heard about the trade, his quotes are below.
“If the opportunity wasn’t going to be here, then I’m probably thankful for it,” Johnson said Thursday after hearing about the trade. “You get to know everybody and it’s hard to leave, but you know, if there’s better opportunities somewhere else for you… I’m going to try to capitalize on that.”
When Johnson was signed, many of the offseason transactions have not occurred yet. The Astros did not have Evan Gattis, who might have to play designated hitter occasionally and push Carter to first base. The Astros were unsure of what they would get out of Jon Singleton, after hitting .168 in his rookie season. Johnson basically became expendable to the Astros.
Most likely the Astros would have sent him to the minors, and he might have rode out the year in AAA. The Astros could have just released Johnson, and let a younger player get the playing time at AAA. But Jeff Luhnow jumped at the opportunity to get something for the veteran first baseman. He had an impact in one of the Tampa Bay Rays playoffs runs, and might have one with the Reds.
This has little to no impact on the finalization of the Astros roster, especially at first base. Johnson will be playing behind Joey Votto, who recently has struggled to stay healthy all season. Should Votto have to miss some time, a guy like Dan Johnson could step in and offer some production. Johnson played in 14 games this spring with the Astros, and hit .158 with six walks.
The writers at Climbing Tal’s Hill wish Dan Johnson good luck, we hope he is able to continue playing the game he loves. Is this the last Astros trade before the season?
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