A lot of Atlanta fans have been concerned about this Braves offseason that has seen the team trade the majority of the team's best position players. With Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Evan Gattis gone an offense that was bad in 2014 looked even worse going into 2015. What could the front office's plan be to make this team competitive in 2015?
All of these worries were laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon, when the team announced that prodigal son Kelly Johnson was coming home to save the Braves season. Much like when Odysseus finally returned from his long journey to slay the interlopers and put his kingdom right, Johnson wearing a Braves uniform again returns the Braves to their rightful place as World Series favorites. It is now clear the Braves signed Nick Markakis because he would help to convince his former Baltimore teammate to join him in Atlanta for the 2015 season. With this move the Braves have eclipsed the Nationals signing of Max Scherzer for most pivotal free agent addition of the winter.
Now of course the deal is only a minor league one with a spring training invite. And yes it is true that Johnson played for three different teams last season and was a below average hitter. None of that matters. Johnson is the hero Atlanta needs and the hero Atlanta deserves. See about buying your World Series tickets now and start referring to the Braves GM as "2015 Executive of the Year John Hart". Now that the key piece is in place the rest is just a formality.
5 yrs & 6 teams later, #Braves bringing back Kelly Johnson (now 32 and a 2B/LF/3B) on minor league contract w/ spring training invite.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) January 21, 2015
Johnson was a first round selection in 2000 and stayed w/ the #Braves through 2009. He spent last year w/ the Yanks, Red Sox and O's.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 21, 2015