On Tuesday, rumors began to bubble over concering Kelly Johnson possibly returning to the Atlanta Braves for a third stint. Now, the rumors have turned into fact, as the Braves and the versatile utilityman have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal pending a physical.
Per a source, the #Braves and Kelly Johnson have agreed to a one-year deal that is pending a physical.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 6, 2016
Kelly Johnson signed with the Braves last offseason and played 62 games with them before being traded with Juan Uribe to the New York Mets. While he was here, he hit .275/.321/.451 and hit 9 HRs, had 111 wRC+, and picked up 0.3 fWAR. Additionally, thanks to his versatility, the Braves were able to plug him in at a variety of positions in both the infield and the outfield, so having that tool at their disposal will be useful for a team that's rebuilding.
He probably won't be a starter coming out of the gate (unless he impresses Fredi Gonzalez in Spring Training, then all bets are off), but he'll definitely be useful coming off of the bench. Additionally, he figures to be a much cheaper backup option for the outfield than either Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn, which means that the writing on the wall for those two is getting bolder and bolder.
Meanwhile, here's hoping that the third time in Atlanta is a charm for KJ. There's no word yet on whether or not they'll try to flip him for prospects at midseason and do this all over again next winter.
UPDATE (12:30 PM EST) -- Here are the financial details.
IF Kelly Johnson's one-year deal with the Braves is for $2 million, source tells Yahoo Sports. Incentives can add another $1.25 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 6, 2016