We’re approaching another baseball season. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting next month, and spring training will be here before you know it. So it makes sense that as the warmth of a new season and the greener pastures of baseball season make their approach, there are rumors that one of a very familiar duo of veterans could be making their return to the Atlanta Braves.
According to Dave O’Brien of the AJC, the Braves are apparently interested in bringing back either Kelly Johnson or Jeff Francoeur to fill out a bench spot for this year’s team.
#Braves still considering adding bench player, KJohnson a candidate, possibly Francoeur, others. Roster is at 40, but could DFA someone.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) January 9, 2017
This would mark a third different stint with the Braves for Frenchy. The Braves brought in Francoeur last season and he hit .249/.290/.381 over 99 games with Atlanta before they traded him to Miami. He didn’t fare that much better in Miami, and now he’s once again a free agent. Francoeur finished last season with 0.2 fWAR, so a bench role is clearly in his future for 2017, no matter who he’s playing for.
Meanwhile, it seems as if it’s written in the stars that Kelly Johnson is going to start the season with the Braves and finish it with the Mets. The Braves have signed him via free agency for the past two seasons and then traded him to the Mets for the past two season. I’m going to be completely honest with you — I’d love to see them do this again in 2017, if only for the absurdity of it all. If they could keep on doing this until Kelly Johnson decides to call it a career, I’d be entertained to no end. However, baseball’s a business and I’m sure that both the Braves and the Mets will probably realize just how weird and unique this song and dance with Kelly Johnson is.
Either way, this continues a mini-trend of the Braves going back to the same well when it comes to filling out the rest of their roster with veteran talent. If I had to guess, the Braves would probably hand either of them a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, and in the case of Kelly Johnson, he’ll be a Met by August. Time is a flat circle.