Miami Marlins' skipper Mike Redmond told Palm Beach Post reporter Tom D'Angelo this morning that he, "'lost a few nights of sleep" over the decision to release Reed Johnson today.'"
Johnson, 38, signed back-to-back free agent deals with Miami, agreeing to return for a second season with the Marlins after putting up a .235/.266/.348 line with 15 doubles and two home runs in a -0.7 fWAR campaign in 2014.
Redmond told the Palm Beach Post's reporter that if Johnson didn't catch on with another team he would have a second career waiting for him, "... as a coach and possibly manager someday."
Johnson, however, isn't done with his playing days just yet. Hours after he was released by the Marlins, the 12-year veteran with a career .280/.336/.406 line, signed a minor league deal with the Nationals which includes an invitation to what's left of Spring Training.
So far in Grapefruit League action, Johnson is 8 for 39 with a double in 19 games.
The Nationals announced their third move of the day, after a trade that sent catcher Sandy Leon to the Boston Red Sox and a deal that brought outfielder Matt den Dekker to D.C. from the New York Mets in exchange for lefty reliever Jerry Blevins:
The #Nats have agreed to terms with OF Reed Johnson on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 30, 2015
Johnson, if he starts the season with the Nationals, would be playing for his sixth major league team after debuting with the Toronto Blue Jays who drafted him out of Cal State Fullerton in the 17th Round of the 1999 Draft. Johnson debuted with the Jays as a 26-year-old in 2003, spent five seasons in Toronto and went on to play for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Marlins.
Johnson joins a Nats team that has been dealing with a number of injury issues. Jayson Werth and Denard Span are likely to start the season on the sidelines as Werth recovers from surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder and Span works his way back from his second surgery of the winter (core muscle injury).
Tyler Moore, Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper are looking like the Opening Day outfield.
What is going to happen on the bench? Nate McLouth is still dealing with issues after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum last summer. Clint Robinson, Kevin Frandsen(?) and Tony Gwynn, Jr. are competing for a spot.
Johnson could help out off the bench against lefties. In his career, the right-handed hitting outfielder has a .310/.363/.454 line vs left-handers.
Last season in Miami, Johnson put up a .303/.319/.409 line in 69 PAs vs LHPs.