From the Wire … Cubs Reach Agreement on One-Year Contract with Reed Johnson

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with Reed Johnson pending a physical.

Reed Johnson played in 111 games last season for the Cubs and put together a .309/.348/.467/.816 line with 22 doubles and five home runs.

With the addition of Reed Johnson, the Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players.

Terms of the deal have not been released.

Reed Johnson’s Page on Baseball-Reference

Will update when additional information is made available …

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  • Josh

    Apparently the Cubs are also talking with Jeff Francis!/jcrasnick/status/149484346942832640

    Not sure if there is any potential for him to achieve his 2006-2007 pitching level.

  • cubtex

    Speaking for myself here…..I keep waiting for Theo and company to make a move that I say…GREAT MOVE!  He has been making these unispiring moves!
    David DeJesus
    Ian Stewart
    Re-signing Reed Johnson

    We hear rumors of trades like Travis Wood for Sean Marshall.
    Signing FA pitchers Paul Maholm, Jeff Francis
    Trading for Anthony Rizzo

    Honestly, if you just looked at the transaction that have been made and not put a team name in front of those transactions…..would anyone think this was a major market team?

    Our GM is shopping the clearance aisle at WalMart. Please do something to inspire some confidence to give a long time Cub fan a little hope!

    • paulcatanese

      Theo has a new sign above his door, “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.

    • J Daniel

      And let’s be totally honest about it – if JH made these moves everyone would be in an uproar!

      • cubtex

        How True!

  • Josh

    I think everyone expect Theo to make the Cubs a contender this year. We need a strong minor league system with Grade-A prospects. The Cubs have never had a problem turning minor leaguers into major leaguers but they generally have failed to build stars or prospects that looks like future stars necessary for big trades. Because of changes to the CBA, Theo deserves time before we grade the moves he and Hoyer are making.

  • Tony_Hall

    This is a great signing…there you go cubtex…how’s that.

    I have always.assumed Reed would be coming back to be a role player. Defensive player and get his starts against lefties.

  • Neil

    From Jim Bowden: Cubs source: prospects will be key to Marshall/Wood swap if it gets done

  • Neil

    ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap reports that Bill Buckner will be a Class A hitting coach for Cubs. 

    • Roland

      Thank goodness he is not the fielding coach.  Just kidding!

  • Neil
    • cubtex

      Obviously! Like I was saying his actions were speaking loud and clear. OK…….Now Rebuild!

    • Tony_Hall

      They told us they were going to build a foundation.

      • cubtex

        Building a foundation does not mean a complete rebuild…so no….he never said this!

      • cubtex

        Theo said he would not rebuild…Oh well…don’t believe everything Theo says.

        Epstein said he won’t cheat the woe-is-us Cubs fans with a rebuilding effort, noting with purpose that “every opportunity to win is sacred.” But in the same breath, he added, “there are no shortcuts in baseball.”

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t  have time right now to break down what he said, but the basics of it was that building a foundation in the minors was job #1,  and that putting together a competitive team at the major league level, would be #2, but not at the expense of #1. 

          So that means selling off players who can bring back a better, younger return and signing or trading for players who have short term contracts.

          Most everyone will agree that this thing needed to be blown up and they already told everyone that all their players were on the market.  

          Nothing new here, this team was bad and needs new players.

          • John_CC

            From the Kaplan column Neil linked above.

            When Epstein spoke to the media before the winter meetings he gave this
            assessment of the potential for the Cubs to sign a free agent to a mega
            contract. “We’ve been consistent from Day 1 that our priorities are building this
            thing the right way, for the long haul, mainly through scouting and
            player development and through the acquisition of young players. The
            second priority is to take advantage of every opportunity to win that
            you have. But we’re not going to do anything to serve the second
            priority that disrupts the first. So any rumor that you hear, it’s
            probably worth your while to assess it through that lens. Not saying
            that we’re not going to make a move that might be unanticipated or catch
            people by surprise or might not on its face fit perfectly into that
            box. But generally that’s our philosophy. That’s how we’re evaluating
            moves as we try to build this thing.”

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks John!

        • John_CC

          When did he say “I will not rebuild”?

          • cubtex

            Oct 26 2011. Espn.go quote with Greenberg that I mentioned above. Quote…Unquote  he will not cheat the woe is us Cubs fan with a rebuilding effort.   Every opportunity to win is sacred.  Ooops. I guess Theo is backpedaling :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Or just admitting that the players that were here, and out of it by the end of May the last 2 years, were really no good, and that we have a better chance of competing with young guys and retreads on short term deals.

            Just a thought.

          • cubtex

            I have been saying to rebuild. I am for it..but it is funny to see his quote less than 2 months ago on how precious winning is and not to cheat the fans.

            Just a minor blip

  • Aaron

    Here would be a true genius move with Marshall.

    Trade him to the
    Reds for Wood, Hamilton (or Henry Rodriguez…lol…no, not THAT “Oh,
    Henry”), and Corcino…actually Rodriguez is better than Hamilton in my

    since Marshall will be a FA post 2012, re-sign him to a FA
    deal…LOL…wouldn’t that be a good deal?

    Reds fans are bitching
    already about having to include Hamilton, but Wood is a marginal talent
    at best, and while his road splits are excellent, he features a
    fastball in the 88-92 mph range, with a plus changeup and NOTHING else.
    Unless you’re Mariano Rivera, you don’t thrive on being essentially a
    1-2 pitch guy in the low 90’s range, and ESPECIALLY as a starter.

    Mike Adams was traded for Wieland and Erlin:

    was ranked #3 on their prospect list, and Wieland was #19…both are
    starters, and both had phenomenal stats, and continued to impress after
    the trade.

    Travis Wood doesn’t even come close to comparing to
    Erlin and Wieland in the minors…and thus far, his MLB stats are about
    league average:–001tra

    So, the Padres received two very highly rated pitchers in the Rangers deep system…

    The Cubs, by trading within the division, should receive an even higher bounty for Marshall.

    should also note the Uehara trade, where the Rangers sent Chris Davis
    and Tommy Hunter to them…two fairly productive MLB players

    Marshall is worth at least Wood, Hamilton/Rodriguez, and Corcino because it’s an inter-division trade.

    Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Adams and Uehara were 4 and 6 years older years older than Marshall, respectively.

    • Josh

      I like the idea of Wood, Rodriguez, and Corcino for Marshal (and maybe a fringe prospect). I think Rodriguez has more potential as an everyday player than Hamilton.

    • daverj

      That would be a great deal for the Cubs if the Reds would go for it.  I can’t see the Reds parting with Hamilton, but maybe the other 3 you mentioned.  I have a feeling Theo has asked for a package like that and the Reds rejected it … that may be why the deal hasn’t happened yet.

  • Neil

    Cubs announce Minor League Managers & Staff.

    Dave Bialas will manage Triple-A Iowa, Buddy Bailey Double-A Tennessee, Brian Harper High-A Daytona,Casey Kopitzke Low-A Peoria, Mark Johnson Short-Season Boise. Bill Dancy moves from Triple-A Iowa manager to organization’s infield coordinator. Cubs keep coaching staff assistant Dave Keller in the organization as hitting coach for Triple-A Iowa.

  • paulcatanese

    Fine, rebuild, I said that last year, blow the team up, including the park and start over from the bare ground.
    Only thing, I don’t get the present signings, all sub par with the exception of Johnson, and not too sure about that.
    What gets me is the last five years with the minor league system according to Theo are not worth anything at all and he is bringing in players that he knew from Red Sox days that may not be an improvement over existing minor league players but worse than what they had.
    This is a very confusing time for me, and can’t quite get a handle on his choice’s or direction that he is presently taking.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Well said Paul, took the words right out of my fingers.I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to contend for our weak division at the same time though. It takes so little.
      I never said we should get any of the high priced talent like the Greedy Prince, but there are a few cheap options out there. Our name is always linked to them too, but they don’t happen. We only need a few, then fill in with the kids and recovering wounded. No brainer.
      Maybe we just need some more suits to figure that out.

  • Aaron

    Neil, Agustin, Brian, and others that have been conversing back and forth with me on this site for the longest time….I would like to offer up this recent Kaplan piece:

    As one current NL
    executive told me it is about time that it happened. “The Cubs have
    never had the guts to completely blow up their roster and build it the
    right way. They have to have a plan for sustained success instead of
    always trying to patchwork a roster for a surprising season. They should
    have done that when Andy MacPhail took over but for whatever reason
    they couldn’t or wouldn’t. By the time Jim Hendry became the GM they had
    some young starting pitching and a mandate from management in 2006-09
    to try to buy their way to a championship. It never worked out so the
    rebuild is the right way to go,” he said.

    Have I not been saying that since the beginning of this site? Yet, most people bashed me, saying you cannot have a complete rebuild, blah blah blah….

    “…they should have done that when Andy MacPhail took over”

    What I have long said, is that there is almost no difference between a 3rd-last place finisher. All the Cubs were trying to do is put fans in the seats at the expense of the future of the team. They continued moves like signing Miles, Gathright, Floyd, etc., versus doing a complete rebuild, and either:
    a) give their prospects a true chance….


    b) trade their prospects at peak value for younger, proven talent

    They did the EXACT opposite of that, by signing stopgap veterans, and either trading or releasing their prospects after they’d optioned them back and forth, ruining their value for pennies on the dollar.

    But here’s what I don’t understand about this “rebuild” that’s being suggested by Kaplan and his sources.

    If that truly was the case, then why would they sign DeJesus and trade away Colvin? Why would they trade away LeMahieu? Why would they allow Gonzalez and Flaherty to go in the Rule 5? Why did they just sign Reed Johnson?

    Because in my mind, if you’re doing a rebuild, you want to not only give your prospects a chance, but you want to trade away your veterans for more prospects. What they did was traditional “Cubbery” to me. Wouldn’t you say the same?

    They lost nearly all of their middle infield depth, with the guys I just mentioned being jettisoned…and they all were cheap and productive in their minor league careers. How is that helping the “rebuild”?

    So, my guess is that Kaplan and his “sources” are incorrect. The only way we’ll know that it’s a complete rebuild is if they trade Marshall, Marmol, Zambrano, Garza, Byrd, Soto, and possibly even outright releasing Soriano.

    If the Cubs open up the season with a roster that includes:
    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    2B-Barney, Bianchi
    3B-Stewart, Lake
    LF-Cespedes, Ridling
    CF-B. Jackson, Johnson

    ….I wouldn’t be that pissed. I still think the Yankees might be the most logical trade partner for Garza, and if the Cubs get anything less than Montero, Betances, and Banuelos, I wouldn’t do it. I know the A’s asked for that for Gonzalez, and got turned down, but Garza is the superior pitcher of the two.

    From the Rangers, I’d ask for Profar, Perez, and Ramirez

    From the Jays, I’d ask for Lawrie and Drabek

    • daverj

      The reason Epstein let LeMahieu, Flaherty and Gonzalez go is because Epstein clearly doesn’t see much value in them (at least in connection with his goal to turn the Cubs into a year in, year out contender).  I agree with Epstein on that point.  You disagree with him.  We won’t know who is right for a few years, but if your question is “why would the Cubs let those guys go?” … I think the answer is simply that the Cubs value those players much less than you do.

      If we had a top minor league system like the Rangers, Blue Jays, Royals or others, we wouldn’t even give guys like Flaherty, Gonzalez or LeMahieu a second thought. Those guys only look good because we don’t have much in the way of real top prospects.

      • JimBo_C

        From what we saw of LeMahieu, I can see why they opted to cut bait.

        He has the frame to hit for power but opts to hit like a guy with smaller stature and shoot the ball to RF. Changing the mentality is not trivial. Which led to the basic questions … Do you want a 3B with the capacity to hit about 10 HRs? Do you want a 6′ 4″ 2B?

        • Aaron

          that’s a lousy argument and you know it. Was Tony Gwynn a power hitter? How about Wade Boggs? Derek Jeter?

          And yet, all 3 of them were/are great hitters that used the whole field to their advantage, and competed for batting titles.

          Boggs, in particular, given his position, would be a great comparison. All LeMahieu has done is hit from day 1 in the minors….that’s a good sign of a pure hitter

          • JimBo_C

            Aaron, you type fast.

            From what I saw, I think LeMahieu will have some success in the big leagues. His RBI per AB rate in the minors (with very few HRs) was impressive. In the MLB ABs I saw of him last year, I didnt see him use the whole field. I only saw him use CF and RF. Rarely did I see him open up his hips and pull the ball. His approach is more  passive than aggressive. The “blueprint” 3B for the new regime likely calls for someone with more jack than DJL and the “blueprint” 2B likely calls for someone with more athleticism/quickness than a guy with a 6’4″ frame provides.

            Were you really that high on DJL’s skills and making a sincere comparison to Boggs?

          • Aaron

            All I’m saying is don’t be surprised at all if he develops into a Boggs clone…and I’m being very sincere about that. I think there’s a greater likelihood of that than him being a bust…just sayin’

            It’s very rare that you find guys that make consistent contact all throughout the minors like he did. Usually, you find guys that tear up one league…like a Brandon Wood (whom I still like…but admit he’s probably a failure), and then are about .280’s hitters in the other rungs of the minors. LeMahieu is consistent, and through my research, the guys that are consistent like that have the highest likelihood of success at the MLB level.

            Need I remind you of guys like Soto, Colvin, Pie, Fox (the latter 2 I actually happen to like…just not as starters) that have been middling prospects until they reach AAA, light it on fire with the poor pitching, then get a call-up, maybe experience some success, then flame out.

            That, my friend, is PRECISELY why consistency matters.

            I even said as much in the past when I was talking about Soto and Colvin. I thought they were fooling us, because if you looked at their minor league stats, they were a rollercoaster ride….NOTHING was consistent except the inconsistency. You put them both in MLB, they light it on fire, and now look where they’re at…See what I mean?

    • Agustinrexach

      I hear you Aaron and you have said it numerous times that the whole thing should be blown up and started from scratch. Anyway Theo and Hoyer have me confused. I admit I like Reed but man…..where does that say rebuilding instead of cheapie!?
      Btw I’d trade garza to the Yankees for Montero and Bañuelos straight up in a heartbeat. No need to add anything else IMO

      • JimBo_C

        Perhaps the lower profile signings of DeJesus and Johnson
        1) represent the types of veteran leaders that Epstein referenced in his initial press conference.2) facilitate impending trades/dumps of Soriano & Byrd.Johnson is a max effort guy who “plays the game the right way” that a guy like Sveum would seem to like. Never seen DeJesus play but have read similar things about him.

        Rebuilds clearly need some low cost veteran leaders to help show the way to play.

      • Aaron


        I don’t think that’s a fair deal for the Cubs. While Banuelos and Betances are their top pitching prospects, both of them come with significant question marks, especially Banuelos, who has seen his velocity dip, and there are concerns about an arm injury. Betances struggles with control, and he had a cup of coffee this year where he was VERY unimpressive with 6 walks vs 2 K’s in 2 2/3 IP, including 1 start, which tells you just about all you need to know about his control issues, which hindered him in the minors too.

        In addition to all those concerns, both Banuelos and Betances were unimpressive in AAA this year.

  • Aaron

    Here’s the buh-gillion dollar question then….RE: rebuild

    Zambrano, Dempster, and Soriano all have no trade clauses. We know Soriano has already said he’ll waive his if they don’t want him, but will Z and Dempster waive theirs?

    Even so…what could you get for that trio?

    Z- maybe a Volstad?

    Dempster- maybe 2 mid-level prospects

    Soriano- if Cubs pick up $45mm of the $54mm owed, then they might get 1 or 2 low level prospects

    everyone else….
    Garza- if the Cubs use recent deals for frontline starting pitchers as a template, they should get at least 3 top prospects

    Marshall-we already know the market for him if you believe the rumors…a young big league starter that needs a change of scenery (supposedly…from the bandbox at Cincy) and 2 minor leaguers (we don’t know what kind…but if it’s anything less than 2 top prospects…or maybe 1 top, 1 mid-level, like the Adams/Uehara deals I mentioned, you don’t do that deal)

    Marmol- probably 2 top prospects, but that’s ONLY if the team thinks they can fix him. It’ll be a very tough sell, but if the Cubs can’t get that type of haul, they’re better off waiting til the trade deadline, hoping Bosio can fix him and increase his trade value

    Soto- with last year’s disappointing stats, the Cubs could expect maybe 2 mid-levels in return

    Wells- probably nothing more than 1 mid-level and 1 low-level prospects

    Byrd- probably a young MLB player in need of a change of scenery

    Barney- might net you 2 mid-level prospects just because he’s young, and had a decent rookie year

    Russell- might net you a guy like Rizzo (SHOULD net you that anyway, but Cubs might have to kick in another prospect because of Rizzo’s unjustified hype)

    Cashner/Dolis/Samardzija/Carpenter- power arms don’t grow on trees. All 4 should net a decent return, but given they all have more experience in relief, and net starting (where they belong), they probably wouldn’t land the Cubs much in return….Additionally, outside of Carpenter because of stamina issues, the first 3 should be allowed to compete in the rotation for the Cubs and NOT traded away.

    That’s about all the Cubs have to offer

  • Aaron

    Neil, breaking news from MLBTR:

    …a little less “breaking” when we already knew about it

    • Neil

      I’ll try to start posting here first instead of twitter. Thanks.

      I was also waiting for confirmation. So much bad info floating around nowadays.

  • Tony_Hall

    That answers that

    Good-luck Sean Marshall, welcome Travis Wood and friends.

    • Aaron

      I won’t “welcome” them until I know their names…

      Wood, welcome to a losing tradition….I hope you know how to throw more than 2 pitches and keep the ball in the park. Defense, as it is now, is worse than when you were with the Reds….even after acquisitions. Please account for this in your ERA goals for the season, as you’ll be lucky to be under a 5 ERA as currently constructed.

      Other 2 guys….you better be top prospects, otherwise you’re already behind the 8 ball as far as I’m concerned

      • Tony_Hall

        The names would be nice, as until we know who they are, how can we say if this is a good deal or not.

        • cubs1967

          ‘cuz minor leaguers are suspects until otherwise proven……so NOW we are giving away players to our division rivals for crappy left-hander starters!

          wow…dusty is laughing his ass off right now.

          how many hits will stewart-dejesus-lahair-out NEW big time LH hitters get against marshall….just a guess but ZERO sounds good,.

          crap trade. crap team. crap owner.

          100 loses here we come……

          new slogan for 2012:

          104 losses equals our pathetic 104 yrs since a WS……..

          safe to say Ricketts is consistent….each year the team gets worse; each year I have no intentions of spending a dime on this team.

          • Tony_Hall

            I will take the under on the losses.

            What’s amazing is the Reds fans think they overpaid, and that is if the prospects are nothing  to talk about.

          • John_CC

            I am genuinely curious how you would like to see the Cubs become an instant contender next year, since there is no grace period? 

            You hate trades for prospects, or “suspects” as you call them. You only want MLB talent, and of course only high caliber MLB talent, in order to contend immediately.

            So I guess they could pay for Fielder, could have signed Reyes, CJ, Buehrle and bid $52M for Darvish.  Right? That would be about $350M, and raising ticket prices has already put your undies in a bunch so how are they supposed to do that?

            I mean there is no one on the Cubs roster that could return solid MLB players, and no prospects in the system to trade to acquire solid MLB players, so it all has to be via FA and being the highest bidder.

            So seriously, I would really like to hear just a couple ideas of how YOU would go about building a winner on the North Side for 2012.  Just a couple moves, a couple ideas…

    • MikeT_2008

      It’s tough but I guess they gotta sell high. Hopefully Wood turns into a useful starting pitcher

      • Tony_Hall

        I liked Sean Marshall, but let’s face it, he was 30 years old, already making $3M, and will take quite the contract after next season to retain him.  He, quite possibly, could be getting a chance to be their closer this year, if they don’t resign Cordero.

        And if Theo and Jed want Sean back, they can always resign him after the next year.

        • MikeT_2008

          All great points, he’s one of our pieces that people actually want so you gotta do what you gotta do

  • Neil

    Waiting on details and confirmation … Trade appears to be done

    From Bruce Levine: Cubs and Reds agree in principle to trade sending Sean Marshall to cinci for lefty Travis Wood and 2 minor leaguers. Cubs and Reds players must pass medicals 1st.

  • John_CC

    I like Marshall a lot.  But it’s time to start over. 

    Last year a large majority were calling to blow this team up…it’s happening!  If they are dealing Marshall…this is only the first of more trades to come.  I am pleased to see it happening!