As the center field options continue to dwindle for the Chicago Cubs, one presumed back-up option might be heading out the window. We all keep saying that if the Marlon Byrd’s and Scott Podsednik’s of the world don’t end up working out for the Cubs (please), perhaps a Sam Fuld and Reed Johnson type platoon in center field might be an inexpensive and better defensive substitute.
I guess we should not just assume Johnson will wait around forever.
An NL executive and an agent told me the Yankees were talking regularly to the representatives for Reed Johnson. I can see the Yankee reasoning. As currently constituted, the Yanks have lefty-swingers Brett Gardner in left field and Curtis Granderson in center. Johnson can play all three outfield positions, and has long been a strong hitter against lefties. In 2009 against lefties, Johnson hit .324 with a .403 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage; and for his career the numbers are .313/.378/.463. New York Post.
Johnson might not be a top line starter, but he is clearly one of the best reserve outfielders in the game. Even if he doesn’t figure into the center field picture, the Cubs should strongly consider making a serious push to re-sign him. He will be useful regardless.