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Braves announce contract extension with Chris Johnson

May 2, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

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Making official what was reported last night, the Braves and third baseman Chris Johnson have agreed to a three-year, $23.5 million contract extension that includes a $10 million team option for 2018.

Johnson is making $4.75 million this year and was already under team control for 2015 and 2016 via arbitration eligibility, so the extension pre-pays for those two seasons and buys out his first (and possibly second) season of free agency.

Johnson had a career-year last season, hitting .321 with 12 homers and an .816 OPS in 142 games for the Braves. However, he’s off to a slow start this season, hitting just .255 with a .641 OPS in 26 games, and Johnson is a lifetime .287 hitter with a modest .760 OPS through age 29.

He’s generally been a slightly above average hitter, but defensive metrics consistently peg Johnson as a very poor fielder at third base and because of that his overall value sabermetrically has been fairly underwhelming. The contract locks him up through age 32 and potentially age 33, and it’s the sixth extension the Braves have handed out since spring training for a total of more than $300 million in commitments.

  1. bravojawja - May 2, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Not a big fan of this one, but I’m not sure who the Braves have in the pipeline to take over third in the post-Chipper era. On the plus side, it’s not a big contract (relatively) and the Braves can opt out once they realize the revenue from Cobb Corporate Stadium & Arcade isn’t coming through.

  2. dowhatifeellike - May 2, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Big gamble. Can he still hit the hole hard or is he now just an outside runner?

  3. dillongeeescapeplan - May 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    To be fair, who doesn’t want to extend their Johnson?

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