Monday, December 14, 2009

Astros interested in Kelly Johnson

Infielder Kelly Johnson, formerly of the Atlanta Braves, are getting some love from the Astros (as well as the Pirates, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks).

I'll admit, I don't see it. The Astros already have Maysonet, Matsui, and Keppinger. If the Astros were to flip Matsui for a bucket of sunflower seeds, and install Johnson at 2B, however, that's a different story. But to add another second baseman just to do it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


OremLK said...

Kelly Johnson is 27, and due for a big rebound season. His walk rate was similar to his career rate and his strikeout rate decreased in 2009; his ISO was about the same.

The thing that really killed him was that his BABIP plummeted, which was part poor luck and part weak contact.

Will he be an .800 OPS hitter moving forward? I think there's a good chance. That would be a huge offensive upgrade, and even though his defense isn't quite as good as Matsui's, it's passable.

The Constable. said...

I should have clarified: it totally makes sense from a statistical standpoint. Matsui has been pretty awful, and as you pointed out (and my cousin - a Braves fan - also pointed out) Johnson is due.

Where it doesn't make sense is just adding him without moving existing personnel: Matsui or Maysonet. My preference would be, if the Astros signed Johnson, to move Matsui, or just flat-out release him. There may be too many middle infielders on the market to get too much for Matsui.

OremLK said...

I think Matsui's NTC may be gone this season, so they may be able to move him if they eat a significant portion of his salary. I have no faith in Wade or McLane to eat their pride and make a move along those lines, though.

Another option would be to trade Keppinger and bench Matsui. I like Keppinger much better though. But then again, Keppinger might get us a real prospect instead of just salary relief, so that's worth considering.

Finally, if Castro is ready at some point during the season, Quintero or Towles could be traded to free up a roster spot whenever that happens.