From the same article, we see that Brad Mills entertained, then rejected, an idea to move Chris Johnson to 1B (for what reason, I have no idea) in Winter Ball. He'll now focus on a Spring Training steel-cage match with Jimmy Paredes to see who opens 2012 at 3B.
You would think Paredes would have the edge, just given the shakeout of playing time over the second half of the season. But let's look at a few things, eh?
Johnson has struck out in 23.3% of his PAs in 2011 (walking in 3.8% of his PAs), with a .132 ISO (SLG%-AVG). He's hitting .253/.292/.385 with a .315 BABIP. Also, FanGraphs shows that his glove is a liability, and gives him a -13.9 UZR. His FanGraphs WAR is -0.7. He's also going to be 27 on October 1.
Jimmy Paredes, the Double-A call-up, will be 23 at the end of November. In limited playing time (43 games, 167 PAs), Paredes has - incredibly - about the same K/BB numbers as Johnson. Paredes walks in 4.8% of his PAs, strikes out in 24.6% of his PAs, and is hitting .293/.325/.395 buoyed by a .383 BABIP. Defensively, he's better than Johnson - FanGraphs gives him only a -0.4 UZR, but at least a positive WAR at 0.6.
The fact that Paredes is a good five years younger than Johnson gives him the edge, but if Johnson was going to lock down a spot for the foreseeable future, it probably needed to be this season.