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Reed Johnson Passes Physical & Signs With Dodgers

Reed Johnson Passes Physical & Signs With Dodgers

Riverside native and Fullerton alum returns to Southern California
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today signed outfielder Reed Johnson to a one-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“Reed is a versatile outfielder that comes to the ballpark ready to play every day,” said Colletti. “We’re excited to have him with the Dodgers. He provides Joe with a few defensive choices since he has played all three outfield positions in his career.”  

Johnson is career .282 hitter over 784 games with the Blue Jays (2003-07) and Cubs (2008-09). In seven seasons, he has 52 homers, 145 doubles, 306 RBI and a career on-base percentage of .344. Johnson has a career fielding percentage of .991, playing 434 games in left field, 210 in right field and 184 in center.

The acquisition significantly adds to the Dodgers flexibility for 2010 and gives the club two outfielders – Jason Repko being the other – on the 40-man roster who have played at least 50 games at all three outfield spots. In addition, with their offseason moves, Los Angeles will have six infielders in big league camp (Ronnie Belliard, Jamey Carroll, Blake DeWitt, Nick Green, Chin-lung Hu and Doug Mientkiewicz) that have played at least two positions for more than 25 games in the Major Leagues. On top of that, Belliard, Carroll and Green have played at least 50 games at three different infield positions over the course of their careers. 

Last season with the Cubs, Johnson hit .255 with four homers and 22 RBI in 65 games. The 33-year old also hit .324 vs. left-handed pitching, .455 (5-for-11) with the bases loaded and .354 (17-for-48) against the National League West. In his career, Johnson has hit .313 vs. left-handers and .294 with runners in scoring position.

Johnson’s best season came in  2006 with Toronto, when he established career bests with a .319 average, 86 runs scored, 147 hits, 34 doubles, 12 homers and 21 hit by pitches. That season, Johnson became the Blue Jays’ everyday left fielder and leadoff hitter while leading all American League leadoff hitters with a .390 on-base percentage. In his career, Johnson has played 422 games while batting in the leadoff spot and is hitting .285 with a .348 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage in those contests. Johnson has belted seven career leadoff home runs, with his most recent coming in 2007 off Johan Santana.

Over seven seasons beginning in 2003, Johnson has been hit by 98 pitches, which ranks fifth in the Major Leagues over that time, trailing just Jason Kendall (117), Chase Utley (107), Jason Giambi (101), and Aaron Rowand (99). Since coming in to the Majors, he has been beaned an average of once every 29 plate appearances, which is the highest percentage in Major League baseball since that time among players with at least 2,500 plate appearances.

The Southern California native holds the distinction of being one of only four players in big league history to hit a leadoff home run and a walkoff homer in the same game. He turned the trick on June 15, 2003 with Toronto vs. the Cubs. Johnson was on the Cubs’ postseason roster for the 2008 Division series against the Dodgers, but did not play.

Johnson was born in Riverside and graduated from Temecula Valley High School, before moving on to play for Cal State Fullerton, where he was an Academic All-American. In 1999, became the first player in the Big West Conference to collect 100 runs and 100 hits. Johnson was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 17th round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. – From John Chapper (Dodger PR Staff)

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22 Responses to “Reed Johnson Passes Physical & Signs With Dodgers”

  1. ken says:

    The Dodgers continue to rid themselves of all Jasons.

    “Reed is a versatile outfielder that comes to the ballpark ready to play every day,” said Colletti.

    I am glad that they finally signed a player that is ready to play everyday. Some of their earlier signings obviously were not ready to play every day. I guess Franks finally got upset with those players. Ned had turned the corner.

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    He’s got an ugly goat…

  3. Rory says:

    How can you say he comes to the park everyday ready to play when he had back problems and a fractured foot that limited him to 165 at bats last year? That’s just more spin. What idiot is going to say “we signed a guy that sometimes comes to the park ready to play, sometimes – eh, not so much”.

    And he passed a physical? So did Jason Schmidt.

    That goat should be released back into the wild.

  4. Jaydavis says:

    The only FA signing I like is Nick Green but I’ve always liked him.

  5. Bootz says:

    He’s a backup outfielder. Don’t get your panties in a bunch Rory.

  6. Rory says:


    Some guy named Bootz is picturing another guy in panties? Should we be worried?

    And, I don’t believe he is “just a back up”. Think for a moment where this team would have been last year without Pierre. Every player on the team has an important role. Remember those famous words – “it takes a village.”

  7. DRomo says:

    Easy boys.He broke his foot on a foul ball, most of us know how bad that feels. He will be fine. He is a backup outfielder and can hit a little. No need to turn thsi conversation into what kind of underwear Rory wears :)

    Nick Green had back issues. It will be interesting how this roster shakes out. We have a lot of guys at the same positions. Let the battles begin.

    Let’s remember these guys we are talking about are battling for a spot on the stuntman crew, not starting 9. I like having the scrappy vets in that role. Ned has a knack for finding them.

  8. ken says:

    The most important news of the off season – Blake has apparently shaved.

    Rory – He is not picturing another guy in panties. Panties are a female only type of clothing. He is calling you a female.

    The 40-man roster is now full. Say goodbye to Repko and at least one of the Rule 5 pitchers. The Dodgers need a left handed PH and they need to have 2-3 legitimate long relievers (Weaver, Haeger and ???). However, to put 3 long relievers on the roster is an admission that the pitching coach can not coach the starting pitchers properly, so we can forget about it.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Rory, here is my editing of what is meant:

    “. . . we signed a guy that sometimes comes to the park ready to play, sometimes – eh, not so much”.


    “. . . we signed a guy that comes to the park ready to play – IF – he remembers the team schedule, can get out of bed, is able to suite-up, if he is in the lineup, or if called upon to be either a pinch hitter or runner, or go to the field later in the game. But — if he is injured, too tired, and cannot find the ball park — then he is not ready to play.”

  10. Rory says:

    He is calling you a female.

    Oh. Some guy named Bootz, with a z, calling me a female. Gee I feel so much better now.

    I hope Johnson can return to hitting the way he did a few years ago. Bad foot, bad back, bad batting average in a hitters park last year. He is coming to a pitchers park, so……. we are going to need somebody who can get after it both in the field and at the plate. He has little speed, and his BB/K ratio of .32 is not good.

    But he did pass the Dodgers physical.
    FYI, Mark Loretta was a .280 hitter before he became a Dodger. I am just sayin’…..

    If we are going to go with a guy who hits around .250, I would rather just stick with Repko and have that extra money available to sign another arm.

  11. DRomo says:

    I was looking at the available pitchers out there and aside from the reclaimation projects like Wang and Lowery, Jared Washburn is out there. I look at him as a battle tested guy who had a bad run after he was traded but was solid in Seattle. He likes SoCal and as his asking price drops (and it will as ST approaches) he might be a steal for someone at a reasonable price. He’s not an ace but on our squad he would fit in nicely!!

    Rory, you are making the same argument I had against Johnson. He is a nice player, but he is Jason Repko only older and more expensive. Don’t we have bigger holes on this roster than the ones we keep filling? How many middle infielders and 4th outfielders do we need? Why are we throwing extra money around when we have a tight budget at guys like Nick Green, Jamey Carroll, Timo Freakin’ Perez, and Reed Johnson? I half expect now that we signed Brad Ausmus for Ned to contact Torrealba and Jose Molina to add to the mix as well. Maybe they are stocking the roster so we can send a roster full of stiffs to Taiwan in March and keep the “real” roster in AZ?

  12. ken says:

    FYI, Mark Loretta was a .280 hitter before he became a Dodger. I am just sayin’…..

    Exactly. As I have said all along Loretta needed 250 ABs per year to stay in the groove. Torre did him no favors. We all saw how Loretta and Castro tailed off when they got no playing time. Not many players can be pure pinch hitters like Sweeney. Oh yea, he could not hit either. Can Manny Mota still pinch hit??

  13. Bill Russell says:

    Reed Johnson is a local kid that is scrappy and is a better hitter then Repko has proven to be. He’s not just Jason Repko that is older and more expensive. Remember, we want guys that can pinch hit off the bench. I won’t have much faith in Repko coming off the bench in a key pinch hitting role. That’s just my take for what it’s worth.

  14. DRomo says:

    I can’t wait for the Timo Tuesdays promotions to start. All fans that can recognize him get in free. It’s gonna be sweet!

    Did someone say Blake shaved his beard? WTF Casey? McCourt has to be pissed. They had Blake Beards all set for the souvenier shop next to the dreadlock wigs! Does that mean he gets a new bobblehead day, then?

    It would be awesome if during a ST game Joe Torre walks to the mound to pull Russ Ortiz and tells him to go ahead and keep the ball. That should be R. Ortiz’s trademark. I hope you guys get that.

    It’s a slow day here at the office, sorry fellas.

  15. Bill Russell says:

    Romo, rumor has it that they were using some of the Manny wigs that didn’t sell last year to convert into Blake beards. I guess we have the modern day Jay Buhner. I read that Casey gains more range with less hair. Casey hired a new agent from the NASCAR circuit.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Johnson will be getting $800,000, and Repko would get $500,000 if he made the team (not likely). Is the $300,000 differential really going to be the difference in a decision on whether or not to bring in another arm, or player? Don’t think so. Besides, although a really good arm would be nice, I’m still confident that we have enough in-house guys to fill out the pitching staff.

    As I see it, of the 7 guys we will likely have in the bullpen, six of them will be:

    Sherill – Unless he’s traded

    Of those, both Troncoso and McDonald are capable of long relief. The seventh guy could be any number of people including Elbert, Haeger, Lindblom, a Rule 5 guy, etc., etc., etc. So as I see it, we will have 2-3 long relievers one way or another. And why I ask, would anyone even consider that Weaver could be one of them?

    I asked this once before, but never got an answer. Does anyone know the status of Cory Wade?

    As for the Rule 5 guys, I suspect that if one or both of them don’t make the staff, the Dodgers could still acquire one or both via a late spring training deal. That would allow the acquired player to be sent out to Albque.

  17. ken says:

    Looks like the italian sauce was signed to back up Frucal and Kemp

  18. Erik says:

    Alfredo Amezega??? Uh. So. Why?

  19. Mexico is now up 2-0 in the first against Venezuela in the Carribean World Series. With Reuben Rivera hitting a two-run triple.


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