Thursday, February 19, 2009

Braves Agree to Terms with Infielder Kelly Johnson

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to terms with infielder Kelly Johnson on a one-year contract for the 2009 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Financial terms were not announced.
Johnson, who turns 27 on Sunday, owns a .273 career batting average, with 72 home runs and 274 RBI in 384 games. In 2008 he posted career highs in batting average (.287), games (150), at-bats (547), hits (157), doubles (39), RBI (69) and stolen bases (11). He compiled a 22-game hitting streak, September 1-24, and his 44 multi-hit games tied for the team lead. Johnson's .333 batting average against left-handed pitchers ranked second in the majors among all left-handed hitters. His 39 doubles ranked second among all National League second basemen.

The Braves' top pick (38th overall) in the 2000 draft, Johnson missed the entire 2006 season due to "Tommy John" surgery on his right elbow. In 2007 he switched positions, from the outfield to second base, and has played there each of the last two years.

The Braves now have just one remaining arbitration-eligible player on their 40-man roster unsigned for the upcoming season -- outfielder Jeff Francoeur.

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