Optimism is in the air in Goodyear. It was announced on Monday that the Indians have signed veteran infielder Nick Johnson who spent an injury filled season on the Yankees in 2010.
Johnson had played for the Yankees, Nationals, and Marlins over the span of his career. He is primarily known as a first baseman and can help provide some depth at first. He is invited to Spring Training as a non roster invite, but he will likely make the team. If not at the beginning of the year, he will sometime during the season.
He is a lifetime .270 hitter with 91 career home runs. Johnson can help mentor the young Matt LaPorta who can use some guidance.
The only problem for Johnson is his right wrist, which he recently had surgery on. Once the wrist heals, Johnson can compete for a spot on the roster.
This signing shows that the Indians front office is not afraid to take risks. On a very young team, signing an injured veteran is not usually seen. Three veterans have already been signed this off-season in Austin Kearns, Orlando Cabrera, and Johnson.
The new regime under Chris Antonetti is off to a very good start in regards to free agent signings.