The Atlanta Braves are keeping utility outfielder Reed Johnson around at least another season. The team announced through its official Twitter feed Thursday that it has agreed to a one-year contract with Johnson, with a club option for 2014.
The Braves traded for Johnson in July in a deal that also brought Paul Maholm to Atlanta for relief prospect Arodys Vizcaino, knowing the outfielder would be at least a rental as he was set to hit free agency. But the versatile backup seemed to be in general manager Frank Wren's plans for longer than that, as now he'll stick around for at least 2013.
Johnson was one of the best pinch-hitters in baseball last season while accruing an overall slash line of .290/.337/.398, mostly as a backup.
The Braves are currently working to fill a void in their lineup in either left field or third base, with Martin Prado filling in at the other spot. Johnson could prove as insurance in left if the team isn't able to fill the vacancy with a trade or another free agent signing to go along with new center fielder B.J. Upton. The team is also looking to fill at least one more bench vacancy after left-handed hitting Eric Hinske signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this week.