Nick Johnson Signs With Indians On Minor League Contract

If you can believe it, Nick Johnson is still - still - only 32 years old. He's 32 years old, with a career .401 OBP. Sure, he's injury-prone, and maybe injury-prone to a greater degree than anybody else in the game, but anyone with that kind of discipline will get chance after chance, and Johnson's latest opportunity will come with the Cleveland Indians.

Johnson's signed on with the Indians on a minor league contract that will guarantee him very little. Every team in baseball knows better than to make a big commitment to a guy who's had as much trouble staying on the field as Johnson has. But there will be the opportunity to rise if Johnson forces it, so this is as good a fit as any he was going to find.

Johnson's 2010 season ended early after undergoing wrist surgery. He's only played in 195 Major League games over the past four years as he just keeps on getting hurt. That said, over those 195 games he's posted a .419 OBP, so the talent's still in there, and if Johnson's able to keep himself together, he could force his way into a bench role, or even maybe more than that in the event of some struggling from other players. You never want to invest too much hope in a player like this, lest you get burned again, but you always wish for the best, so hopefully Johnson's able to make something of the rest of his career before eventually hanging them up.

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