Kelly Johnson will join the Mets in Milwaukee tomorrow for the second game in their four-game series with the Brewers, which starts tonight.
The Mets announced Wednesday that they acquired Johnson and cash from the Braves for 23-year-old, Double-A pitching prospect Akeel Morris.
The Mets made a similar trade last summer when they acquired Johnson from the Braves for two minor leaguers.
"We have aspirations of winning the whole thing this year, so we're not going to sit around and wait," assistant GM John Ricco told reporters Wednesday in Pittsburgh. "We know what this team is. We know what this team can be, and we're going to give it every chance to get there."
Johnson, 34, was hitting .215 with a .273 OBP and .289 SLG in 132 plate appearances for the Braves this season, while playing first base, second base and left field.
"We're pretty happy to get him back," Ricco said of Johnson. "He was part of a team that went to the World Series last year. We hope he can help us get there again."
The big talking points coming from the Mets yesterday and last night, when asked about Johnson, were all about his 'leadership,' 'big hits,' and 'clubhouse presence.' I heard little about his hitting, and more about his versatility and experience -- especially his experience playing in New York during a pennant race, which he did last season with the Mets. This is all correct, and should not be minimized. It's important, but the Mets still need hitting...
I think Morris is going to be a good big league pitcher. He looked overwhelmed in his tiny appearance last summer for the Mets, which was totally unfair to him. He should never have been promoted. He knew it. And, the Mets knew it, so much so they gave him an NL Championship ring, despite playing in just one game. He's a good kid, very talented and we haven't seen the last of him, especially since he'll now be with the Braves.
That said, like Ricco noted, the time for the Mets to win is now... not five years from now. I like this deal because it's aggressive and it rounds up the roster.
It's not enough, though. Johnson and Wilmer Flores can be a decent platoon at third base, while the Mets wait to see if David Wright ever returns from the disabled list. However, a light platoon at third base, plus James Loney at first base, no offense at catcher and a slumping, older Curtis Granderson is a lot to ask from a team that expects to win a World Series...
Again, this move is fine for now. It's a solid bandaid with full-season benefits. But, the lineup needs a lot more work, and I suspect the Mets already know this...