Chris Johnson Avoids Arbitration, Signs With Diamondbacks @ $2.3m

Christian Petersen

The third Diamondback of the day signed a one-year deal for 2013, avoiding arbitration.

Dear Diamondbacks, Next year, can you please all get together and co-ordinate your contract announcements - ideally with some kind of party, involving cake and ice-cream? It would be much easier for me to handle, than this dribbling out every 30 minutes on Twitter, requiring multiple updates all morning on the 'Pit. Though on the plus side: post count. Love, Jim.

There. With that out of the way, Chris Johnson was a "Super Two". That's a one of the players each year who get an extra year of arbitration - they spend two at league minimum, then four in arbitration, before reaching free agency, rather than three at each. It's given to the top 22% of players closest to, but below, three years of service time. Johnson had his busiest season to date, appearing in 136 games between Houston and Arizona. He provided decent offensive production, with a 108 OPS+, though his fielding perhaps left a bit to be desired, and is likely to be our starting third baseman to begin the 2013 campaign.

Johnson's closest comparable from last year's crop of arbitration players was likely fellow Super Two Ryan Roberts, who settled at just over $2 million. Some of their numbers to that point are kinda similar: Roberts had played in 307 games with an OPS+ of 98, while Johnson has 348 appearances, a 102 OPS. However, Johnson's defensive issues penalize him severely as far as bWAR goes. Indeed, they completely wipe out his offense and leave him below replacement level, at -0.8 bWAR, while Roberts had produced four bWAR by the time he reached arbitration. I'd be inclined to think Johnson might get a little below the rate Roberts received.

[Update: was wrong on this one. Defense is clearly over-rated, as Johnson settles for a little shy of $2.3 million]

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