Braves third baseman Chris Johnson gets to keep his dream job for another three years.
Atlanta was the team he cheered for while growing up in South Florida, and he idolized third baseman Chipper Jones.
“In this game, not many times does a team tell a player they want him to be around for a really long time,” Johnson said. “I’m excited they feel that way about me and have the confidence in me to be around for a little while. Now I just want to work as hard as I can to prove they’re right.”
After agreeing to a $23.5 million, three-year deal announced Friday, Johnson will be under contract through 2017.
Johnson, 29, was one of the team’s biggest surprises last season. A supposed throw-in to the Justin Upton trade, Johnson ranked second in the N.L. with a .321 average. He had 12 home runs and 68 RBIs.
His signing continues Atlanta’s recent trend of signing a core of players to long-term deals.
First baseman Freddie Freeman, closer Craig Kimbrel, starting pitcher Julio Teheran and shortstop Andrelton Simmons re-upped with the Braves earlier this year, and right fielder Jason Heyward was signed through 2015.
Kipnis placed on DL
Cleveland has placed All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list with a strained side muscle.
The 27-year-old Kipnis, who is hitting .234 with three homers and 12 RBIs, injured his oblique during an at-bat in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s loss to the Angels.
Kipnis and the Indians agreed to a six-year, $52.5 million contract at the start of this season.
Clearing the bases
Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Los Angeles recalled OF Chone Figgins from Triple-A Albuquerque. … Joel Hanrahan agreed to a one-year deal with Detroit, which is hopeful the right-hander can bolster a shaky bullpen when he finally returns from elbow surgery. The former All-Star had Tommy John surgery last May. … San Diego signed 27-year-old Cuban RHP Odrisamer Despaigne to a minor league contract. He receives a $1 million signing bonus. … Minnesota placed CF Aaron Hicks on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms, and RHP Mike Pelfrey on the 15-day disabled list after reporting soreness in his left groin.