Giving Kelly Johnson a second base thought

It’s been a quiet weekend, as least as far as news leaking to the media. No other executives left the organization. No free agents came to Baltimore to sign a contract. No one on the international market flew here to take a physical exam.

The coaching staff still has two vacancies. The scouting director and director of baseball operations need to be replaced.

Maybe the Orioles are waiting to send out one long press release. I just know that it won’t arrive today.

We were scrambling yesterday to find enough topics to fill an hour-long “Wall to Wall Baseball” show on MASN. I give Tom Davis credit for keeping the discussion lively.

Davis suggested a possible free-agent match for the Orioles that also has been discussed on this blog. I haven’t brought up the name, but I’ve seen it appear in the comments section.

Should the Orioles pursue second baseman Kelly Johnson?

They won’t go into spring training expecting Brian Roberts to play 150 games. His presence in the lineup will be viewed as a bonus. The Orioles will proceed as if he won’t be available, and they’ll gladly adjust if he’s ready.

They signed infielder Matt Antonelli and they’ve still got Robert Andino. As I’ve written, oh, 500 times, manager Buck Showalter would prefer using Andino in a utility role.

Signing Johnson, who turns 30 in February, would bring some complications if Roberts is healthy. Johnson has played one infield position in his career - second base - though he appeared in 79 games in left field for the Braves back in 2005. He’d sign here only at the right price, and only if he was going to be the regular second baseman.

Johnson made $5.8 million this season while batting .222 with 27 doubles, seven triples, 21 homers, 58 RBIs, 163 strikeouts and a .717 OPS in 147 games with the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays. In 2010, he hit .284 with 36 doubles, five triples, 26 homers, 71 RBIs and an .865 OPS in 154 games with Arizona.

Johnson is a Type A free agent, but the team that signs him won’t lose a draft pick.

I know that a few of you have weighed in, but feel free to do it again.

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