HOUSTON,TX: Reed Johnson of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after he hit a solo homerun in the first inning against Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
With Emilio Bonifacio out of action, the Marlins could use a center fielder. With the Cubs out of action, the Cubs don't really need a center fielder. It's a trade made in heaven!
Honestly, I have no idea what the protocol is with Sulia. I mean, I know we're not supposed to just reproduce whole columns or stories or news reports in our humble blog posts. And I know that we often reproduce tweets in full, and nobody says boo. But where do Sulia posts fall in that continuum?
For the moment, I'm going to assume they're like tweets. Because I (think I) can.
With all that in mind (or, ideally, not), here's Phil Rogers:
There are multiple reports that the Marlins are looking outside for a center fielder w/Emilio Bonifacio out for 4-6 weeks. This could be a good opportunity for the Cubs to get maximum value for Reed Johnson. He's playing well in a platoon with Tony Campana but had back issues a year ago, which could return before the trade deadline. He'd be a good fit in Miami because he could join Austin Kearns in adding outfield depth when Bonifacio returns. Worth a conversation if the Fish call.
First Marlon Byrd, and now Reed Johnson? It's the Center Fielder Fire Sale of the Century!
Johnson's a pretty good player, but he's not exactly an every-day player. Or at least he hasn't been. Last year he totaled 111 games but only 266 plate appearances. This year it's 32 and 72. Johnson's managers just haven't trusted him. He bats right-handed, but has actually done quite well against right-handed pitching in these last two seasons. He does have a pronounced (and normal) platoon split in his career, though. And asking him to play every day would probably be a stretch, for any number of reasons.
But speaking of players who shouldn't play every day, there's Bryan Peterson ... who's been playing every day since Bonifacio went down. Peterson's been replacement-level in 110 major-league games, but his minor-league track record does suggest he's good enough to play at least semi-regularly. And he does bat left-handed, which could make him a fine platoon partner for Johnson.
Of course, you still have to wonder if it's worth trading a decent prospect for Johnson when you're expecting your regular back in a month or so. Maybe only if you think the player you're trading for will remain useful despite a diminished role. And given the Marlins' lack of outfield depth -- Austin Kearns just got DL'd, and Chris Coghlan seems to be finished -- Johnson could well prove useful as a fourth or fifth outfielder.
So yes, Phil Rogers: I endorse your rumor. Reed Johnson certainly won't be around when the Cubs are ready to win -- I don't mean win a pennant; I mean just win, like one game -- so they should trade him now if he's got any value at all. Which he just might, thanks to Emilio Bonifacio's bum thumb.