The Miami Marlins continued to fill out their roster with the signings of Edwin Jackson and Chris Johnson on Wednesday.
Both free agents were signed to one-year deals and will be paid the major league minimum. Jackson and Johnson were both released by their respective clubs with time remaining on their current contracts. Due to this, Miami only needs to pay the minimum portion of the salary while the other clubs pick up the remainder.
In 2015, Jackson split his season between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. The 32-year old pitched well out of the bullpen and should serve in a similar role with Miami. Jackson also has the ability to start games, but has not seen success as a starter in recent years. When he's on, Jackson has tremendous potential and a game-changing array of pitches.
Jackson was once a promising prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers system and has bounced around the league ever since. The right-hander has played for nine teams over 13 seasons and continues to see opportunities due to his raw ability.
Johnson gives me Miami a solid right-handed bat off the bench who can also start if needed. The veteran has been in the league for seven seasons and has most recently played with the Cleveland Indians. The Marlins are familiar with Johnson due to his time with the Atlanta Braves.
Johnson was the starting third baseman for a good portion of his time with Atlanta. In one game back on September 11, 2013, Johnson had an altercation with Marlins' ace Jose Fernandez. When Fernandez hit a home run, he trotted around the bases at a gingerly pace and spit while rounding third. Johnson took exception to this and exchanged words with Fernandez and other players as the benches cleared.
When Johnson isn't involved in brawls, he's posted solid numbers with a career slash line of .280 / .316 / .411. The Marlins said goodbye to Donovan Solano recently and Johnson should end up serving in a similar role. Due to his solid numbers against lefties, Johnson could also find himself in a bit of a platoon role at first base. Justin Bour is expected to see most of the starts at 1B for Miami, but could be rested on days that a southpaw takes the mound.
The Marlins have been busy as of late as they look to turn around a team that was a disappointment in 2015. The team reportedly came to terms with free-agent pitcher Wei-Yin Chen on Tuesday and that signing should be official in a matter of days.