The Toronto Blue Jays have their projected left-field tandem under contract for the 2008 season after coming to terms with Reed Johnson.
The 31-year-old, who spent three months on the disabled list last season, inked a one-year contract Wednesday worth $3.275 million US.
Johnson struggled in 2007 after missing the start of the season while recovering from back surgery to repair a herniated disc.
He averaged .236 in 79 games (275 at-bats) with two home runs and 14 runs batted in.
A career .281 hitter with 42 homers and 234 RBI in five seasons with Toronto, Johnson is expected to open the 2008 campaign in a platoon situation with Fredericton's Matt Stairs.
Stairs, 39, hit .289 with 21 homers and 64 RBI in limited action last season and re-signed for two years in November.
Prospect Adam Lind could also compete for an outfield spot in spring training after batting .238 in 290 at-bats in 2007.
With recently signed shortstop David Eckstein taking over at the leadoff position, the right-handed hitting Johnson could find himself in the No. 2 hole against left-handed pitchers.
Against righties, expect Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to slot Johnson in the lower part of the batting order.
Also Wednesday, Toronto agreed to minor league contracts with right-hander
Lance Carter, and left-handers John Parrish and Ryan Ketchner.
Carter was 3-5 with a 4.48 earned-run average last year with Orix of Japan's
Pacific League, and Parrish went a combined 2-2 with a 5.72 ERA for
Baltimore and Seattle.
Ketchner was 1-11 with a 5.62 ERA at triple-A Portland, a San Diego farm team.