Non-roster invitee Johnson earns spot in Miami

Non-roster invitee Johnson earns spot in Miami

JUPITER, Fla. -- No guarantees didn't discourage Reed Johnson in any way. Instead, the 37-year-old locked in, made the most of his opportunities and flat-out earned a roster spot with the Marlins.

A non-roster invitee, Johnson had a clause in his contract that Miami needed to let him know its intentions by noon on Tuesday.

Late in the morning, president of baseball operations Michael Hill was shaking Johnson's hand, congratulating him for making the 25-man roster as a backup outfielder.

Johnson went 16-for-39 (.410) with four doubles, one home run and six RBIs in 14 Grapefruit League games. Manager Mike Redmond has familiarity with Johnson from the days they played against each other. Also, the outfielder was with the Braves last year.

"It was big for me to come in, especially in a new organization. I know Red saw me play, and they kind of had seen me play in the East," Johnson said. "It still was kind of big to come in and hit from start to finish and let them know I still have a lot of gas in the tank and I have a lot of baseball left in me."

Johnson fit the profile of what the organization has been seeking -- character and experience winning. The outfielder was on the Braves' postseason roster last October.

"We've talked about it all spring what he brings to our ballclub," Redmond said. "He's a veteran bat off the bench and understands his role. You don't play that many years as a role player if you're not a great teammate and you bring a lot to the table. He definitely does that. He brings a lot of experience off the bench, but he can play as well. This guy can still hit. He's got a quick bat. He can definitely help us. He earned it. That's the bottom line."

Before Opening Day, Johnson will be added to the 40-man roster, which means a corresponding move will have to be made.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter