The Blue Jays released Reed Johnson today, in favour of Shannon Stewart in left field. I don’t get this move. Johnson’s numbers overall look very similar to Stewart’s — Stewart has a higher career batting average (though Johnson hit .320 in 2006, which is higher than Stewart has ever hit), but the power numbers are the same. Stewart was faster in his prime, but hasn’t stolen more than 7 bases since 2002. Stewart is a decent fielder but can’t throw, while Johnson is a much better fielder who can play more than just left. And Johnson is almost three years younger.
But Stewart makes way less than Johnson — which is weird, considering the Jays signed Johnson to a one-year contract less than three months ago. Once again, the almighty dollar makes decisions that should be left to baseball people.