I have a hard time giving any credence to projections for a player coming back from an injury AND I was under the impression that Kelly Johnson was somewhat defensively challenged. Does anyone have stats that say something different?
I have a hard time giving credence to projections for players returning from injury too. But I have an even harder time just saying "what if he suddenly returns to his previous performance level, even though he's 35 years old and hasn't played well in four years." That's just a daydream.
Kelly Johnson's defense has been worth 1.8 wins over the course of his seven-year career, according to Baseball Reference.
That works out to 0.7 (2005), 0.2 (2007), -0.4 (2008), -0.2 (2009), 0.3 (2010), 0.5 (2011), 0.8 (2012).
Brian Roberts' defense has been worth 4.7 wins over the course of his twelve-year career, also according to BR.
That's -0.3 (2001), 0.2 (2002), 1.4 (2003), 0.1 (2004), 1.9 (2005), 1.1 (2006), 0.4 (2007), 0.5 (2008), -0.4 (2009), 0.1 (2010), 0.2 (2011), -0.6 (2012).
That means Roberts has been a bad defender along with a bad hitter in each season after 2008. It also means he's been worse than Johnson in each of those seasons. And it's downright terrifying to think about how bad he was at defense last season, given how few games he played while putting up such an ugly defensive number.