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Dan Johnson

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Yesterday, an MLB report had the Oakland A's signing 1B/CF Darin Erstad to a one-year deal.  As Erstad's on-base ability has been terrible since his 2000 season.  What hasn't been in question is his defensive ability.  

A focus on defense has been the hallmark of the recent Oakland A's teams.  For this reason, I see legitimate risk to the playing time (read: fantasy value) of 1B Dan Johnson.  The leash was already short with Daric Barton biding time in AAA.  Now a quality defensive firstbaseman on the major league roster would quickly relegate Dan Johnson to the dustbin if he does not hit.

With RH Mike Piazza grabbing most of the DH ABs and the possible revival of old school Moneyballer (read: OBP-focused), LH Erubiel Durazo, there may not be any DH ABs for Johnson if he struggles.  Nevermind that Erstad also hits from the left-side.

If Erstad is unable to parlay the A's one-year offer into another team's foolish two-year offer, then Dan Johnson's 2007 fantasy value takes a major hit going from a potential $15-$20 player down to a single-digits one - in AL-only leagues.

This discussion may be moot if the implications of this are true:

If Oakland doesn't land Erstad or trade for an outfielder, it's expected that third-year first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher will start in left field with Dan Johnson reclaiming the starting job at first.