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Dan Johnson traded to Reds for player to be named or cash

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The first baseman was flipped to the Reds for a PTBNL. SB Nation 2015 MLB Preview

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

First baseman Dan Johnson signed with the Astros this winter as a minor league free agent and was invited to camp as a non-roster guy. His addition was one of depth; the Astros didn't have an MLB-ready first base candidate in the upper minors and Johnson provided some injury insurance for Evan Gattis and/or Jon Singleton.

But, that insurance hasn't been needed thus far, so the Astros on Thursday announced Johnson has been traded to the Reds for cash or a player to be named.

The Reds currently have Brayan Pena and Todd Frazier listed as backups, but Pena is a catcher by trade and Frazier is the team's starting third baseman. Though the Reds don't have to have a backup first baseman on the roster, Johnson does give them a veteran bat off the bench.

While players to be named are rarely impactful, don't underestimate the Astros scouting staff. They can find some gems.