uspw_6505888Ken Rosenthal of is reporting that the Rays have reached an agreement with second baseman Kelly Johnson.

Johnson has played seven seasons in the majors, including the 2012 season with the Blue Jays. He hit .225 with a .313 OBP (.299 wOBA) and 16 home runs. Johnson’s best offensive season came in 2010 with the Diamondbacks when he hit .284 with a .370 OBP (.378 wOBA) and 26 home runs. He is generally considered a good defensive second baseman but struggled in 2012.

Johnson is a left-handed batter, but has even splits over his career (.336 OBP/.340 wOBA vs LHP, .339 OBP/.336 wOBA vs RHP).

Rosenthal suggests that Johnson will be used as a utility player. But if he plays well, one has to wonder if  Ben Zobrist will become the most-days right fielder and Matt Joyce would then theoretically become part of a left field platoon. It is also further evidence that the Rays expect Wil Myers to be in the minors for a majority of the season.

One other possibility is that the Rays think Johnson can play center field, keeping Desmond Jennings in left field. Johnson has played in the outfield previously and has decent speed.

The move has not yet been announced by the Rays as they will need to remove somebody from the 40-man roster before making the signing official. In fact, the Rays need to drop three players from the 40-man roster to make room for Johnson, Luke Scott, and Kyle Farnsworth.



  1. Alex says:

    Good move. Still think this doesn't affect Myers. He'll be with the team in May or June. I think we can safely say good bye to: Dane De La Rosa, Elliot Johnson and Stephen Vogt

  2. Jim says:

    Great pick up. At a very minimum it strengthens our bench. Better yet it creates competition for roster spots. He brings balanced offense with some punch. You add him to a team with a Ben, I can play anywhere, Zobrist and you got all kinds of options. He could be a valid starter at 2nd with Zobrist in RF. If we bring in another outfielder, he creates more bench strength than we ever had. Maddon would go nuts with tools like Johnson and Roberts being available for spot assignments and substitutions. How to go Rays!!!!!

  3. Daniel Bamber says:

    I like the signing of Johnson, i guess that our Roster set is near enough set:

    1. Jennings CF
    2. Escobar SS
    3. Zobrist RF
    4. Longo 3B
    5. Scott DH
    6. Joyce LF
    7. Johnson 2B
    8. Loney 1B
    9. Molina C

    1. Fuld
    2. Roberts
    3. S-Rod
    4. Lobaton

    1. Price
    2. Hellickson
    3. Moore
    4. Niemann
    5. Cobb

    1. Rodney
    2. Peralta
    3. Farnsworth
    4. McGee
    5. Ramos
    6. Hernandez
    7. ........... (FA)

    I'd like to see us perhaps try and sign Grady Sizemore to a minor deal.

    • phil says:

      That seventh bullpen spot should go to Jamie Wright or Brandon Gomes. Also, do you keep Fuld or Duncan? Duncan can platoon with Lonney at first.

  4. Alex says:

    Unless Duncan hits really well this spring I doubt he makes the team. Triple A depth. Jamie Wright or Gomes will def be on the team or one of them will have an "injury" since I believe Gomes is out of options.

    I just wish we had more righties. This team seems to have fascination with lefties and unfortunately the lefties we sign can't hit left handers worth a damn

  5. CC says:

    Another guy who strikes out a lot. 150 last year.

  6. Don says:

    .220, strikes out a lot, comes cheap? right up Rays alley...

  7. Mr.Smith 1980 says:

    What a curious pick-up. Finding experienced .220 hitters on the cheap is the DNA of low budget teams, and in that regard I like it.

    On the other hand, you start to wonder if several of these lateral moves could've been parlayed in to one big(ger) signing?

  8. anthony a says:

    another got not to be excited about when the rays sign him, but they know hes got value in there somewhere.... 2nd baseman on the team in 2012: zobrist, rodriguez, johnson, roberts, rhymes, sutton, brignac, iwamura... remember that bartlett/iwamura dp combination?


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