A week after designating Elliot Johnson for assignment, the Rays sent him to Kansas City as the final piece of the James Shields-Wil Myers trade.
This is in a small sense a win-win scenario. Johnson—having accepted an outright assignment before—could have left the organization without compensation had he passed through waivers unclaimed. Likewise, the Rays would have had to send the Royals another player or cash considerations. Instead they killed two birds with one stone, and in the process helped out a long-time part of the organization.
The switch-hitting Johnson is expected to compete for a spot on the Royals bench alongside the likes of Miguel Tejada and Irving Falu. For those Kansas City fans curious in what Johnson brings to the table, here is our capsule of him, which was scheduled to run tomorrow morning alongside the other infielders:
Hung around as one of the club’s utility infielders
Expected to vie for a roster spot, though may wind up in Durham or elsewhere
Good speed; showed up in-game last season, a welcomed addition from 2011. Cut down on strikeouts but also saw decline in pop. Still strikes out too much given secondary skills. Arm makes his best-fit second base but bat won’t allow him to only play there. Enters camp out of options and behind others for roster spot. If outrighted again could elect free agency. – R.J. Anderson
Look for the Rays to do something with Reid Brignac, also designated for assignment last week, in the coming hours.