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Rays send Elliot Johnson to Royals as PTBNL in James Shields trade

Feb 12, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Yankees Rays Baseball

Tampa Bay owed Kansas City a player to be named later from the big James Shields trade back in December and today that player was named: Elliot Johnson.

Johnson spent the past two seasons as the Rays’ utility man, but was designated for assignment last week along with Reid Brignac as Tampa Bay cleared 40-man roster space.

Johnson isn’t much of a hitter, batting .223 with a .621 OPS in 200 career games through age 28, but he’s a very good defensive infielder with plus speed and seemingly has a good shot to claim a spot on the Royals’ bench.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Throw in Sean Rodriguez too and you have a trend – the Rays have developed a lot of AAA infielders up at the parent club.

    • geoknows - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      The Rays didn’t develop Rodriguez, the Angels did.

      • regulatedmilitia - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Based on Sean’s stats I’d say he is waiting to develop……………….

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        But the Halo’s mostly developed him in the minors.

  2. paint771 - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    That’s not a bad PTBNL at all. Huh. Usually those guys are career minor leaguers with no upside, but Johnson’s a legit major leaguer who can be a perfectly passable long-stretch and spot starter, albeit one who is never going to set the world on fire.

    Never going to be crazy about this trade for KC, although I understand it, and this doesn’t push me off the fence, but it does move the needle a little bit.

    • js20011041 - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Such is the life of a KC fan. Receiving Elliot Johnson makes you feel better about your GM mortgaging the future of the franchise in an ill fated attempt at winning 84 games and saving his job. We all weep for you.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Sorry paint, he stinks. You inadvertently described him – “career minor leaguer with no upside.” Whatsoever.

      • indaburg - Feb 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM

        Like Gleeman said, EJ has a good glove and he has speed. He’s not a totally worthless. Plus, he’s a great clubhouse guy and as we learned today, chemistry is sooo important.

        Seriously, he’s a swell guy–very fan friendly–and I wish him the best of luck in KC.

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        I’m a hell of a guy too, full of chemistry (and chemicals) but you wouldn’t want me on your MLB team’s roster.

        This is the end of an absolutely atrocious trade for the Royals. For it to even out, the PTBNL would have had to have been a serious prospect, not a DFA’d utility guy. Myers, Odorizzi and Montgomery for two years of Shields, Wade Davis and EJ is just so bad. Dayton Moore shouldn’t just be fired, he should be arrested.

  3. Detroit Michael - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Chris Getz can’t be happy about this news.

  4. snowbirdgothic - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I anticipate by mid-season Elliot will be following a trail of Reeses’ Pieces back to Tampa.

  5. 13arod - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Going to miss elliot johnson didn’t really help tampa and was a hood prospect at one point

  6. jwbiii - Feb 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I’m assuming that Johnson cleared waivers after he was DFAed and that he won’t require a spot on the Royals’ 40 man roster.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      I don’t think that’s correct, once a player is dfa’d there is a waiting period, and they traded him rather than submitting him through either of the waiver processes. That way no team with a worse record last year can claim him.

      • jwbiii - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        It is incorrect. Johnson did not clear waivers. I guess the Rays just DFAed him to see if they could get anything for him, found no takers, and then used him as the PTBNL. Johnson is out of options, so the Royals will have to expose him to waivers if they don’t want him on their 25 man roster. The Royals put Felipe Paulino on the 60 day DL to free up the roster spot for him. Teams didn’t used to be allowed to put players on the DL until well into March. Things change.

  7. tampajoey - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Elliot Johnson is a good fielder and for a few months last season he batted like .270. Maybe the new scenery will help him out at the plate. Best of luck to him.

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