February 15, 2013
New Homes for Tampa Infielders
Acquired INF-S Elliot Johnson from the Rays as a player to be named later in the James Shields-Wil Myers trade. [2/12]
Here's what I said about Johnson when he was designated for assignment last week:
His best attribute is his speed, which showed up in games more often last season. Although Johnson has experience at multiple positions, his arm is better suited for second base. Alas, his bat doesn't allow him to stick at the position as he doesn't have the secondary skills to overcome poor contact skills. Johnson has been outrighted once before so if he clears waivers he can still elect free agency over an optional assignment.
Johnson—who signed with the Rays an undrafted high-school player—is expected to compete with Miguel Tejada and Irving Falu for a spot on the Royals bench. It's not clear who has the edge at this point since each has something going for them: Tejada with a rich history, Johnson with his athleticism, and Falu played well in 2012 in a brief stint. Johnson's escape clause should the Royals attempt to send him to the minors could make the difference.