With Spring Training set to start in just a few weeks, the Tampa Bay Rays are putting the final touches on their roster for 2013. On Tuesday, the Rays reached an agreement with IF/2B Kelly Johnson. Johnson, 30, brings another bat, a left handed one, to the lineup and has posted a solid on-base percentage but struggles with strikeouts. In his last two seasons, Johnson has posted 37 home runs, but has struck out 322 times in 289 games played.
In the last week, the Rays have added Johnson along with re-signing two members of last year’s roster, RP Kyle Farnsworth and DH Luke Scott.
The addition of Johnson gives the Rays serious versatility in the infield. Ryan Roberts and Sean Rodriguez can also play second base along with Johnson. Johnson also has limited outfield experience.The signing adds some intrigue as to the future of Ben Zobrist. Zobrist could now be moved to right field.
Johnson’s career best season came in 2010 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks hitting 26 homers with 71 runs driven in while hitting .284 and posting a .370 OBP.
Johnson is schedule to have a physical later this afternoon in order to finalize the contract.