2/12/2013 4:30 P.M. ET
Rays send Johnson to Royals to complete Shields deal
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Elliot Johnson became the player to be named later on Tuesday to complete the Rays' December trade with the Royals.
Tampa Bay agreed to send right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis, along with a player to be named, to Kansas City for top outfield prospect Wil Myers, as well as pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.
Last week, Johnson and infielder Reid Brignac were removed from the Rays' 40-man roster to make room for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson, which left Elliot Johnson in a state of limbo. Would the Rays trade him within the allotted 10-day period to do so, or would he clear waivers and return to the only organization he has known in 11 years of professional baseball?
Obviously, that answer came Tuesday.
"It's kind of been scramble mode, you can imagine," Johnson said. "You don't really know what's going to happen. We packed everything up the best we could. You never know where you're going to go. But you know how it is with packing. You never know what stuff you're going to need. But I think we did a pretty good job. My wife's a professional at this kind of stuff at this point.
"We'll be fine. We're certainly happy for the opportunity in Kansas City, for sure."
Johnson said he spoke to Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost, and he got a vibe about how they planned to use the 28-year-old infielder.
"What's going to happen, they're going to move me around like a super [utility] guy, and it looks like I'm going to have my outfield glove more than I did in my time with the Rays," Johnson said. "That's the feel I got from the conversations I had."
Johnson served in a utility role for Tampa Bay, playing in 123 games last season, cobbling a .242/.304/.350 line with six homers and 33 RBIs. In parts of three Major League seasons, Johnson has a .223 career average, with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 200 games.
Johnson will join the Royals for Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz., which brought some comfort to the Arizona native, who was born in Safford.
"Surprise is way out in the Northwest Valley," Johnson said. "I grew up in the eastern part of the state. I get to go to Spring Training in Arizona for the first time in 11 years, so I'm looking forward to this. It will give me the chance to play in front of family and friends for six weeks."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.