On Friday, the Blue Jays announced that they have signed journeyman first baseman Dan Johnson to a minor league deal for the 2014 season. The contract includes an invitation to Toronto’s Spring Training camp.
The 34-year-old native of Coon Rapids, Minnesota has bounced around during his 12-year professional career, spending time with five organizations, including the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Orioles. Most recently, he spent the majority of the 2013 season at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre of the Yankee organization, where he hit .253 with 21 home runs, 69 RBI, and a .826 OPS in 133 games. He was traded to the Orioles in August and saw just five hitless at-bats.
A 12-year-veteran, Johnson has appeared in 416 career games at the Major League level, hitting a combined .236 with a .747 OPS, 56 home runs, and 194 RBI. He last saw regular playing time with the Athletics in 2007, when he tallied 495 plate appearances and hit .236 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI.
However, his biggest contribution at the Major League level was achieved in 2011, when with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of game 162, Johnson hit a game-tying home run for the Rays. Tampa Bay would go on to win that game and put the final nail into the Red Sox epic collapse of 2011.
Maybe that’s why the Blue Jays picked him up, to hold him up like a voodoo doll against the Red Sox.
In the meantime, Toronto will stash him away at Triple-A Buffalo, where he’ll serve as organizational depth in the role that Mauro Gomez held a year ago. Johnson will look to build on his career minor league numbers of .288 average, 221 home runs, and 824 RBI.
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays