Former Blue Jay Kelly Johnson Sign With Rays


August 13, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson (2) scores the winning run on an RBI single by first baseman David Cooper (not pictured) against the Chicago White Sox at the Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated Chicago 3-2 in 11 innings. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SportsEntering the winter, there was at least one given on the offseason agenda for the Toronto Blue Jays; they had to find a replacement for second baseman Kelly Johnson. Given his dismal performance over the course of his 175-game Blue Jays career, during which he hit just .233 with 19 home runs, 64 RBI, a bWAR of 2.4 and was one of the worst fielding second baseman in baseball, there was little to no chance that Alex Anthopoulos would bring him back for another season.

As expected, the team jumped right out of the gates and signed Maicer Izturis to a 3-year deal, and then followed that up by adding Emilio Bonifacio in a subsequent trade with the Marlins. Needless to say, Johnson had to find himself a new home for the 2013 season.

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with second baseman Kelly Johnson on a one-year contract, according to Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports. Terms of the deal are not yet released, but it is said to be a Major League contract, with Johnson expected to be the primary second baseman with Ben Zobrist moving to right field.

As usual, this is a classic Rays move, signing a player coming off of a down season and hoping for a rebound. Tampa Bay is also the perfect environment for Johnson to do so, as playing under Joe Maddon seems to bring out the best of the retreads.

Speaking for all Blue Jays fans, we would like to wish Mr. Johnson good luck (outside of games against Toronto) and good riddance. It will not bring Aaron Hill back, but we will happily accept Johnson taking his glove elsewhere.