Orioles Acquire Kelly Johnson

The Orioles have announced that they’ve acquired infielders Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox for infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus. This is the Orioles’ second significant trade of the evening, having also recently acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the White Sox. The Johnson deal gives the Orioles a bit of low-cost infield depth.

Johnson, 32, began the season with the Yankees, then headed to Boston in a trade for Stephen Drew. (He also played for the Rays in 2013 and the Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012, meaning that he’s now been or will be on the roster of all five AL East teams, with no non-AL East teams in between.) He’s played mostly third base and first base since 2012, and he’s hit .212/.290/.354 for the season. With the Orioles, he’ll likely play mostly at third base in the wake of the team’s loss of Manny Machado for the rest of the year.

The Orioles selected Almanzar from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft last winter, but returned him in early July. Since then, he’s hit .280/.360/.427 in 186 plate appearances for Double-A Portland, mostly playing third base. At 23, he’s the youngest player in the deal.

Weeks was a first-round draft pick by the Athletics in 2008, and they sent him to Baltimore in 2013 in the Jim Johnson trade. The 27-year-old Weeks played in 215 games with the A’s in 2011 and 2012 but has spent most of the past two seasons in the minors. This season, he’s hit .278/.391/.385 in 254 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk. Despite the high on-base percentage, the second baseman probably profiles mostly as depth at this point, although CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam tweets that Weeks will join the Red Sox’ big-league team. (Dustin Pedroia may have suffered a concussion in Saturday’s game, but the timing of Weeks’ acquisition appears to be a coincidence.)

De Jesus, who heads back to the Red Sox after spending a few months in the organization in 2012, also appears to be mostly a depth player. De Jesus came to Boston from the Dodgers in the Adrian Gonzalez / Carl Crawford / Josh Beckett blockbuster, then headed to Pittsburgh almost immediately as the Red Sox traded for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt. The Pirates showed little interest in him despite a strong offensive season in Triple-A in 2013, and he signed with the Orioles after the season. The 27-year-old hit .282/.358/.389 in 469 plate appearances for Norfolk this year, mostly playing shortstop.

38 Responses to Orioles Acquire Kelly Johnson Leave a Reply

  1. Mang 11 months ago

    Really? Ivan DeJesus is back? Ughhh

  2. Seamaholic 11 months ago

    What the heck are the Sox gonna do with Weeks? And De Jesus is yet another 2nd baseman IIRC. Okay ….

    • kenhowes 11 months ago

      Weeks is strictly depth, but he gets on base. DeJesus is a possible future shortstop; his dad was a very good one, and his numbers aren’t bad.

  3. Jim Low 11 months ago

    Seems like neither fanbase likes this move

    • johnbrooks 11 months ago

      Don’t see how, Orioles gave up nothing of value in neither of those 2 trades(De Aza or Johnson)

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      What makes you say that?
      I like Kelly Johnson.
      De Aza is groovy and Kelly Johnson should help.

      I think we can forget about Beltre coming to charm city and I am okay with that now! =P

      • YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 11 months ago

        U won’t like Kelly Johnson after the first 10 games trust me

        • basemonkey 11 months ago

          He’s 3B depth and insurance, and/or allows Davis to move back to 1B. With Steve Pearce a tweaked ab, it threatens to make the bench a little thin.

        • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

          Johnson has apparently raked in Camden Yards, and Buck is a believer in stadium splits.

        • Damon Bowman 11 months ago

          When you’re forced to start him day after game, I could understand that. With the O’s he’ll spot start and won’t be relied upon to fill out the lineup card. If Johnson gets more than 1 or 2 starts a week I’d be shocked.

        • orangeoctober 11 months ago

          Kelly Johnson won’t be getting many starts at all. He’s just depth.

      • Rob Schumann 11 months ago

        First, after the De Aza trade you commented how much you have always liked him..
        Now you state you like Kelly Johnson..
        I wish I could have seen your reaction to the Scott Feldman trade last year or the 5 minute signing of Balfour earlier this year..

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      I wouldn’t say that. I’d say neither fan base really cares…

    • Rabbitov 11 months ago

      I am for the move. Buck has a crush on Almanzar and we got him for nothing.

  4. Jonathan 11 months ago


  5. LittleOtterPaws 11 months ago

    The most irrelevant 4 player trade in history.

    • jp1198 11 months ago

      It also features 2 players returning to their former team.

  6. DerekJeterDan 11 months ago

    Orioles making moves, more than other teams can say.
    De Aza + Johnson = Postseason Bench Depth.

    • connfyoozed . 11 months ago

      And they didn’t give up anyone of great value in either trade.

    • dooder 11 months ago

      I recall Kelly being a decent at second a long time ago, though haven’t watching him play in years. Flaherty and Schoop seem completely lost at 3rd (Schoop seem quite lost anywhere else too). With both Pierce and Davis having oblique/ab issues this year… Kelly is a lock if he can play the hot corner and isn’t a complete and utter disaster at the plate.

      • orangeoctober 11 months ago

        Luckily it’s been confirmed with Pearce’s MRI this morning that it isn’t an oblique or intercostal issue and should (hopefully) only be out a few days.

  7. Karkat 11 months ago

    Hey Ivan, welcome back!

  8. NomarGarciaparra 11 months ago

    With this, Kelly Johnson completes his tour of the AL East!

  9. YankeeFan™ 11 months ago

    Lol Kelly Johnson Has Played For Every Al East Team

    • basemonkey 11 months ago

      Ha. Wait. The only team he hasn’t played for is the Rays right?

      • YankeeFan™ 11 months ago

        He played for the rays last season

        • basemonkey 11 months ago

          Oh yeah that’s right! Haha. This is hilarious. The Os were the last team he needed to play for, to complete the set.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            He’s now played for 4 of them in the past 2 seasons

  10. basemonkey 11 months ago

    This is a double bench depth move. Swapping useful parts to prepare for “just in case” scenarios at respective teams’ thin positions.

  11. Rabbitov 11 months ago

    Red Sox dealing with the Yankees and Orioles. I am beginning to question reality.

  12. Chioakcisco 11 months ago

    Wow, Jemile Weeks has fallen a long, long way.

    • basemonkey 11 months ago

      It happens a lot actually.

      The Os have another castoff guy, Delmon Young, who was probably even a bigger blazer on the prospect charts. The #1 prospect in all baseball for several years as a Rays phenom.

  13. There was a time when Kelly Johnson was a Type A free agent.

  14. orangeoctober 11 months ago

    Duquette must really really love Almanzar or something

  15. brian310 11 months ago

    Lol just realized this is the final team for him

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