The Rays will sign Dan Johnson to a minor league deal, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain tweets. Johnson played first base for the Rays during parts of the 2008, 2010 and 2011 seasons (famously hitting a ninth-inning homer in 2011 that propelled the Rays to the playoffs) and spent the 2015 campaign playing first in the Cardinals and Reds organizations (appearing briefly in the big leagues with the Cards). He has also won MVPs in both the PCL and the International League and has logged over 4,000 career plate appearances in Triple-A.
Surprisingly, though, the Rays are signing Johnson this time not as a first baseman, but as a righty knuckleball pitcher. As Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes, the Rays recently hired former knuckleballer Charlie Haeger to be a minor league pitching coordinator, and Haeger is already working with another knuckleballer in Rays camp, Eddie Gamboa. Johnson, remarkably, is four years older than Haeger. If Johnson were to return to the big leagues as a knuckeball pitcher at age 36 after years spent on the fringes of the Majors as a first baseman, it would be an extremely unusual twist in his career, perhaps rivaling that of pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel.
The Great Pumpkin returns!!!
Baseball is a truly odd, yet beautiful game….
Wow…that’s hilarious RIPbraves! Hope you’re not giving away all these great jokes away for nothing!
Yes..because there current starters cost so much and they have a tradition of not developing pitchers. These are all minor league deals.. overreact much?
Every time this guy posts, he trolls. Just ignore everything he says
On behalf of Braves fans: we apologize for bad comments made by other Braves fans and their opinions do not reflect those of ALL Braves fans
Eh, every team has fans like that. I hate when people generalize all teams’ fans based on one commenter. Some people are just unnecessarily angry over minor moves like this
The Rays farm is top3 in mlb that produces high quality pitching for last 10yrs. The experiences of tim wakefield, ra dickey… eating up innings year after year with an era around 4… Especially with dickey and his success (200-230 innings pitched 2013,2014,2015).
They want to try and take advantage of this, and are willing to think outside the box, like now. Interesting news today.
Dude posted a .364/.548/.818 slash with the White Sox in 2012.. granted it was 31 plate appearances.. Still makes you wonder why they didn’t let him have more time playing. lol
Dude hit three homers in his last game as a White Sox. The Silver and Black didn’t know what to make of that production and cut him.
Do you mean Black and White? I might be wrong, but I didn’t think the WS had silver.
What you did not know that the White Sox did not have white as one of their colors?