The Kansas City Royals acquired infielder Elliott Johnson from the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday as the player to be named later in the offseason trade that sent standout pitcher James Shields to Kansas City.
Johnson had been designated for assignment by the Rays last week. The 28-year- old switch-hitter batted .242 with six homers, 33 RBI and 18 stolen bases over 123 games last season, while starting 68 contests at shortstop.
A member of the Tampa Bay organization since 2002, Johnson hit .223 with 10 homers and 24 steals over 200 total games spanning three major league seasons with the Rays.
The Rays and Royals agreed to a seven-player deal on Dec. 9 that sent Shields, who has won 31 games over the last two seasons, to Kansas City along with pitcher Wade Davis in exchange for a four-prospect package headlined by 22- year-old outfielder Wil Myers. Tampa Bay also received pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery as well as minor league third baseman Patrick Leonard as part of the swap.
To make room for Johnson on the 40-man roster, the Royals placed pitcher Felipe Paulino on the 60-day disabled list. The right-hander is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed during the summer and is expected to miss the first few months of the upcoming season.
Paulino went 3-1 with a 1.67 earned run average in seven starts for Kansas City in 2012 before being shelved in June due to elbow problems.