Blue Jays ink former IL MVP

Dan Johnson signs minor league contract

By Buffalo Bisons | November 15, 2013 7:00 AM

The Toronto Blue Jays today announced that they have signed 1B DAN JOHNSON to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League spring training.

JOHNSON, 34, spent most of last season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before finishing the year with five games for the Norfolk Tides. Combined, the left-handed slugger hit .250 (118-472) with 26 doubles, 21 home runs and 70 RBI in 138 games. He also led the league with 96 walks (to only 85 strikeouts).

Johnson has been a premier slugger in the International League since the 2008 season. In five years in the IL (he spent 2009 with the Yokohama Bay Stars), he has amassed 112 doubles, 117 home runs and 385 RBI in 579 combined games with Durham, Charlotte, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Norfolk. He was the International League Most Valuable Player in 2010 after hitting .303 and leading the league with 31 home runs, a .430 on-base pct. and a .624 slugging pct. in 98 games for the Bulls.

Johnson has finished in the Top 10 in home runs in the IL four times since 2008, also leading the circuit with 28 homers for the Knights in 2012. He's topped all IL hitters in walks four times in his career and has never finished worse than 6th-best in the league in on-base percentage in any of his five campaigns. He was an International League All-Star in 2010 and won the league's Home Run Derby. He also played in the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game at Coca-Cola Field (for Charlotte) and finished 2nd in the Home Run Derby behind Bisons slugger Valentino Pascucci.

In his eight-year Major League career, Johnson has played in 416 combined games with Oakland, Tampa Bay, Chicago-AL and Baltimore. He has hit .236 with 59 doubles, 56 home runs and 194 RBI for his big league career. Johnson is best known for hitting a dramatic bottom of the ninth, two-out, two-strike home run for Tampa Bay on the last day of the 2011 season that helped the Rays make the post season that year.


-the herd-

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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