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Rays finalize deals with Farnsworth, Johnson

6:10 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays officially re-signed relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth and added second baseman Kelly Johnson, with the two veterans each agreeing to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

Both moves were previously reported to take place last month, but were pending the completion of physicals.

Farnsworth returns for a third consecutive season with Tampa Bay and will earn a base salary of $1.25 million. The hard-throwing right-hander notched a career high 25 saves along with a 2.18 earned run average with the Rays in 2011, but was limited to just 34 appearances last year due to an elbow injury that sidelined him for two months.

The 36-year-old registered a 1-6 record and a 4.00 ERA in a setup role for All-Star closer Fernando Rodney this past season.

Johnson will make $2.45 million in 2013 and comes over from American League East rival Toronto. The left-handed hitter compiled 16 home runs, 55 RBI and 14 steals over 142 games for the Blue Jays last season, though he finished with a .225 average and struck out 159 times in 507 at-bats.

The seven-year major leaguer, who turns 31 on Feb. 22, is a lifetime .255 hitter and has twice hit over 20 homers in a season. Johnson established career bests of 26 homers and 71 RBI with Arizona in 2010, then had 21 while playing for both the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays the following year.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated infielders Elliot Johnson and Reid Brignac for assignment.

Elliot Johnson started 68 games at shortstop for Tampa Bay last season and batted .242 with six homers and 33 RBI while stealing 18 bases over 123 overall contests.

Brignac spent a good portion of the 2010 campaign as the Rays' regular shortstop, but spent the majority of last season with the club's Triple-A affiliate in Durham. The former top prospect owns just a career .227 average over 256 major-league games.

The Sports Network

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