Johnson will be 29 during the 2013 season, and has been on the Tampa Bay-Durham shuttle for the past few seasons. The infielder has played games at third base, second base, shortstop, and even some outfield. One of his batter qualities is his versatility.
He hit just .242 last season with a .654 OPS in 331 plate appearances for the Rays. He should play a similar bench role with the Royals, who may need his depth this year if they intend to make a run at the AL Central.
While this move is certainly newsworthy, it still does not sway the trade itself. The Rays traded James Shields, a reliever, and a depth infielder to the Royals for a haul of good prospects.
This means that players for the Rays such as Sam Fuld and Tim Beckham will likely see roles with the Rays at different points this season if need be. The team clearly feels it has good depth up the middle, as it also recently DFA'd infielder Reid Brignac.
Perhaps the most-affected team in all of this is the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls. Johnson has played at least a part of every season since 2007 for the team, in which it has seen great success. It is ironic that with the loss of Johnson the Bulls will probably improve because of the move, with Jake Odorizzi, Wil Myers, and Mike Montgomery all slotted to start 2013 with the Bulls.