Athletics

Athletics

Dan Johnson has spent the last seven seasons making brief stops in the majors as a 10-year journeyman. The last time he played over 100 games in the bigs was with the Oakland A's in 2007 as the team's first baseman. 

Johnson, 36, has made stops with six different clubs, but his four years in Oakland were the longest he ever spent anywhere. Last year he played just 12 games in the pros, getting 19 at-bats for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

But, Johnson is a baseball lifer and is back with a club he already played with for three years -- the Tampa Bay Rays. Only this time, there's a big change to Johnson putting on a Rays uniform. 

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Johnson has signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay not as first baseman or DH, but as a knuckleball pitcher, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

"This is something I really wanted to try out," Johnson told Topkin.

In his professional baseball career, Johnson has never pitched. Making the change won't be the first time Johnson plays with the rare pitch, though. 

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"It's not the first time I've tried this out, but this is the first time I feel like I can take it seriously."

With the A's, Johnson enjoyed the best years of his career, hitting 15 home runs as a rookie in 2005 and 18 two years later in 2007. He hit .249/.344/.419 with 42 home runs in four seasons in Oakland.