Astros sign first baseman Johnson to Minors deal

Veteran invited to big league camp this spring after spending most of 2014 at Triple-A

Astros sign first baseman Johnson to Minors deal

Veteran first baseman Dan Johnson, who played most of this past season with the Blue Jays' Triple-A club, has signed a Minor League deal with the Astros and will receive an invitation to their Major League camp this spring.

Johnson, 35, is a career .236/.337/.409 hitter with 57 home runs and 201 RBIs in 431 games. He played 15 games with Toronto in 2014, batting .211 (8-for-38) with a home run and seven RBIs. The rest of his year was spent with Triple-A Buffalo, where he hit .232 with a .381 on-base percentage and 19 doubles, 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 107 games.

The former University of Nebraska standout played with the A's from 2005-08, the Rays in 2008 and 2010-11, the White Sox in '12 and the Orioles in '13. He also spent a year in Japan in '09.

Johnson's game-tying, two-out, two-strike home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Yankees in the final game of the 2011 season helped the Rays to a dramatic extra-inning victory that catapulted them into an American League Wild Card berth.

He's played primarily first base in his career, but he does have some limited time at third base and the outfield as well.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.