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December 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Rob Johnson designated for assignment

Rob Johnson, the Mariners’ Opening Day catcher in 2010, has been designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for DH Jack Cust.
In trying to figure out last week whom the Mariners might take off the roster, I had Johnson as one of my candidates. Particularly with the pending addition of Miguel Olivo, they could stand to take a chance on losing Johnson, who has struggled both offensively and defensively the past two seasons.
The M’s have 10 days to trade, release or outright Johnson, 28, to the minors. He is a guy pitchers love throwing to, but hit just .191 last year in 61 games following an offseason in which he had three surgeries. Two were to repair torn labrums in his left and right hip, the other on his left wrist. He finished the year in Tacoma, hitting .297 in 19 games. Johnson also had nine passed balls, second-most in the majors (the leader, with 10, was Olivo, in 111 games behind the plate, nearly twice as many as Johnson).
Johnson was a fourth-round pick by the Mariners in the 2004 draft. He has a career .200 average in 161 games with the M’s, with five homers and 42 runs batted in.
The M’s will face another 40-man roster decision when the Olivo signing is made official soon.

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