"He's a great makeup guy, a versatile player -- can play just about any position on the field," manager Ned Yost said of Johnson. "A switch-hitter, always was a tough out when we played against them. A smart player."
To make room for Johnson, the Royals placed pitcher Felipe Paulino on the 60-day disabled list. Paulino is currently in rehabilitation after Tommy John surgery. He'll be eligible for reinstatement on June 1, but is not expected to be ready to pitch until later.
Johnson, a switch-hitter, hit .242 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 123 games for the Rays last season. He also swiped 18 bases in 24 attempts. He started 68 games at shortstop but also played second base, third base and the outfield.
In 200 games with Tampa Bay, he batted .223.