Rays drop Game 162 hero Dan Johnson

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Dan Johnson saved Tampa Bay’s season with his homer in Game 162, but the first baseman was left off the playoff roster and yesterday the Rays outrighted him from the 40-man roster.

Johnson refused an assignment to Triple-A and is now a free agent at age 32.

Aside from the dramatic Game 162 homer against the Yankees Johnson hasn’t had much success–or much playing time, period–in the majors recently, hitting just .167 in 82 total games since 2008.

However, prior to that he a was a productive regular for the A’s and Johnson has batted .288 with 43 homers in 191 games at Triple-A between 2010 and 2011. He’d be a useful role player on quite a few teams, but Johnson will probably have to settle for a minor-league deal and try to hit his way back to the majors.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.