The farewells of veterans B.J. Upton and James Shields naturally got much more attention, but Elliot Johnson deserves at least a long goodbye.

Johnson, 29, had 11 seasons in the Rays organization — just more than Upton, just fewer than Shields — and he earned every one of them. Unlike the other two, Johnson was never a prospect. He wasn't drafted. Never touted. Spent most of his time in the minors. Didn't have the benefit of being comfortable.

"I'm kind of this organization's baby," Johnson said. "I was a great example of great scouting and great player development, not being drafted and making it to the big leagues."

Johnson was designated for assignment Tuesday, leaving him in limbo for up to 10 days as the Rays decide whether to trade or release him, or put him through waivers. In any event, his time with the Rays is likely over.

Johnson, his wife and son spent this offseason in the bay area. They had their spring rental lined up in Port Charlotte. They had a place for the season set. As of Saturday, everything was still on hold.