Johnson signs with Cardinals

Butte native Rob Johnson is now a St. Louis Cardinal.

The 2001 Butte Central graduate signed a minor league deal with the National League Cardinals today. The signing comes with an invitation to spring training.

The catcher, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2004 draft, spent last year splitting time between the New York Mets and their Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons. Johnson hit .250 in 52 Major League at bats last season. He missed the last part of the season with a thumb injury.

Johnson, who also spent the 2011 season with the San Diego Padres, announced the signing on his Facebook fan page today.

“I am very excited to be a part of the winning tradition the organization has proved over the past several years,” Johnson wrote. “I am really looking forward to the upcoming season as I have heard great things about the organization and people in and throughout the organization.”

The Cardinals’ spring training is headquartered in Jupiter, Fla. The Cardinals, who won the World Series in 2006 and 2011, are managed by former catcher Mike Matheny.