I read somewhere a couple days ago (vague, I know, but it was on something like rotoworld or John Sickles) that the A's would likely have a 3-way rotation between 1st and LF - Swisher playing full-time, but switching between 1st and LF to make up a platoon with Kielty (in LF) and Johnson (at 1B) as splits warranted. Without checking the split numbers, that seems to make a lot of sense to me.
If they do something like that and Johnson doesn't end up hitting well, it makes sense that Barton could then replace him in this platoon, thus "breaking him in" while seeing if his glove can handle it.
Of course, that would require Barton looking good at AAA.
A lot of ifs, but it makes sense, and could come together pretty easily by midseason if Johnson struggles again.
Member #6 of the Yadier Molina Fan Club