Well now, it appears the Yankees are closer to answering the question what’s on second. They also continue to raid division rivals for players. It could be a platoon of Kelly Johnson and former Baltimore Orioles’ second baseman Brian Roberts. Here’s the latest.
Sources: #Yankees likely to sign free-agent 2B Brian Roberts.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 17, 2013
The Yankees had interest in the free agent second baseman among the possible infield free agent candidates like Michael Young, Mark Reynolds and Eric Chavez. It appears they are going with Roberts, though who knows, one of the other three could come along as well.
The last time Roberts played over 100 games was all the way back in 2009. Since then, he has just played in 192 games due to lingering injuries and concussion issues. Roberts was able to play in 77 games for the Orioles last season, his most since 2009. Last year he had a .249/.312/.392 line with eight homers and 39 RBI with just three stolen bases. Roberts will be entering his age 36 season.
To totally judge the deal, I would need to see the length. If it’s any more than a one year deal, I’m not sure if it makes any sense.. A platoon of Kelly Johnson and Roberts could work, though Johnson does have pretty good numbers against lefties. If Alex Rodriguez is suspended, Johnson moves to third and Roberts starts at second with Eduardo Nunez and Dean Anna fighting during spring training to back up both.
Roberts is a pesky, scrappy kind of player, something the Yankees haven’t had in recent years. This could be a nice fit on a one year pact, but if it’s any longer, look out.