What Should The Yankees Do With Kelly Johnson?


May 18, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Kelly Johnson (33) fields a ball during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

One of the little moves to give the Yankees some depth in the off-season was the signing of Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal. Johnson was going to play some second and some third. Then Mark Teixeira got hurt and Johnson had to learn first. Yangervis Solarte came out of nowhere and has taken over at third. Brian Roberts is at second and Tex is back at first. So what to do with Johnson?

Johnson is only at .200/.279/.420 with four homers and 12 RBI. Since May 13th, he is 1-for-16 with four walks. He’s not a first baseman at all, as his lack of defense showed last night and it cost the Yankees a couple of runs. With Brendan Ryan also back, he can be the utility backup middle infielder.

They could elect to make Johnson available to trade. On a 1-year deal, for a team needing another infielder, I’m sure the Yankees could find some suitors and maybe get an extra bullpen arm for him.

Internally, they could purchase Russ Canzler‘s contract to add him to the roster. Canzler can play the corners in the infield and the outfield. At Triple-A Scranton, he’s got a .244/.314/.361 line with two homers and 15 RBI. They could add Scott Sizemore, but Sizemore, like Johnson, isn’t a first baseman.

Do I expect them to address a backup at first at some point? Yes, I do, considering it won’t be expensive to do. It’s one of the many holes the team has right now. If Johnson continues to struggle, it may be something they address soon.