The New York Yankees are in the process of shoring up their infield in the wake of free agent second baseman Robinson Cano signing with the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees have reportedly taken an important step in fleshing out the No. 4 spot with the addition of free agent 2B Brian Roberts, formerly of the Baltimore Orioles.
Citing sources close to the deal, ESPN announced that the New York Yankees have enlisted Roberts’ services for one year to the tune of $2 million. The New York organization has not yet confirmed the deal, which has also been reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi.
Roberts has spent his entire 12-year career with the Orioles, in much the same way that Cano’s entire career was in the Yankees organization. Roberts, a 36-year-old switch-hitter and two-time all star has been plagued by injuries—including multiple concussions, strained abdominal muscles and a torn labrum (requiring hip surgery)—and was limited to 77 games for Baltimore last season. The New York Yankees’ latest signing hasn’t played more than half a season since 2009. Rosenthal’s tweet said the deal with New York is pending a physical exam.
With the possibility of Cano’s departure looming, the Yankees had already enlisted the services of infielder Kelly Johnson, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, this offseason. With the Roberts signing, New York would likely use Johnson as a utility player. The Yankees had previously been in talks with top free agent prospect Omar Infante, but negotiations ceased when Infante signed a four-year, $30 million deal with the Kansas City Royals.
The New York Yankees also signed left-handed relief pitcher Matt Thornton on Tuesday in an effort to shore up a bullpen that is also lacking these days; Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan joined Cano in leaving by free agency and Mariano Rivera has retired. The Yankees will pay Thornton $7 million over two years, according to the report from ESPN.
What do you think of the New York Yankees offseason acquisitions? Will the Yankees be able to compete after losing so many players to free agency? What other holes do the New York Yankees need to fill before the 2014 season begins?