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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Yankees close to deal with Kelly Johnson, who could replace Robinson Cano

Yankees: Maximizing the Kelly strategy.

The team is close to a one-year deal for versatile infielder Kelly Johnson, according to the New York Post. The deal will be worth about $2.75 million to $3 million.

Johnson, who turns 32 in February, has played second base for much of his career. But he’s also spent time as a left fielder and third baseman. As they Yankees pressure Robinson Cano to decrease his contract demands, Johnson serves as a reasonable alternative. He could also fill in for Rodriguez if any portion of his 211-game suspension is upheld.

Johnson is a left-handed hitter with decent power. He popped 16 home runs in 2012 for Toronto and 16 more for Tampa Bay last season. But he batted just .235 as a Ray with only 12 doubles.

Repoz Posted: December 04, 2013 at 06:03 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4610283)
I don't know if 'replace' is the word I would have used

   2. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4610288)
Maybe the Yankees think signing Johnson will provide them a little leverage boost in their negotiations with Cano--a silly thing to think--but it seems more likely he's their plan for third base and/or super utility.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4610289)
I don't know if 'replace' is the word I would have used

Beat me to it!

   4. TerpNats Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4610293)
Any word on who's interested in Sam Fuld? I think he'd bolster the Nats' bench and certainly would be an upgrade from Chad Tracy.
   5. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4610297)
Yeah, at this point, Kelly Johnson is a perfectly useful spare part/bench player. Cano is one of the best players in baseball. Johnson can indeed replace Cano - but only in the sense that it's possible that he'll stand in the same spot in the infield in Yankee Stadium for 2014 that Cano occupied in 2013.
   6. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4610303)
3 mil is clearly bench money, I'd be surprised if Johnson replaces Cano at 2B in even the most literal sense of the word.
   7. The Original SJ Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4610312)
#### THIS ####
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4610315)
I'd rather have KJ at 2B for the Royals for $3 mill than Emilio Bonifacio for the same amount. Is his defense terrible? Emilio's is.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4610324)
ag1

Johnson is mediocre though his rep is worse than the actual results

he must have a different personality because he wears out his stay pretty quickly for whatever reason

and yet there are no fights or items in the press about him being openly prickly
   10. SG Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4610327)
I'd rather have KJ at 2B for the Royals for $3 mill than Emilio Bonifacio for the same amount. Is his defense terrible?


I always had the impression he looked like a LF playing 2B, but he's been a bit above average at 2B according to DRS and just about average in UZR.

He doesn't replace Cano, obviously but if he goes into the season as the starting 2B he's probably two wins better than what the Yankees would have run out there before signing him.
   11. Russ Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4610346)
Pirates should sign Cano and then trade Neil Walker to the Yankees.
   12. catomi01 Posted: December 04, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4610348)
He doesn't replace Cano, obviously but if he goes into the season as the starting 2B he's probably two wins better than what the Yankees would have run out there before signing him.


This.

And if they do sign Cano - I like a Brendan Ryan/Kelly Johnson utility combo better than the Eduardo Nunez/Jayson Nix (and all the AAA scrap they found along the way)last season. All the more so with Jeter and Arod all but guaranteed to miss a fair chunk of time.
   13. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 04, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4610381)
Maybe the Yankees think signing Johnson will provide them a little leverage boost in their negotiations with Cano-


Well, it worked with signing Ichiro, that forced Ellsbury to only sign for 7 or 8 years at a gazillion dollars.
   14. ColonelTom Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4610389)
KJ is a nice hedge for the Yankees because he can play multiple positions. If Cano goes elsewhere, he's a decent option at 2B (though obviously nowhere close to Cano). If Cano returns to the Bronx, Johnson becomes a top-of-the-line utilityman.
   15. thetailor Posted: December 04, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4610641)
#14 is 110% correct ... this is either a great utility signing that only the Yankees can afford, or a not-awful 2B.
   16. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 04, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4610816)
Well he did have a better year then Cano in 2008; so there's that.
   17. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:14 AM (#4610918)
Can Johnson play third base at all?
   18. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:32 AM (#4610924)
this is either a great utility signing that only the Yankees can afford

Don't forget! The A's signed Punto for the same annual money.
   19. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 05, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4610937)
This seems like a really nice pickup for the Yankees, as per [14].
   20. John M. Perkins Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4611047)
I haven't followed Johnson closely post-Braves, but the Braves let Johnson go for financial and performance reasons, not personality. Prado and Infante were cheaper and better. Johnson is a decent veteran bench guy. I suspect decent veteran bench guys switch teams more often than most player, except maybe decent veteran middle relievers.
   21. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4611079)
17/mastroiani: He played there for the first time as a big leaguer last year (16 games) - #s were good in a really small sample. He also had a handful of games there early in his minor league days, with less success.
On paper, I think third should work for him. Solid arm, iffy hands.

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