New York Yankees Signing Brian Roberts Would Be Move of Desperation

By Zach Morrison
Brian Roberts
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard, the New York Yankees have an opening at second base heading into 2014. Remember longtime Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano? Well, he is a Seattle Mariner now. Now that you have awoken from your slumber under a rock, let’s get you back to reality. The Yankees are searching in the bargain bin for a second baseman, and according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, they found their guy.

The Yankees are “very likely” to sign longtime Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts according to Rosenthal. This screams desperation from the Yankees. If you are a fan of the Bronx Bombers you had better hope they aren’t signing him with hopes that he will play 150 games at second base. Expecting much from Roberts at this point in his career would be foolish. The second baseman hasn’t played more than 150 games since 2009.

When healthy, Roberts is a very productive player. At a position that is frequently one of the weakest offensively in MLB, he has been an above average player for his entire career. In 5,905 career plate appearances, he is a .278/.349/.412 hitter with a 102 wRC+. In his most recent season with more than 80 games played, 2009, he hit for a .283/.356/.451 slash line with a 109 wRC+ in 717 plate appearances.

One thing Roberts will do for sure is put the ball in play extremely often. He has struck out in just 13.4 percent of his career plate appearances. He will also be good on the bases — Roberts was below average running the bases just twice in his long career. One big reason the Yankees will sign Roberts is because he is a veteran. Regardless of how important it really is, the Yankees are a team that believes having a large veteran presence in the clubhouse is crucial to success. It’s a bit odd, considering over half of their roster is old, but apparently they felt they needed more. You can never have too much of a good thing, right?

Who knows how the potential Roberts signing will work out in the end, but at the moment it seems like a huge question mark. The level of risk the Yankees are taking depends on the contract they are giving Roberts, and at this time the terms are unknown. After missing out on Cano, Omar Infante and Mark Ellis, the Yankees had to sign someone to play second base.

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