The departure of Robinson Cano in December left many wondering how the New York Yankees would even attempt to replace the Gold Glove defender and five-time All-Star second baseman.
The Yanks signed Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, but they certainly don’t expect him to play anywhere near 162 games. The 36-year-old switch-hitting veteran has struggled with injures and played in more than 59 games just once since 2009.
New York also signed utility infielder Kelly Johnson, but with Alex Rodriguez’s arbitration ruling still undetermined, third base is a big question mark as well.
There are a lot of “what-if” scenarios in play, and it seems that the Yankees are waiting to see how the A-Rod situation plays out. They are also likely waiting to see what happens with Masahiro Tanaka since it will eat a big chunk out of their available dollars to spend if they can sign him.
Personally, I think the Yankees are set at second base. Roberts will bring experience and good defense to the position, likely batting primarily against lefties. Recent minor-league acquisition and left-handed hitting Dean Anna could be in line to start at second against right-handers.
Anna was acquired via trade from the San Diego Padres in November. The 27-year-old played last season for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, positing a .331/.410/.482 line along with .892 OPS. The one knock on Anna has been his defensive skills, but there is hope for improvement in that regard.
Anna certainly hasn’t been guaranteed a spot on the big league roster yet. However, some healthy competition and the big stage of New York could be just what the career minor leaguer needs to get his big break. It will definitely be exciting to see what he can do come spring training.
With the exception of first base, it’s really looking like it’ll be an infield-by-committee for the Yankees in 2014 – which is fine with me since that’s better than the everything-by-committee strategy they had last year.