The longtime Orioles second baseman entered free agency for the first time this year after spending 13 years in Baltimore. He just finished off the last season of the four-year, $40MM extension (2010-13) that he signed before the 2009 season. The former All-Star played in just 192 games over the span of that contract, as he dealt with a host of injuries that included a serious concussion.
In 296 plate appearances in 2013, Roberts posted a .249/.312/.392 line. In 2009, his last full season of action, Roberts put up a then-typical .283/.356/.451 triple-slash. Once a plus defender, defensive analytics now see him as an approximately average fielder at the keystone. (In 2013, he registered a 5.1 UZR/150 and a neutral mark from The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved metric.)
From the Yankees' perspective, the addition of Roberts would not prevent the club from adding another bat to the infield, Rosenthal notes. New York may be hesitant to rely on a combination of Roberts and Kelly Johnson at second and third, particularly given Roberts' injury history. (Twitter links.) One possibility, in Rosenthal's estimation, is a re-signing of Mark Reynolds. And we heard earlier today that minor league signee Dean Anna could join the mix at second.