Yankees Likely To Sign Brian Roberts

The Yankees are likely to sign free agent second baseman Brian Roberts, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Roberts, 36, is a client of Relativity Baseball.

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.


142 Responses to Yankees Likely To Sign Brian Roberts Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 2 years ago

    Over or under 20 games for Roberts?

  2. LazerTown 2 years ago

    I’m fine with it as long as it isn’t too expensive. He has some potential, and much cheaper than Phillips.

    • slasher016 2 years ago

      Can a 36 year old really have potential?

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        If he can stay healthy, I don’t buy that Infante is any better than him. I’d rather take a flyer on him than give Infante $30M

        • Seamaholic 2 years ago

          Whoa … Roberts hasn’t been any good for years, even when he has played.

          • LazerTown 2 years ago

            And Infante had a great contract year and suddenly he is worth a lot? Is exactly why I said if healthy, if not they can just cut him, is good to have a few options at 2b, there really isn’t a standout option after cano.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            Infante didn’t have a contract year and was “suddenly” worth anything, over the last three years he’s established himself as a league wide average bat and an above average defensive player at a premium position. In fact his OPS+ over the past two seasons (101) is exactly the same as Ian Kinsler and better than Brandon Phillips and Rickie Weeks, all players still making more than Infante. Is 4 years a year more than you would like to go for a 32 years old? Obviously, but you are vastly underrating him versus the rest of the second baseman in baseball.

          • Metsfan93 2 years ago

            Infante kinda has been worth his current 7.5 MM AAV in more than just his contract year. Infante’s got this whole 2.1/2.1/2.9/3.1 WAR thing going on since ’10- a steady, small, slow rise to his 2013 value. Fangraphs’ value measurement credits him as worth 8.6+ MM every year since 2010, and he got paid 7.5 MM a year. So, yeah, Infante at 30 MM for 4 years is a pretty fantastic deal.

        • jann key 2 years ago

          Infante actually stays on the field, Brian Roberts can be a bit brittle

          • LazerTown 2 years ago

            And this is most likely a small incentive laden deal. They already have Johnson as another option.

            I doubt that he will be what he once was, but if he can stay healthy for half the season and put up stats similar to last year, they will be in good shape. He still hit .249/.312/.392 from a middle infield position.

            If healthy he probably will be the starter and a solid one at that. If not they didn’t lose that much money and Johnson starts.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            It’s nothing to get heated about either way but I’d say it’s still unlikely he even gives the team what you’ve described. I mean the previous two seasons he gave the O’s a total of 56 very awful games. It’s also funny to see anyone use the words “if Roberts is healthy” since we know the most he’s been healthy in one season for the past 4 years is 77 games.

        • $3513744 2 years ago

          well that’s a pretty healthy if. it’s not really an if for him. he just can’t stay healthy. i really don’t see the issue giving Infante that much money if that’s what it takes.

        • chris hines 2 years ago

          Infante is better because he’s been league average with the bat over the last 3 seasons while being above average to very above average on defense, depending on the metric. Roberts on the other hand didn’t play hardly at all in that time period, thus he isn’t as good a player. He may have been more talented at one point but there is no argument for him being “better” or even as good as Infante over the past 3 seasons.

      • Mitch Augustyn 2 years ago

        36 is a young pup on the Yankees.

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      Potential to be the Yankees head cheerleader while on the DL

  3. yankeestarz 2 years ago

    The Yankees just keep getting better.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      And older

      And I wouldn’t think a guy who has produced a total of 0.9 WAR the last 4 years has improved your team that much (that includes a year where he had -1.1 WAR)

      • Yanksfan2010 2 years ago

        I think he was being sarcastic

        • MB923 2 years ago

          Like they NY Lotto says. Hey, you never know?

          • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

            What’s that about the lotto and never winning?

  4. Daniel Rajan 2 years ago

    Welcome to the Evil Empire, Brian Roberts.

  5. Muhamed Mashkulli 2 years ago

    Great he fits the mold another old and injury prone player…. This disapoints me as a yankee fan

    • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

      I mean I guess they think if he somehow plays well it would have been a good signing but I don’t know about this signing he’s very much a Nick Johnson sort of player. They’ve both had long histories of being injuries very much close to it now.I mean he hasn’t even player only a 100 games the past 4 years he’s been in as this article said 192 games. Only played 77 games last year just a very head scratching move would have preferred the Phillips trade instead of this move very odd.

      • Muhamed Mashkulli 2 years ago

        I think the yankees made a good decision by not doing that gardner for phillips swap, i just believe that they should’ve signed mark ellis (yes im aware of his age) instead and platoon him with kelly Johnson… But he signed with STL.

      • chris hines 2 years ago

        Brandon Phillips is going to make another 50 million over the next 4 years (and wanted more to waive his NTC) and has an OPS+ of 96 over the past two seasons. You’d be better off with Infante since they both have 4 years remaining at this point.

  6. Joshua McBean 2 years ago

    well yankee fans have fun with Brob. played very little over 3 years.

  7. DMoney1184 2 years ago

    Aaaaaaaannnnnnnddddd vomit. I don’t want to see anything next to Brian Roberts’ name other than “minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training”.

    • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

      Yeah agreed. This is just laughable at best.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      If he is healthy he is an upgrade over what they have. If not it was probably pretty cheap.

      • chris hines 2 years ago

        He’s played 192 of his last possible 648 games… He isn’t going to be healthy.

      • Metsfan93 2 years ago

        The issue is that guaranteeing a man averaging under a third of a season for a four year stretch any amount of money whatsoever- especially with a team attempting to stay under a payroll cap they’re rapidly approaching- is not the best idea.

  8. Guest 2 years ago

    Who is going to hit for power in this lineup? A 38-year-old Soriano? An oft-injured/declining Teixeira? The Yankees have arguably the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball and no one to bring any pop. Can’t say I understand it.

    • Timmy Lin 2 years ago

      Mccann?

      • Guest 2 years ago

        McCann is a lock to miss at least 20-30 games. Ditto for Beltran.

        • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

          If it is such a lock then bet your life savings on it.

          • Guest 2 years ago

            McCann has averaged 117 games played over the last three seasons.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            and has still hit for power despite it.

        • animal_strength 2 years ago

          So with the DH, he’s going to miss more games than he did last year? Where he missed 17 playing the field everyday and had 600 ABs?

          EDIT: sorry was thinking about beltran.

          • Guest 2 years ago

            You think the Yankees are going to play McCann that much with Soriano, Beltran, Wells, Jeter and whoever else playing DH?

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Once Beltran is official then Wells will be cut. And yes, McCann will play more with the DH being available.

          • Guest 2 years ago

            Yes, he will play more. But he’s missed 135 games the last three years. You think he’s suddenly going to play 150-plus games this year?

          • animal_strength 2 years ago

            Do catchers normally play 150 games? Didn’t think so.

          • Carmine Sabia Jr. 2 years ago

            Some dudes despise The Yankees to the point you cannot reason with them.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Nobody said that, only Yadier Molina is capable of that workload. You questioned power and then changed it to games played, either way McCann is a “lock” for 20+ homeruns from the catcher postion

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            McCann should see 120-125 this year, past that I don’t know how his shoulder will hold up but this year he should be fine.

        • chris hines 2 years ago

          They’ll both still slug around .490 all around and over .500 against RHP. I dislike the Beltran signing but even at 120-130 games played a piece they’ll provide “pop” this year.

          I think Ellsbury actually slugged over .480 this year vs RHP and Soriano is a mortal lock to slug over .500 vs LHP and probably 450ish against RHP.

          It’s not the deepest lineup ever but you can make it a tough go 1-5 vs both RHP and LHP.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          Catchers don’t play 162 games. Beltran has played 142 games 3 straight years in a league where he had to take the field every game (except interleague)

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            I still worry about Beltran though, I believe he’ll be fine this year for the most part but 38/39/40 year old bodies simply don’t bounce back like they use to. At some point he’s going to break down, you just hope it’s in years 3 or 4….Edit: again with the 4 years…. I guess I have to amend this to you just hope it’s in year 3 and not year 1 or 2.

    • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

      Soriano, Beltran, Tex, McCann, and Ellsbury all have “pop”

      • Guest 2 years ago

        Ellsbury has 13 home runs in his last 208 games. That’s pop?

        • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

          I didn’t say he was going to hit 30 home runs, but you act like they have a team that can’t hit.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            The power is more spread out with Tex and possibly Soriano the only threat to hit 30 homeruns. Beltran and McCann should add some pop and MAYBE Ells will hit 10+, a repeat of his 2011 season is not likely however.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          And 57 doubles or triples. Not all power is home runs, they really needed the players that could move runners over last year.

        • chris hines 2 years ago

          Career .460 SLG vs RHP and .489 SLG vs RHP in 2013, either one of those would be fine out of the leadoff/two hole against 3/4th of the league.

    • Noah Baron 2 years ago

      McCann and Beltran maybe?

    • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

      Texieria has been over a 120 games every single year except for when he was injured last year with the wrist issue. The injury with his leg was the overuse by the Yankees. He’s very rarely been hurt at all so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Guest 2 years ago

        You do realize Tex isn’t a guarantee for Opening Day, will be 34 in April, can’t stay healthy and has been steadily declining, right?

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          He missed one year and now he is done?

          • Guest 2 years ago

            Who said he’s done? I’m saying he’s declining and can’t stay healthy, so to rely on him is foolish.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            He’s not done but to his point in 2012 against RHP Teixeira hit .239/.331/.438 with a .199 ISO. He still dominates LHP but against most of the league he’s dropped WAY off of his career norms.

        • $3513744 2 years ago

          when you were as good as he was, a steady decline still leaves you pretty good. he only missed one year. i don’t see what track record he’s set as being unhealthy.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            Not unhealthy but .239/.331/.438 vs RHP in 2012, .223/.323/.450 vs RHP in 2011, and .247/.344/.461 in 2010… That’s a disturbing trend of ineffectiveness against most of the league.

        • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

          He had 24 homeruns 84 RBIs and 27 doubles in 2012 in a 123 games the numbers would have been higher if not for the leg injury how are those declining and the other injury was the first long term injury on the current contract this isn’t a guy whose like Nick Johnson who always got hurt every year

      • $3513744 2 years ago

        i was gonna say the same thing

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      McCann, Arod, Soriano, Beltran, Teix can all hit 20+ hr.

      They had one player last year that hit 20 for them. Beltran, Soriano, and McCann all reached that number last year alone.

    • dazedatnoon 2 years ago

      Yanks should grab Dunn and Beckham from the White Sox. Sox would probably eat alot of Dunn’s contract to move him.

    • Yettyskill 2 years ago

      who cares about hitting for power, hit to score runs, if it comes in the form of power great, if it doesn’t who cares?

  9. Frank Mann 2 years ago

    can’t beleive the farm system is so bad

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      That they took a flyer on a cheap deal for a bounce back player?

    • jjs91 2 years ago

      What does this have to do with the farm system?

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Twins signed Pelfrey and Hughes. Their farm is 1 of the best.

  10. PosadaBlackLabel 2 years ago

    First lets see if he can physically sign the contract without getting a mid-signature wrist injury.

  11. johnnythoren3 2 years ago

    Hey Yankees! 2002 called, it wants its all star team back!

  12. chris hines 2 years ago

    There’s no reason to like or dislike this move, this is as much as a non factor as signing anyone could possibly be. I guess that means they are comfortable with some combination of Anna, Nunez, Ryan, and Johnson covering the 2B/3B holes.

    What I really don’t get though is where Beltran fits in with this offseason plan… It seems the Yankees are trying to set themselves up to have name “draws” this year but aren’t setting themselvs up as actual contenders for another year or two, which is fine if you see that as the best road. But Beltran is a win in 2014 move on a 4 year contract, it’s crazy to think he’ll contribute at all at 39 years old. Should’ve either gone Choo long term or saved the money for better uses at a later time.

    • PosadaBlackLabel 2 years ago

      3 year deal for Beltran. I don’t think it’s crazy to think he’ll contribute past 2014 after just having a good year in the NL and now he moves to a friendlier ballpark with the DH. The Yankees are probably cautiously optimistic about him for 2015-16, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if he continued to be solid.

      • chris hines 2 years ago

        He got 4 not 3, he’s a full time DH by the final year or two of that deal guaranteed. Edit: Have to down vote myself on this one.

        • Ron Swanson 2 years ago

          No, he got 3/$45.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            Right you are, that’s my mistake, I must’ve had Infante’s 4 year deal stuck in my head. Inexcusable either way. Still don’t like the deal, for one year it makes sense but this doesn’t seem to be a team that’s being built for 2014 but more in line with 2015/2016.

          • PosadaBlackLabel 2 years ago

            Why would they want to sign him for just one year if they’re not trying to build for 2014?

            They’re more built for 2014 than 2015/16 right now. Soriano and Gardner are only under contract through 2014 and after this season, Jeter, A-Rod, and their other aging core players all will just be one and two years older. I’m sure they’ll make major moves prior to the 2015-16 seasons but we don’t know what they are yet — the Yankees try to build for every year at this point.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      They needed someone to replace Cano, and Beltran came quite a bit cheaper.

      • chris hines 2 years ago

        Beltran replaces Cano? By playing poor defense in RF for 120-135 games a year? No one replaces Cano but you’d be a lot closer to that with Choo’s career .309/.411/.521 batting line vs RHP. Obviously he has his flaws against LHP but against 3/4th of the league Choo is a better 3 hole hitter than even Beltran will be. For comparison Beltran hit .315/.362/.509 last year vs RHP, which is very good but is still 50 OPS points off of Choo’s career line.

        • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

          Choo also wants a contract in line with Ellsburys, no thanks.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            He’s worth 7 years, He’d be 38 in the final year of the deal and Beltran just got 3 years turning 37 in ST. Choo is the better overall player right now and will be the better overall player in 3 years. I can see an argument for not signing either one but I’ve yet to run up on an argument good enough to make me think Beltran is the one to sign if you are going to sign one.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            The Yankees already locked up an OF position for 7 years, you do not do that twice.

          • Denny Doyle 2 years ago

            Ellsbury shouldn’t have gotten a contract in line with Ellsburys.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            Mostly irrelevant since he did and that set the market, though I do value Choo’s presence at the top of the lineup a lot more than Ellsbury. Defense and base running giving Jacoby the overall edge but I think I would’ve paid Choo slightly more than Ellsbury originally, though not more than the 7/153 he got.

          • Denny Doyle 2 years ago

            Quite relevant. Ellsbury’s an overpay, Beltran was an overpay, but Yankees can’t do a Choo overpay. BTW, I want Ellsbury money too, it doesn’t mean me or Choo are getting it.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Beltran might be an overpay in terms of the extra third year, however, Ellsbury was predicted to get 7 years for 153 (guaranteed) and that is what he received, hardly an overpay when you consider that was his predicted market.

          • Denny Doyle 2 years ago

            No Ellsbury wasn’t, he was an overpay. And again, lets get away from what Choo publicly wants, and get back to what he’ll actually get. Which is in the 110-120 mark instead of tying his name to Ellsbury’s.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            This very website predicted just that “Ultimately, I predict a seven-year, $150MM deal.” link to mlbtraderumors.com

          • Denny Doyle 2 years ago

            First off, 153/168 is not equal to 150, never has been never will. Also, I could provide you with a dozen websites that predict lower, you would be hard-pressed to find another site predicting 150+.

            Newsflash: MLBTR does not make the market. Because they predict high doesn’t make them the industry standard.

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            But guess what? They nailed the years and dollars perfectly so how can you say they were wrong on this one?

          • chris hines 2 years ago

            No it’s actually very irrelevant since he did in fact get that money, that sets the market for the top tier outfielders. I doubt Choo gets more than Ellsbury since Jacoby is a year younger, plays a more premium defensive position, and is better at that position than Choo is in RF. However I fully expect him to land 7 years and be somewhere in the 18-20 AAV range. I also wasn’t arguing for the Yankees to sign Choo, I was arguing for them signing Choo instead of Ellsbury and Beltran or just Beltran. For the Yankees I think it makes more sense to have Gardner in CF, Choo in RF, and save some money by not handing out the Belltran deal, or having Gardner in LF, Ellsbury in CF and Choo in RF than have Gardner-Ellsbury-Beltran being the OF.

  13. MB923 2 years ago

    I predict it’s a 1 year/$1 million contract with incentives – $1 million for every 10 games played

    • animal_strength 2 years ago

      funny.. so he’d make 16 million if he played the whole year? if you say so…

      • $3513744 2 years ago

        no way he plays that much

        • animal_strength 2 years ago

          oh with the base salary it’d be 17 million. whoopty doo

          • $3513744 2 years ago

            infante would have been a better option.

      • MB923 2 years ago

        1 – I’m obviously joking
        2- You’re likely to see an Astros/ Marlins WS than for Roberts to play the whole year (not joking there)

  14. BRANDON 2 years ago

    An old player here, an old player there….old people everywhere

  15. animal_strength 2 years ago

    People acting like they signed him to a 4 year deal. Who cares? He’s not going to make any money, and he’s a low-risk flyer.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      I know.
      They will most likely have him as an option in ST.

  16. O's Fan Martinsburg 2 years ago

    Maybe the O’s will trade away what prospects we have for Phillips now….

    • chris hines 2 years ago

      Already giving up on Schoop?

      • O's Fan Martinsburg 2 years ago

        Schoop was brought up 3B… move Machado back to SS, his natural position, and bring in Schoop at 3B when he’s major league ready…. thoughts?

        • chris hines 2 years ago

          It could happen but I’d be a little surprised to see them move Machado, he seems like a guy who isn’t close to finished putting on weight and is already an All-Star at 3B. Obviously he has more value at SS but Schoop has more value at 2B.

  17. HHHDMS 2 years ago

    They need to sign some pitchers , starters and relievers for them to really contend. Roberts could be a low risk high reward, who knows ?

    • jjs91 2 years ago

      I’d say medium reward with his injury history sounds like a lefty platoon to KJ. If arod comes back that’s fine.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      They only need 1 starter (Tanaka if he’s posted or another FA off the market to take 3 or 4 spot) Bullpen needs more there though.

  18. MaineBaseball 2 years ago

    This signing isn’t bad or anything and when he’s healthy he’s a solid player. But with all of the problems the Yankees has with injuries last year wouldn’t they want to avoid that this year by going after more durable players? Just a thought haha

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      And get who?
      Market for 2B is pretty awful offensively.

      • MaineBaseball 2 years ago

        Touche. They’re just gonna have to hope he stays healthy.

      • chris hines 2 years ago

        If only there was a free agent who had played in 415 games over the last 3 years with an above average bat for 2nd base…

  19. tenncub 2 years ago

    I take this as a sure sign that the Cubs aren’t interested in trading Barney.

  20. Michael Kenny Jr. 2 years ago

    Well, there goes the possibility of a Gordon Beckham trade.

  21. Yanks are going to need an EMT team & vehicle in the pen…

  22. JJ 2 years ago

    OMg so NYY dont sign Ellis but they want to sign Brian Roberts

  23. WazBazbo 2 years ago

    The Yankees are trying to fill all the holes in their lineup. They lost Hafner and replaced his DL time with Roberts. Very crafty!

  24. JoeSeadog 2 years ago

    Roberts was a guy Steinbrenner coveted. Someone who might have knowledge of these things once told me there was a deal on the table to send Roberts to the Yanks for a pile of ml’s (inc Cano) but Jerry Hairston (who would have taken over 2b) was hurt the last week of Spring and nixed the whole deal. Mazz was in Baltimore then and might have known about prospect Cano., Mazz being in the YAnkee coaching fold before.

  25. brownlar 2 years ago

    while he wouldn’t have been my first option he could have been a option for the jays at 2nd base. niether Eliis nor Roberts cost a lot of money.

    • chris hines 2 years ago

      The two aren’t very comparable though, Ellis has played at least 105 games every year of his career outside of his rookie season.

      • brownlar 2 years ago

        they’re very much comparable. the jays have a giant hole at 2nd base, both are vets who didn’t sign for huge $ nor a long term commitment.

  26. TheGodfather 2 years ago

    They should’ve just signed Michael Young.

    • chris hines 2 years ago

      They still can, though his defense is atrocious at this point in his career. Really wouldn’t be surprised to see Young, Roberts, and Reynolds all in end up in the Yankees ST camp with Anna fighting for jobs. Start one of them where ever Johnson isn’t and keep another one for the bench since none of the above is going to last a whole season anymore. Johnson, Anna(or Roberts until he gets hurt), and Young wouldn’t be the worst 2B/3B combo to start the year with. Though I think Johnson, Chavez, and Young make the most sense.

  27. JTT11 2 years ago

    Are the Yankees actively trying to get AARP as a corporate sponsor?

  28. Jake 2 years ago

    I see this being a Kevin Youkillis type deal. Sign for millions and barely play any games due to injuiries. Seriously if the Yankees are that desperate they should put Nunez at second. Erratic as they come but more durable than Roberts.

  29. Eric 2 years ago

    Wow I love this move for the Yankees…7 years ago

  30. Yankee signings on this site are like instant entertainment. Not really the signing itself, but the comments are always hilarious.

    As for the signing, I say why not. If it’s not a lot of money, who cares. He is probably going to be on the DL before spring training anyway.

  31. Mike1L 2 years ago

    If he’s cheap and disposable, I suppose so, but what’s the upside?

  32. LEX STEEL 2 years ago

    Goddammit. No.

  33. JRC 2 years ago

    decent glove. decent price i hope

  34. $3513744 2 years ago

    still not gonna be on the field that much

  35. $3513744 2 years ago

    the guy is never healthy.

  36. johnnythoren3 2 years ago

    Thanks for that. Good think you pointed out the grammar error. It made my entire post invalid.

  37. $3513744 2 years ago

    maybe 10 games at best

  38. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    Actually, Jeter, Arod, Soriano, and Ichiro being the only ones on the 2002 All-Star team made your post invalid.

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