Yankees Sign Brian Roberts

JAN. 13: After nearly a month, Roberts' deal with the Yankees is now official, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Roberts will receive Alex Rodriguez's 40-man roster spot.

Sherman also has the breakdown of Roberts' incentives. He will receive $175K for reaching 250 and 300 plate appearances, $250K for 350 and 400 plate appearances, $300K for 450 and 500 plate appearances, $350K for 550 plate appearances and $400K for 600 and 650 plate appearances (Twitter link). All told, Roberts can earn $2.6MM worth of incentives (as the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reported last month), meaning he can earn a total of $4.6MM on his one-year deal.

DEC. 17: The Yankees and second baseman Brian Roberts have agreed to a one-year deal worth $2MM plus incentives, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Morosi's colleague, Ken Rosenthal, reported last night that the two sides were likely to reach an agreement. Roberts is represented by Relativity Baseball (formerly known as SFX).

The 36-year-old Roberts played in 77 games last season — his highest total since 2009. He's spent his entire career with the Orioles to date, finishing a four-year, $40MM extension this past season that saw him play just 192 games and slash just .246/.310/.359 due to injuries. Over the life of that contract, Roberts was sidelined for significant amounts of time due to an abdominal strain, two concussions (one of which caused him to miss more than an entire season's worth of games), hip surgery and hamstring surgery.

Prior to that onslaught of injuries, the switch-hitting Roberts was a consistent threat at the plate and on the basepaths. From 2004-09, he batted .290/.365/.438 and averaged 46 doubles, four triples, 12 homers and 35 stolen bases per season. He's spent his entire career with to this point with the Orioles, who selected him with the 50th overall pick in the 1999 draft as compensation for the loss of free agent Rafael Palmeiro.

As Rosenthal notes (on Twitter), Roberts' low base salary will allow the Yankees to pursue other infield options. Mark Reynolds remains a possibility, and the team has also expressed interest in trading for Dustin Ackley. New York was also linked to Brandon Phillips in a rumor that gained quite a bit of attention, but that doesn't appear to be a likely outcome at this point.

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