Rosenthal: Yankees have contacted Kelly JohnsonBy
Via Ken Rosenthal: The Yankees have contacted free agent utility man Kelly Johnson. They’ve been connected to guys like Omar Infante, Stephen Drew, and Brandon Phillips in recent weeks given the uncertainty surrounding Alex Rodriguez and, to a lesser extent, Robinson Cano. This is just more of the same.
Johnson, 31, hit .235/.305/.410 (101 wRC+) with 16 homers and seven stolen bases in 407 plate appearances for the Rays this past season, splitting time between second, third, and left field. He is who he is offensively, and that’s a low average (.226 since 2011), medium walk (9.8%), high strikeout (26.3%), okay power (.169 ISO), good speed (37-for-49 in stolen base attempts) guy from the left side of the plate. Of the available infield options, I prefer Johnson to Infante and Phillips because he figures to take a one-year deal and I’m not sold on the other two as long-term replacements. Even if Cano returns, Johnson makes sense as that lefty bat off the bench I always talk about.