Rosenthal: Yankees have contacted Kelly Johnson


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.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. blake says:

    If Cano isn’t back then they probably should just stay under 189 and avoid long term commitments other than maybe Tanaka and look to rebuild and spend in 2015……

    I think too many things would have to go right to contend in 2014 without Cano…’d have to sign Choo and Infante just to replace Cano’s production and then you’d have to actually sign more players to get better. Just seems unrealistic…..and if they cant put a real contender on the field then they should keep that draft pick.

    • dave bell says:

      This is not the YANKEE’s I grew up with and Love. Let’s not sit pat and watch the Angels, Dodgers, Rangers, and Mumford and Son’s dictate who get who. Let’s score McCann, Tanaka, get Kuroda to come back, get either Beltran or Choo. Sign the Beard to closer insurance and look at perhaps Garza, Arroyo, or Hudson as possible starters. and get some excitement brewing back in the Bronx. CMON
      Of course lock up Cano, he doesn’t want to leave NY

  2. MannyGeee says:

    Im OK with this.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Imma let you finish…..

      I’m OK with this, SO LONG AS he’s not the biggest name signed this winter. If he’s signed as a bench player, then I can dig it.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:


        • Wolfgang's Fault says:

          Nah, they sign him IF Robbie walks. He’s actually 8 months younger than Robbie, & he’s got some pop in his bat. Wonder what #’s he’d put up in the bandbox in the bronx if given the chance. Pretty inexpensive option to slot in Robbie’s place which leaves dough to go after some other needs for 2014 & frees up some dough & options for 2015 & beyond. Under the circumstances, like this option a lot.

  3. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    Was somebody just paging the Doctor?

    I like this move quite a bit. Prognosis positive.

    If Cano doesn’t come back I will certainly miss watching the prettiest swing since Ken Griffy Jr. (or to a lesser extent, Garrett Anderson – same swing)

  4. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    Mike, or anyone who knows, defensive metrics ?

  5. cheddar says:

    I’m okay with this, although I’d prefer Kelly Leak.

  6. jjyank says:

    Just bring Cano back.

  7. Chris Widger says:

    Would Johnson make a ton of sense even if Cano is resigned? We’ve got a gaping hole at third base, and while I’m not at all ready to give up on David Adams, Johnson would be a versitile swingman who could get a lot of starts at third vs right-handed pitching. A platoon of him and Adams could potentially be pretty productive for a low cost, letting the Yankees focus on other areas.

  8. Dale Mohorcic says:

    We could use a guy with a good nickname. His is green penis.

  9. tommy cassella says:

    I would much rather have Kelly Johnson than Jason jinx.

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