Update: Yankees to sign Brian Roberts


Tuesday: The Yankees and Roberts have agreed to a one-year deal worth roughly $2M, reports Jon Morosi. The deal is pending a physical, which is not a slam dunk given his injury history. More to come.

Monday: The Yankees are likely to sign free agent second baseman Brian Roberts, reports Ken Rosenthal. No word on the terms or anything, but I have to think it’ll be a cheap one-year deal. Maybe even a minor league contract. That’d be cool.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Mark says:

    Someone get him the Chavez Ibanez old guy magic beans.

    • jsbrendog says:

      i really like this signing but unfortunately it has a nick johnson, travis hafner vibe to it imo.

      i would LOVE to be wrong. plus, remember, i love this signing if it is indeed a minor league deal

    • John Zelinski says:

      Brain Roberts is a excellent gamble, if healthy can be comeback player of the year, has great tools but these days young and old, health is always an issue.

  2. dkidd says:

    somewhere, nick johnson feels a disturbance in the force…

  3. MB923 says:

    Travis Hafner 2.0 (as in Games Played in recent years before becoming a Yankee)

  4. Greg says:

    Rather have Robin Roberts. Least he could pitch in the 1950′s. And I think that makes him younger than Brian.

  5. Tom says:

    On the bright side, this makes a reactionary deal for Phillips or Darwin Barney less likely.
    (well until Roberts sprains a wrist while signing the contract)

    On a more serious note – I don’t mind this move too much. Sure he’s an injury waiting to happen, but the upside is there if he can even play 80-100 games and there aren’t exactly a ton of options left on the market. Now granted he hasn’t done that since 2009, but let a man dream…

  6. rich says:

    Now we are getting desperate. Let Cano go , then pass on Infante but take leftover scraps. Just great. Should have just paid Cano.

    • Laz says:

      Is unfortunate, but really had no interest in Infante at that price.

    • BigLoving says:

      Yeah let’s sign a 31 year old player to a 10 year contract. Why don’t you shut your whore mouth pirate hooker!

    • stuart a says:

      absolutely why not give cano $240 mill. if it does not work out I am sure you would not bitch and whine in year 4….

    • Dan says:

      It wasn’t about paying him they actually offered him more money per year. It was that no 10 year deal has turned out well for a 30+ player. Common Sense, the mariners did it because their fan base was decreasing. The Yankees brought in more than enough offense tore place Cano. It’s not like he was a .330/40/160 guy. So bringing in defensive players at 2B is a smart idea.

  7. FIPster Doofus says:

    So the Yankees are pretty much fucked if A-Rod gets suspended. Him and Johnson as a 3B/2B pairing is a hell of a lot more palatable than Johnson and Glass Joe (Roberts) – who hasn’t been relevant in roughly a half-decade.

    Couldn’t they have just outbid STL for a year of Ellis?

  8. JeffG says:

    Is Dean Anna not a better option? His minor league numbers look pretty good. Is it the case of too old in the minors?

    • Scott says:

      I agree with giving Anna a shot BUT it’s a longshot: after hitting 260s-ish in 1.5 seasons of AA, he had a great AAA slash line in AAA but it was (a) at age 26 and (b) in a great hitter’s environment. That said, he’s worth a shot: (1) he hardly could hit worse than Ryan, (2) I don’t know his range but he made few errors in AA/AAA so he seems sure-handed, and (3) he can play 2B/SS/3B.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

      I hate the “too old in the minors” argument sooooo much.

      Just give the guy a chance, it’s the only way to find out if you have someone useful or just another AAAA or worse organizational piece. I’d rather they try him out early, then if he sucks they have time to pull in other scrap heap options or veteran presents.

      But I’m not a baseball ops guy, and they will keep him buried in the minors for walking injuries like Brian Roberts. Oh well, I really don’t care as long as the Yankees put together a winning team.

  9. CashmanNinja says:

    Not too big on this. If it were a few years ago then yes…but now? The guy simply cannot stay healthy and is only getting older. I’m just not thrilled with this. At least it’s only a 1 year deal.

  10. mustang says:

    Looks like going cheap at 2nd/3rd and all in Tanaka.

    Don’t like it, but can live with it.

    • Laz says:

      I had a problem last year when they punted several positions, but he was quite a bit better with the bat than Ichiro, and you are talking about corner outfield to 2b, which have way different offensive expectations.

      Right now you have

      C: McCann
      1B: Teix
      2B: Roberts/Kelly
      SS: Jeter
      3B: Arod
      LF: Gardner
      CF: Ellsbury
      RF: Beltran
      DH: Soriano

      Which is way better than what they had out there last year.

      • mustang says:

        Agree, you probably won’t have A-Rod, but even with that still way better than last year.

      • mustang says:

        C: McCann
        1B: Teix
        2B: Roberts/Kelly/Anna
        SS: Jeter
        3B: Reyonds or Young or Chavez/Kelly/Nunez/Ronnier Mustelier
        LF: Gardner
        CF: Ellsbury
        RF: Beltran
        DH: Soriano

        Love it, No
        Can live with it, yes
        Better than last year, Hell Yes!

      • Wolfgang's Fault says:

        Q. What does Derek Jeter, 40 years old, & the shortstop position have in common?

        A. Not too much.

        • Iron Horse says:

          Derek Jeter is so very many great things. One thing he cannot be is an every day shortstop at age 40. Any fan of this game knows this. Any prospective Yankee lineup for 2014 that has Jeter playing the field is flawed.
          No one can ever question Jeter’s dedication to the Yankees, to his team mates and to playing the game at his best every day.
          I understand and acknowledge the pride that he has in his overall game. I recall vividly how all the baseball geniuses determined that he was shot back in 1999, that Nomar Garciaparra was easily the superior player…hahaha…I recall the disgusted look on Terry Francona’s face as he sat in the dugout in July of 2004 at the Stadium, while Nomar nursed his sore leg, or knee, or toe on the bench, as Jeter dove into the stands to catch Trot Nixon’s pop-up. And I recall Nomar being a Cub by August 1.
          It would be the most difficult decision of his career, but HE should make it, for the best interest of the Yankees, that he will accept the role as DH.
          No team can be a serious contender with a 40 year-old shortstop.
          Prove me wrong, Jeet! I hope you do. But the reality is that at some point the Yankees will loose Jeter due to injury next year, lose his bat, as well as his glove, and that will hurt!!!

      • nycsportzfan says:

        Way better is a under statement. Were leaps and bounds deeper then we were last yr. Brian Roberts can rake when healthy. Sure he hasen’t been to this point, but hes not even gonna be asked to play 150games for us. I’m sure he’ll platoon, and be one of those really good “glue” guys that can switch hit and has a nice linedrive approach. I’m excited to see what Brian Roberts can do with a change of scenery. Hes really good hitter.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          I would also add, this team is reminding me alot of the 1996 yanks, offensively. Obviously the pitching is the issue now, but offensivley, they got alot of “hitters” now and have finally gotten away from those Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson types, as guys who hit hrs but strikeout alot and once postseason gets here and its consistent good pitching, they flame out. Guys like Brian McCann, Beltran, Roberts, to add to Jeets and Gardy, added to the power types like Tex and Sori, and you have a very well balanced offense, just like the 1996 yanks. Maybe not 30hr guys, but a bunch of solid avg’s and anywhere between 10-25hrs from several guys

      • Cuso says:

        Pat Kelly is back?

  11. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Isn’t he a bit too young for the Yankees?

  12. TJF says:

    Looks like one of those small gamble high reward possibilities that Cash likes. Good luck, I don’t think he’s the projected starter. Someone to bring to spring training and stash in AAA and maybe gives you a surprise. NO SP and NO BP = LONG YEAR. Better start adding there or they will need to sign the great wall of china to have a chance.

    • Fin says:

      I doubt very seriously he is signed to a MiLB deal. He will be the Yankees best option when/if healthy. The question isn’t if he can play but if he can stay healthy. He certainly wont be stashed down in AAA because of Johnson’s awesomeness.

    • forensic says:

      I’d be absolutely shocked if Roberts signed an MiLB deal this early in the offseason. I just don’t see it happening.

  13. mustang says:

    If they sign Tanaka the Yankees would of sign 4 out 10 top free agents while losing a 5th to a ridiculous contract. They basically rebuilt the whole team with top free agents and some Yankees fans are still not happy.

    • mustang says:

      Nope, Yankees aren’t spoiled at all.

    • Dan says:

      As a Yankees fan I hate that all Yankees fans think that we need to get the “best” at every position. It rarely works! What happened to having role players that make a difference with their glove? Winning games by saving runs not necessarily scoring them at a high rate. So we lost Cano, he makes up for 1 spot out of 9 on the field and in a lineup. Sure he’s great all around but unless he is hitting in 3 of the 9 spots giving him 25 mil is a mistake. Last time I checked the Cardinals and Sox were in the Series. And what did they have on their team? Role players… Just saying, sometimes the best options and most expensive options aren’t always the same.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      They didn’t rebuild the team, they restocked it – a big difference. They really need to do a genuine rebuild one of these years. Just don’t hold your breath.

  14. Dean says:

    What’s taking so long to re-sign Reynolds ???? It’s a no brainer.

  15. Fin says:

    This is definitely a case of dumpster diving/reclamation project and probably going to see more of it this offseason to fill out the roster. That being said, I’m not against it. Not a dissimilar situation to Chavez. Robets was able to play in 77 games last year a big step up from his previous 3 years. I wasn’t in love with any of the 2b FA’s, and all were very over priced. I think its at least a decent possibility the Yankees get similar production out of Roberts and whoever he shares second with, as any of the other FA second baseman.

    • mustang says:


      And they revisit things at the trading deadline.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      I’ve read that Roberts is finally healthy. If so, he’ll be more than 120 games this year fine, & If not, we’ll be finding out lots about this Dean Anna dude. If they do sign Roberts, I’d be surprised if Nunez is still on the roster come ST. Matter of fact, still not convinced Gardner’s a Yankee come spring either.

      • jsbrendog says:

        problem with roberts is he was finally healthy last yr too before a quad or hammy injury i think, and then maybe a shoulder or something..he just gets hurt. he is nick johnson at 2b minus the insane obp

  16. BFDeal says:

    Oh cool. Our all star DL team was missing a 2B last year.

  17. TWTR says:

    If cheap alternatives at 2B give them the financial flexibility they think they need to ensure they sign Tanaka, I am fine with it. Just get that done.

  18. Vernon Wells says:

    Awesome!! We FINALLY got someone who’s almost half as useless as me!!!

  19. Farewell Mo says:

    An infield of Teixiera, Roberts, Ryan and Kelly Johnson has to be one of the worst in the AL.

    It’s so bad I’m now actually hoping Arod doesn’t get a full year suspension.

    • mustang says:

      Yep, because those are the only people that play on the team.

      BTW reference 2012 SF Giants.

      • Tom says:

        Other than Jeter, who else is playing infield? Nunez? Nix? Add in a 0 WAR Reynolds?

        Referencing the 2012 Giants IF:
        Sandoval: 2.6 WAR
        Scutaro: 1.9 WAR in 61 games
        Crawford: 1.8 WAR
        Belt: 1.7 WAR (though a small part of that was OF)
        Arias: 0.8 WAR as a utility guy
        Theriot: 0 WAR (Scutaro took over for him at 2nd)

        Following the Scutaro trade they basically had a nearly average or better player at every position (and a decent backup in Arias). I would take that infield over the current Yankees one.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      At least this infield picks up the ball. If it’s Jetes at short, no guarantees they even do that. I really don’t see Kelly Johnson playing too much 3b. If ARod is suspended 100 games, they’ll mix & match ’til he’s back. Could there be a Zelous Wheeler in the Yankee 3b future? Cool name could turn out to be an even cooler third baseman.

  20. Hall and Nokes says:

    I like Roberts but who is going to play the other 140 games at second? Feels like Youk II.

    • Fin says:

      Except they arent going into the season expecting Roberts to be their everyday second baseman and paying him 12m a year. This is completely different situation expect the fact both are big injury risks. This feels more like Chavez than Youk, but with a chance of more playing time do to the lack of a quality 2nd baseman.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Then who is the everyday second baseman? If A-Rod is suspended, Johnson goes to third. That means Roberts at second.

        • Wolfgang's Fault says:

          No, Johnson only plays at 3b as a fill-in. Zelous Wheeler, Ronnie Mustelier, possibly Nunez if he’s still a Yankee, possibly someone not yet in the organization as of yet. Johnson is supposed to be a super sub. Due to dollar constraints, If Dean Anna &/or Zelous Wheeler show they can both field their positions & put the bat on the ball, they could both be logging in some cherce time on the field for the NY Yankees in 2014.

  21. Darren says:

    I love this move. I see this as the infield version of Bartolo Colon. My prediction is Roberts plays in 130 games, hits .280 with decent pop and every one of you bastards is gonna be bitching that Cashman should have signed him to a 3 year deal.

    • Fin says:

      LOL, I cant say I’m against the move, and certainly understand it, considering the quality of FA 2bman this year, and the amount of money/years they were getting. That being said if he hits .280 and plays in 130 games there should be some hat eating going down on RAB.

  22. forensic says:

    Clearly the Yankees weren’t satisfied that they missed out on the all-time record for DL time last year.

    • forensic says:

      Sadly, this can apply to nearly all of their signings this offseason. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see a repeat of last season, where basically everyone gets hurt and we see useless player after useless player suiting up in pinstripes.

      • mustang says:

        So now the measuring stick for all the future Yankees teams is the 2013 historically bad luck injury prone roster.
        Got it.

      • Fin says:

        You’re doing a lot of complaining as if everyone the Yankees have signed are injury prone. Els has 2 collisions that caused his injuries. Not exactly a thing that can be expected to continue happening. McCann had his shoulder surgery 2 years ago and seemed to come back from it just fine last year. Beltran has played 151 and 146 games the last 2 years with no DH spot to rest. They appear to be taking a flyer on Roberts no big deal. Finally, there is a lot of time before opening day and the roster is not set.

        I’m not sure what you would have the Yankees do. They put themselves in the position to have to build a team around virtually all players over the age of 30 by having a shit farm system (I don’t care what its ranked, its shit because it doesn’t produce players). Players over 30 have greater injury risks, it is what is. Do you want them to not sign anyone and embark on a rebuild that could take between 3yrs and forever? Personally, I would rather have them take this route than sit through the team they put on the field last year.

        • Fin says:

          I have a bigger complaint about no signs of a shake up in the training staff. Not only do Yankee players seem to be going down like flys, but they don’t come back…its set back after set back throughout the system.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        There’s risk in every guy, but I do think the big ticket guys either come with some assurance that those injuries are behind them, or with shorter deals.

        A guy like Roberts? If he was healthy, he’d probably be getting a better deal than what he’ll probably get, even at his age.

  23. Uh Dinnings says:

    Low risk high reward signing, if it happens. Hopefully he could post his career .349 OBP (which believe it or not is only six points lower than Cano’s career OBP) or around that. I and I think we all would be thrilled with even just .340 OBP from him.

    The Yanks should still sign Stephen Drew for SS and move Jeter to 3B.

    If they signed Drew and Roberts the Yanks could still platoon Johnson and Roberts at 2B and have Johnson back up at the infield corners.

  24. Dan says:

    Why does everyone think that The Yankees need to get a second baseman that “replaces” Cano. Obviously replacing Cano’s .308/25/107 averages was done by bringing in a Beltran and Jacoby. And let’s not forget the upgrade at Catcher with McCann, even bringing in Johnson will help. Not every position needs to be offensively minded. Having someone that saves runs on defense is just as important. That’s the value in Brendan Ryan. If Roberts is healthy he can do that. The main concern is pitching, as well it should be.

    • forensic says:

      Nobody has said they need to get a second baseman that replaces Cano. That’s exactly why most here would’ve been plenty satisfied with Infante (at the right price) or Ellis.

      They’ve upgraded with McCann and a bit with Beltran, but they’ve also downgraded a ton at 2B and have massive question marks around the rest of the diamond. They’ve also downgraded a bunch in the starting rotation and bullpen (so far). That value in Brendan Ryan took a big hit last season (we’ll see if it’s a one year thing or a trend).

      If Roberts is healthy he can do that.

      If? Given his long history of durability and the Yankees history of being able to keep guys (especially older guys) on the field, there’s no real question there. It’s pretty much guaranteed what we’re going to see for awhile this season.

  25. vicki says:

    KILL ME.

  26. Grover says:

    He’s trending healthier, can lead off, move runners, run the bases, has a little pop, grades out as average defensively and he fits the plan. Hope he is the first of many nonguaranteed deals to come.

  27. Dropped Third says:

    If it’s a minor league deal, I’m all for it! Sign Dean Anna and hold a competition for 2nd during spring training. Between Roberts, Johnson, and Anna there is some pretty good upside to all three, and a chance one of them plays up to their potential AND stays healthy. If they all flop, there is always the trade deadline.

    As for third base, have a feeling they’re waiting to see what happens with A-rod before committing to a major 3rd baseman signing or trade. If he A-rod is suspended, I could see a trade for Headley in the mix. Cash Ninja don’t fail us now!

  28. LarryM Fl says:

    I like Brian Roberts. He has been hit with the injuries the last few years.I doubt the Yankees are signing him to go 160 games. He is a player who can play second at a professional level. He is a player who makes great contact at the plate and runs well. I have seen him smack Mo’s pitches many times.

    Girardi will have to use his players that the front office provides for him in a manner which they can succeed. Roberts, Kelly, Ryan and Jeter need this attention from Girardi. We are talking about 3 positions if the Yankees can secure a third baseman such as Prado via a trade just giving an example. This team will be fine especially if Jeter moves to third in the event the team can not secure a decent replacement for Arod.

    Its not so much position players. It is about the pitching.

  29. mt says:

    Now we just need to sign Johan Santana to get the new Yankee 2014 durability trio of Johan, Roberts and Ellsbury (exceeding last year’s durability duo of Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner) :-)

    Depending on contract, could be a good move (fingers crossed as to health) – Given we already had Kelly Johnson as a fallback, I didn’t want Infante (Ellis would have been OK) – I want to make sure we have budget to improve starting pitching and now the bullpen.

  30. Bobby D says:

    Who cares who they throw out there at second we still need pitching!!! This team is not a playoff contender unless they address the starting rotation and bullpen!!

  31. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    As long as it truly doesn’t preclude them from actually getting a starting second baseman, nothing really wrong with giving him a look. Hell, if he was healthy, I’d be fine with him as a makeshift idea, but we know how that story will probably end.

    Bring him on board on an MiLB. Continue to pray for an actual major league second baseman.

    Did you hear? Dean Anna can apparently cure cancer. I put “Dean Anna” through Goggle Translate and it shit out “Ronnie Mustelier” in Spanish. I guess my Spanish did, in fact, suck.

  32. nyyankfan7 says:

    I love all of you who are bitching about this signing but are adament that they need to sign Eric Chavez. 3 years ago you were probably the same people bitching that they signed Chavez.

  33. E is for Eduardo says:

    If it’s between Roberts or Nunez…yeah, I’m taking Roberts without a moment’s hesitation.

    Heck, if it’s between Dean Anna or Eduardo Nunez, I would start the season with Dean Anna playing everyday over Eduardo Nunez. Nunez does not belong in major league baseball.

  34. Greg says:

    Horace Clarke. Only a couple of years older. If he’s not available, then go with Willie Randolph.

  35. E is for Eduardo says:

    Roberts put up 0.9 WAR in 2013 in half of a season.

    Nunez has -1.9 WAR in 270 career games.

    Roberts’ corpse would provide more value than Nunez does.

    • mitch says:

      Exactly. All you have to do is look at the box scores from last summer to see the value of this signing. Guys like Roberts and Brendan Ryan are a step up from Alberto Gonzalez and Reid Breignac.

      If they’re relying on Ryan and Roberts to be the middle infield combo for 162 games then they’re in trouble, but as part time guys they’re smart signings.

  36. JGYank says:

    So who’s his replacement when he gets injured? Might as well of signed Ellis. They’re about the same age I think. Not even sure how good roberts is because he’s injured so often that it’s hard to tell what he could do over a full season at this point. He’s probably better than other 2b available but he can’t be expected to play everyday while staying healthy. Maybe they split time between him and Johnson.

  37. TheEvilUmpire says:

    Where’s Bip Roberts when you need him? We could make it an all-Roberts 2b competition!

  38. DERP says:

    Has this been posted?

    Jon Morosi ?@jonmorosi
    Brian Roberts and Yankees have agreement for 1-year deal worth around $2 million plus incentives, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me.


  39. I don’t mind the move to be honest. Its a better move than trading for Brandon Phillips tbh. Johnson is a reliable backup and maybe it will be more of a platoon than Roberts going out there every single day.

  40. DERP says:

    Played more games than Tex, Jeter, and A-Rod combined last year.

  41. DERP says:

    They Yankees might now have the most handsome double play combination in baseball history.

  42. E is for Eduardo says:

    If this means Nunez is gone, I give this move a 10/10

  43. TennesseeThunder says:

    Should have kept adams….

  44. Kosmo says:

    Conar Gillespie or Danny Valencia anyone ?

    sign Tanaka and Maeda.

    Yanks need a backup plan for Tex if he´s not good to go.

    I like Roberts a pesky SW, let´s hope there is enough crazy glue for the 2014 Yanks.

  45. j montero says:

    Omg ! Brian Freaking Roberts. That’s great.I am so excited !! But who’s pitching ?

  46. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    Where’s Tony “Tom Gordon” Womack when you need him?

  47. TennesseeThunder says:

    Adams has “upside” roberts has “downside”

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