New York Yankees

Kelly Johnson and New York Yankees Agree on 1-Year Contract for 2014

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27:  Kelly Johnson #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays follows through on a sixth inning RBI base hit against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 27, 2013  in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIDecember 5, 2013

Super-utility man Kelly Johnson and the New York Yankees have agreed on a one-year deal worth about $3 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and the deal is pending a physical.

Johnson can essentially play everywhere—save for center field and catcher—and that makes him extremely valuable to a team like the Yankees. With injuries abounding in 2013, manager Joe Girardi would have loved to have a versatile guy like Johnson on his roster.

A second baseman by trade, Johnson may even be starting for the Yankees in 2014. Where he starts will depend on the proceedings of the rest of the offseason, though.

If Alex Rodriguez is indeed suspended for 2014—or any period of time, for that matter—Johnson is more than capable than holding his own at the hot corner. Take field percentage for what it's worth, but Johnson has made just one error in 45 chances in his career at third base.

Should Robinson Cano leave via free agency, which, at this point, is entirely up in the air, Johnson would play second base. He has played 809 of his 960 career games at the position.

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees hits a single in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports that the Seattle Mariners are going hard after Cano, but it's unknown as to whether or not he'd be willing to go to Seattle.

"He loves the spotlight. That's why he's a great player," a source told McCarron.

Maybe that means he'll be back with the Yankees, but money talks. Johnson is a great insurance policy.

The beauty of Johnson is that he isn't your typical utility bat. Johnson can hit for power and is capable of getting on solid hot streaks. He has hit 16 home runs and driven in at least 52 RBI in each of the past two seasons.

Also, Johnson has proven himself in the American League East. His first of the back-to-back 16-homer campaigns came in 2011 with the Toronto Blue Jays, and he followed that up with a near-identical showing in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays.

His best season came in 2010 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. That year, he hit .284/.370/.496 with 26 home runs and 71 RBI. He even hit five triples and stole 13 bases.

Expecting that from him in 2014 would be unreasonable, but Johnson can provide double-digit power with a decent on-base percentage and solid fielding. That makes him a solid signing for the Bombers.

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