Yesterday, the Yankees and free agent 2B Brian Roberts agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal (plus incentives). The 36-year-old switch hitting second baseman spent his entire 13-year career with Orioles and was best known for his production from 2004 through 2009. During this six year span, Roberts averaged 101 runs, 12 HRs, 35 stolen bases, and a .290 batting average. However, a multitude of injuries have derailed his career and Roberts has only played 192 (!) games over the last four (!) seasons. Abdominal, hip, hamstring, and concussions have unfortunately plagued Roberts. Roberts appeared in 77 games last year, hitting 8 HRs and driving in 39 runs. Roberts has had more success as a right-handed hitter. Last season, he put a .284/.327/.441 slash against LHPs. Roberts is an excellent defender, boasting a career .987 fielding percentage. He only made one error in 540 innings last season.
As of now, this is purely a low-risk, high reward move. The Yankees could choose to platoon Roberts and Kelly Johnson at second base and utilize their attractive platoon splits. The Yankees need a healthy Roberts to make this possible which has been anything but a sure bet recently.