Apparently, agreeing to terms with Jacoby Ellsbury on Tuesday was not enough for the Yankees, as the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported on Tuesday night that the team is close to signing free agent Kelly Johnson to a one-year contract valued between $2.75 and $3 million.
The current plan is for Johnson to move around the diamond and serve as a regular option at second base should Robinson Cano sign elsewhere. Johnson’s primary position throughout his career has been second base, though he has experience at third base and in left field as well.
Johnson, who turns 32 in February, owns a .253/.335/.427 career slash line in eight seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays. The veteran struggled to a .235/.305/.410 batting line last season with the Rays, but did manage to stroke 16 home runs. His left-handed swing could allow him to push for 20 home runs in Yankee Stadium.
The addition of Johnson and Ellsbury in the same day provides a clear message to free agent Robinson Cano that time is running out if he still wants to be a member of the New York Yankees.