Yankees Agree to Terms with Former Oriole Roberts

  • Ralph Thompson Jr

(photo: wnst.net)

With Robinson Cano off to the Mariners, the Yankees looked to fill that hole in the field. New York offered free agent Omar Infante big bucks, signed Kelly Johnson for one year, $3M. Now, they’ve enticed Brian Roberts away from Baltimore.

From 2004-2009, Roberts was one of the better second basemen in the American League. He averaged 151 games played, 101 runs scored and a 111 OPS+. As a table-setter, he did a great job. Since then, Roberts has battled concussion issues, abdominal strains, a herniated disc, a hip strain and a hamstring tendon strain. He’s played 192 games from 2010-present. He gave Baltimore great effort and production for years, but it’s time for the parties to part ways.

Looking at the Baltimore 40-man roster, the Orioles have the following:

Ryan Flaherty – in 2013, he played 65 games at second base. He had a .993 fielding percentage (compared to a .985 league average at the position). He only committed 2 errors at the position. He had a 4.91 Range Factor per 9 innings. Offensively, in 271 plate appearances he had an OPS OF .683 and a 19/62 walk/strikeout ratio.

Jemile Weeks – the younger brother of Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks, Jemile was acquired from Oakland 2 December in the trade that sent closer Jim Johnson out west. In parts of three seasons with the Athletics, he has a .974 fielding percentage with 24 errors in 213 games. He had a 4.28 Range Factor per 9 innings. Offensively, in those three years, he compiled 957 plate appearances, an OPS of .677 and a 71/137 walk/strikeout ratio.

Jonathan Shoop – a minor-leaguer since 2009, he’s had 209 games at second base. He’s committed 22 errors, leading to a .974 fielding percentage. He’s also played another 224 games at shortstop, with 67 errors and a .940 fielding percentage. In 1766 plate appearances in the minors, he’s gotten a .742 OPS and a 156/305 walk/strikeout ratio. He’d be a longshot at this point to win the second base job with the big club.

There are some free agents out there with experience at second. Chris Getz is out there, after a few years with Kansas City and could replace guys like Alexi Casilla who filled in last season and Robert Andino, who left in  2012. Expect Baltimore to make some moves between now and spring training, and expect to see a wide open competition between several candidates before the position is settled.

 

 

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