Veteran Infielder/Outfielder Hit 16 Home Runs Last Season With Tampa Bay

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While Robinson Cano is mulling reported offers for mega millions, the Yankees are not waiting around with baited breath. On the contrary, they are getting busy in the event their free agent second baseman doesn’t choose to spend the rest of his career in the Bronx.

According to numerous reports, the Yankees are close to signing infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal believed to be worth $2.5 million to $3 million.

Johnson, 31, is a career .253 hitter with some pop, amassing 124 home runs and 442 RBI in eight seasons with Atlanta, Arizona, Toronto and Tampa Bay. During the 2013 season with the Rays, Johnson hit .235 with 16 homers and 52 RBI in 114 games.

Even if Cano is re-signed Johnson could be used as a replacement for Alex Rodriguez, provided all or part of his 211-game suspension is upheld. Johnson can also be a suitable corner outfielder off the bench.

The interest in Johnson became necessary when the Yankees started to sense that the negotiations with Cano were going to be prolonged. The sides are still far apart, with the Yankees reportedly offering seven years for up to $175 million and Cano demanding nine years for around $250 million.

Compounding that stalemate is the Seattle Mariners’ reported entrance into the fray. It is believed the Mariners are ready to offer Cano upwards of $200 million, though the exact length of the contract was not immediately known.

The Yankees continued their offseason makeover on Tuesday night, agreeing to terms with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $153 million contract.

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