Brian Roberts has signed a one-year contract with the New York Yankees worth approximately $2 million. NY of course has a sudden (and perhaps unexpected) vacancy at second base due to Robinson Cano’s sudden departure for Seattle. From the sounds of it, Roberts is expected to be somewhat of a utility player in a sense. First off, this tells me that New York was in effect not expecting to lose Cano. So now they’re having to scramble to get second base shored up. But how will this move be viewed in Birdland?
Undoubtedly there will be some who will be angry that the Baltimore Orioles will have let a player (especially one with the history of Roberts with this franchise) get away – and to the Yankees at that. However I suspect that most fans will see this for what it is; a 36-year old player with a laundry list of injury issues catching on with a team that has a need. If not for the injury problems Roberts has had over the past couple of seasons, I suspect that the O’s might have been willing to re-sign Roberts. However who knows whether or not he can make it through the entire year? And that’s something that New York will face as well, which is presumably why they’re looking to platoon Roberts at second.
File the Roberts situation under the it is what it is category. However here’s another free agent case that’s a bit more frightening of a
proposition; Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweeted last night that free agent pitcher Gavin Floyd turned down more money from the O’s to sign with the Atlanta Braves. According to an industry source the O’s offered Floyd (who incidentally is a Baltimore-area native) a two-year deal worth $20 million with incentives. He ended up signing with the Braves for one year, $4 million. So let that sink in for a moment…a pitcher took LESS MONEY FOR LESS YEARS to go elsewhere. (Throw in the fact that he’s a local product, and it’s even more mind boggling.)
For all of the negative commentary on the part of some fans thus far this off season regarding the front office, this appears to be one that they “got right” in a sense. I’ll be very honest; I can’t quite grasp how a pitcher could turn down a longer contract for more money to go somewhere else. Some folks are saying that he’s hoping for a big payday next off season, and I suppose that pitching for a franchise like Atlanta isn’t a bad way to go about getting that. Furthermore, Turner Field is a pitcher’s park whereas Camden Yards is certainly a hitter’s park. But…wow. Just, wow.
You can’t fault Dan Duquette, Peter Angelos, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, or anyone else on this one folks. And the fact that Floyd is FROM HERE shouldn’t be lost either. Most guys would kill to play in their hometown. So in this case it appears that Floyd’s hometown team offered him the best deal, and he went elsewhere. I suppose if you’re Dan Duquette you kind of have to throw your arms skyward and ask what am I supposed to do?! on this one.