Jun 30, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson (2) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Kelly Johnson could become Yankees third baseman


With Alex Rodriguez now suspended for the 2014 regular season and postseason, the New York Yankees need to fill a void at third base.

Rumors have linked them to San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley for months, but the Friars aren’t interested in reducing their asking price – a figure that’s too rich for the Yankees blood.

That has left New York looking elsewhere, though their best available option might be in-house with Kelly Johnson who according to MLB.com, could become the Bronx Bombers starting third baseman:

Johnson, who turns 32 in February, batted .235 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs in 118 games for Tampa Bay last year. He has seen the bulk of his professional action at second base and had not played a big league inning at third base until last season, when he saw action in 16 games there.

That’s a position of need for the Yankees, who learned Saturday that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season, including the postseason. Johnson currently projects as the leading candidate to handle the starting duties.

Understandably Johnson will have his issues at third base defensively, but he’s proven to be an offensive force in the past – despite an extremely ugly batting average at times.

It’s by no stretch a perfect solution, but the Yankees could do far worse than Johnson at the hot corner.

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Tags: Kelly Johnson New York Yankees

  • Bhokara

    The consensus is that Jeter is too old and fragile to play Shortstop anymore. When Baltimore SS Cal Ripken reached this poin in his career, he moved over to 3B, where his strong arm despite reduced range enabled him to contribute defensively while remaining in the line up every day.

    The Yankees now have a strong defensive shortstop, a need for a third baseball, and a defensive liability at short in Derek Jeter.

    Why couldn’t Jeter move over to 3B like Ripkin did?