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Yankees close to signing Kelly Johnson

The Yankees add a very under-the-radar utility man to the mix.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are close to signing Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal at around $2.75-3 million.

Johnson, who turns 32 in February, spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rays, hitting .235/.305/.410 with a 99 OPS+ in 407 plate appearances. Primarily a second baseman in the past, Johnson was used as a utility man with the Rays, seeing time in left field (53 games), second (22 games), designated hitter (18 games), third base (16 games), and first base (three games).  Because of Johnson's versatility, this should not close the door on a potential re-signing of Robinson Cano. However, as Sherman notes, Johnson would presumably be Cano's replacement at second if he does leave.

Johnson is pretty inconsistent year-to-year with the bat (OPS+ by year from 2008 on: 109, 82, 127, 93, 85, 99), but I feel this is a pretty smart move on the Yankees' part, in my opinion. If Johnson can revert back to 2010 days, this would be an absolute steal, but even if he repeats 2013, it'd still be a really nice, under-the-radar addition. And, finally, if Cano does return, I'd have to think it would spell the end for Eduardo Nunez, and that certainly isn't a bad thing.

What do you guys think about this signing?