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Roberts & Anna at second?

12/16/2013

When some Yankee people look at Brian Roberts, they see Eric Chavez. Roberts is a guy who, if he can stay healthy, could be helpful.

The problem is, he has played in more than 59 games just once since 2009 (he played in 77 games last season). That's not a good health record.

But with second basemen dropping off the board daily (Omar Infante and Mark Ellis the latest two), the Yankees may have to glue together the position in the short term. Roberts, 36, could be part of the equation as a buy-low candidate who may have some dividends.

Meanwhile, the Yankees like Dean Anna. He is the career minor leaguer the Yankees acquired in a little trade earlier this winter. He is a 27-year-old, left-handed hitting second baseman. Anna had an .892 OPS in the hitter-happy Pacific Coast League.

Anna's OPS shot up to .929 against righties, so it seems possible the Yankees could sign Roberts at a cheap rate and go into the year with the idea of a platoon. Anna would start against righties with Roberts in the lineup against lefties.

Roberts, who switch hits, has a .716 OPS against lefties and a .782 against righties. So if Anna doesn't work out, then Roberts could play more. The Yankees know, though, that they would have to protect Roberts, just liked they did with Chavez.

The Yankees also have Kelly Johnson, who can swing the bat, but he may not have the glove to put out at second every day. Spot duty? Sure. Part of a platoon? Maybe. But Johnson might be exposed defensively if he was in the lineup every day at second. But he is in the mix, of course.

The Yankees declined a deal for Brandon Phillips. They are hesitant to give up Brett Gardner in a trade, but, as their best chip, Gardner, a free agent at the end of next year, will be the central figure in rumors if he remains a Yankee.

So if Roberts/Anna were to happen and not work out, the Yankees could reconsider moving Gardner for a second baseman.