Kelly Johnson, Yankees near deal

Updated: December 5, 2013, 6:28 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- With Robinson Cano's future with the New York Yankees in limbo, the team is close to a one-year deal worth $3 million with Kelly Johnson as an insurance policy at second base, a source confirmed Wednesday.

The Yankees hope Johnson, 31, will be a utility player at second, third and in the outfield. He hit .235 last season with the Tampa Bay Rays and had 16 homers and an OPS of .715.

The New York Post first reported the Johnson deal and said it would be worth between $2.75 million and $3 million.

Despite the acquisition of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees still have money to sign Cano, but sources say they are intent on not offering anything more than seven years and $175 million. If the Yankees don't sign Cano, they have identified Omar Infante as a potential replacement.

Infante is considered the second-best second baseman on the market. If Cano, Infante or another starter at second comes on board, the Yankees would slide Johnson into a utility role. After their injury plagued 2013 season, the Yankees have made becoming more versatile an offseason priority.

With the re-signing of Brendan Ryan and the impending addition of Johnson, Eduardo Nunez could begin the season in Triple-A and be used as depth if the Yankees were to have injuries at the major league level.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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