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Kelly Johnson was the New York Yankees Unfortunate Plan B After Losing Mark Reynolds to Milwaukee Brewers

May 31st, 2014 at 9:29 AM
By Doug Rush

Last August, with a dire need for right-handed bats as well as help for first base, the New York Yankees signed Mark Reynolds, who had previously been with the Cleveland Indians but was released after 99 games and hit .215 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI.

In the 36 games with the Yankees, Reynolds hit .236 with six home runs and 19 RBI while playing first and third base and the Yankees wanted to bring Reynolds back for another season as insurance in case Alex Rodriguez were suspended for the 2014 season and for insurance on Mark Teixeira, who was recovering from wrist surgery.

The Yankees offered Reynolds a minor-league deal in late November, but was rejected and eventually, Reynolds signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on a minor-league deal with the promise of everyday playing time, which is what Reynolds has been getting. In 43 games, Reynolds is hitting .217 bit has 12 home runs and 25 RBI and has a game-winning hit against the Yankees when they played the Brewers this past month at Miller Park.

So after Reynolds spurned the Yankees for Milwaukee, the Yankees instead signed Kelly Johnson to a one-year, $3 million deal with a guaranteed roster spot and likely to start at third base with A-Rod's suspension. Johnson however, has lost out on his third base job with the emergence of Yangervis Solarte, but Johnson still gets playing time as a backup first basemen like he did this past week with Teixeira recovering from inflammation in his wrist.

However, Johnson hasn't had the same kind of impact that Reynolds could have given the Yankees, as he's currently hitting .207 with just four home runs and 13 RBI and has been about as bad in the field at first base as it gets; butchering plays all over the place in Teixeira's absence and potentially, making the Yankees regret losing out on Reynolds and not offering him a major league deal with guaranteed playing time because given the circumstances of this season, Reynolds could have had it.

Johnson was signed, but it's clear who the Yankees first choice was, and unfortunately for them, they didn't have a crystal ball to see into the future because if so, they could have given Reynolds a better offer because despite the strikeouts, the Yankees could use his bat right about now.

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Tags: Baseball, Kelly Johnson, Mark Reynolds, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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